Day of golf attracts international students.

By Costa Maragos Posted: June 23, 2015 6:00 a.m.

(L – R) Wei bin Wang (student), Merv Cockerill (Volunteer Instructor), Marzieh Bayeh (student) and Fahimeh Bayeh (student).
(L – R) Wei bin Wang (student), Merv Cockerill (Volunteer Instructor), Marzieh Bayeh (student) and Fahimeh Bayeh (student). (Photo Courtesy of External Relations)

Dozens of U of R international students were introduced to the fun and frustrating game of golf on May 9. The students spent an afternoon at the Lakeview Par3 course in Regina.

“I didn’t have a chance to try golf at home,” says Wei bin Wang, an Environmental Engineering student who is originally from China. “It can cost over $2 thousand for one time of golfing. And if you want to purchase a membership it can cost over $10 thousand a year.”

Compare that to the $15 the students paid for the round of golf at the Par 3 course and you can see the attraction.

Wang was with a team that included fellow students Fahimeh Bayeh and Marzieh Bayeh, sisters from Iran.

“It’s interesting. I like it. I did many sports in Iran but not golf. We have golf back home but it is very expensive,” says Marzieh Bayeh who is studying Mathematics. Her sister and golf partner, Fahimeh Bayeh, is a Computer Science student.

The golf day was organized by International Friendship Regina. For 24 years, this non-denominational Christian charitable organization has been hosting recreational outings for U of R international students, ESL students and visiting scholars.

In January, they packed a local arena for a day of skating and recently filled all the spaces available for a camping outing near Wolsley, Sask.
 
“The students are very much attracted to these types of activities. We had no trouble selling out the 36 spots that were open for golf this year,” says Stan Klassen, who is with International Friendship Regina. Klassen has helped organize such events for more than 20 years.

“They love the idea of playing golf for $15. Most of them can’t believe the price compared to where they come from.”

It’s a good deal but the students quickly figured out the difficulty mastering the game.
 
“I played golf on the internet,” points out Marzieh Bayeh. “I was pretty good there. I was really good on-line but I don’t know. It’s not quite the same in real life,” she laughed.

Bayeh is one of more than 1600 international Undergraduate and Graduate students enrolled at the U of R. Enrollment of international students has nearly doubled over the past five years.