International students skate for first time

Posted: January 21, 2015 3:15 p.m.

University of Regina international students at the Murray Balfour Arena.
University of Regina international students at the Murray Balfour Arena. Photo courtesy of UR International

Dozens of University of Regina students recently took part in a very Canadian tradition for the first time - skating.

“This is so exciting, wow,” says Si Si Xu who is from China and now in her fourth year as an Economics major at the University.

It was also a new opportunity for Julia Pinto.

“In my place in Brazil it is only summer. There are no ice skating arenas,” says Pinto who is taking French studies.  “So, any chance I get to do something like this I like to try it.”

The skating session was organized by International Friendship Regina, a Christian charitable organization that regularly holds events like this for U of R international students, ESL students and visiting scholars. The skating took place at Regina’s Murray Balfour Arena.

“It’s very Canadian to go skating in the winter,” says Dr. Doug Durst, a professor of Social Work who helps organize such events.“This gets the students out of the campus and out of the residence where they get to socialize and meet other students.”
Skating and socializing is what brought John Mabior to the rink. Mabior is from Sudan and is enrolled in Electronic  Systems Engineering.

“I feel like a part of the family at the University. It is like we have a global family.”

That global family is growing at the U of R having nearly doubled from five years ago. There were 1,816 international students from 90 countries registered in September, 2014.   

UR International provides a variety of services for International and ESL students. For more information please visit