Facilitator Corner: Tiffany Le
FIUTS Facilitators are student leaders from all over the world who welcome new international visitors, help organize events, and lead activities for hundreds of students each quarter. Read on to find out more about the FIUTS facilitator experience from Tiffany Le.
Name: Tiffany (Thao) Le
Major: Marketing & Accounting
FIUTS Facilitator Since: Winter 2016
My name is Tiffany, and I am from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I came to the U.S in 2013 and attended Green River College before I transferred to the University of Washington. Having lived in Washington state for almost four years, I see this place as my second home, and all my friends here, including FIUTS, as my second family. I’d never had a chance to meet people from other countries until I went to school here. Therefore, being an international student and meeting other international students is the most enjoyable thing in my life. One thing I like to do in Seattle is to check out new cafes every weekend, enjoy a good cup of macchiato and read my books.
What does it mean to be a FIUTS facilitator?
As a transfer student, when I first got to UW, I felt that I was going through my freshmen year again even though I was a junior. All the memories about a challenging time when I first got here came back to me, and it was uncomfortable. Thus, I was eager to find my own community in which I can fit in and adapt to the new environment as soon as possible. That was how I found out about FIUTS and decided to be a Facilitator to push myself out of my comfort zone and find my balance again.
Being a Facilitator gives me the opportunities to help out other international students, which is also a way that I help myself to be stronger. I like how facilitating events can be both challenging and enjoyable, so I can constantly learn a lot after each event. Moreover, I can also inspire other students with leadership.
Favorite FIUTS anecdote as a facilitator
My favorite memory is facilitating the Mt. Rainier Hike with a group of new students in Fall Quarter. It was a difficult hike, and it was cold. The higher we got, we started to see snow and winds. There was no phone signals so I had to make sure that I did not miss anyone in our group and no one got lost. It was challenging at first to keep track of everyone because we all had different pace, and there were other hikers as well. However, the peak of the fun was when we got to the point that we needed to decide if we should finish the hike or start to go back, because it was foggy and we had to meet up soon. At the end, we all decided to conquer the mountain together, and we did! It was one of the most satisfying moments in my life because as a group, we successfully achieved a goal together even when we were all strangers at first, knowing each other for only a few hours. It made me have stronger belief in teamwork and team goals, and I definitely felt proud of my hiking team!
Tiffany (lower right) and the Mount Rainier hikers
Tips/comments for peer facilitators
Managing a group of students may look challenging, and it is challenging, but you can do it. Nobody is perfect, so you don’t have to worry about being an imperfect or inexperienced leader, because everything has a starting point. And FIUTS is just a great starting point for all of us to build up our experience and leadership. I noticed that every FIUTS group, no matter if it’s a group of peer facilitators, or participants, or students from other organizations, is always welcoming, so I am never afraid of making mistakes within FIUTS because they will let me know how I can improve. With that, my fellow facilitators, if you are new and make mistakes, you can make more mistakes because that’s how FIUTS helps you learn!
Check out our past Facilitator Corners:
Omar Altoaimi, Diana Park, Herish Patel, Cece Zhang, Nail Hassairi, Sophia Chakalo, Bader Alfarhan, Peirce Kirkham, Alissa Mustre, Ang Li, Wedward Wei, Terry Jung, Hassan Almuzaini, Isabella Ning, Lucy Deng, Nhung Le, Abigail Lim, Ferris Maghi, Kevin Sander, Joey Liao, Anya Raj, Minhtu Nguyen, Jianyang (Jane) Zhang, Jialu Sun, Fleur Xuanlin Li,