International Peer Mentors


We are excited to introduce our International Peer Mentor Team!  


WHO: RISD OISS is excited to introduce our International Peer Mentor Team as a new initiative to support the international student experience.  The mentor team is comprised of two graduate and five undergraduate students. 

WHAT: Peer mentorship and support is something that international students have requested as a resource and a guide to navigating the international student experience at RISD and in the US. The International Peer Mentor offering will provide international students with assistance throughout their time at RISD.  The drop-in hours are open to any student who considers themselves part of the international student community.

WHERE: Carr House, Room 308


  • Shopping & Food

  • Connecting with campus resources: housing, academic support, registration, etc

  • Classroom experience

  • Outside of the classroom activities, events and clubs

  • Navigating and learning about life and culture in the U.S.

  • Homesickness

  • Sharing your experiences and culture/ connection

*Immigration-specific advising must be arranged with an OISS Professional Staff Member

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Jingqi Wang

2022 Painting, GR

Languages: Mandarin, English, and conversational Mongolian

Home: Born in China and raised in Mongolia, for me, home is where the things and people important to me are.


I like old cartoons and, according to my professors, I make whimsical paintings. I have two cats: one looks like a cinnamon roll, the other one is a cow cat.

Muhammad Haroon Waseem (Haroon Waseem)

2023 Industrial Design, GR

Languages: English, Urdu (Native), German (Beginner)

Home: Home for me is Pakistan

I am a tech enthusiast who loves to make/build or disassemble stuff (which works some of the time), a Formula 1 fan, love to watch (European) Football, and a foodie always having that extra appetite for dessert.

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Johnny Fu

2023 Industrial Design, UG

Languages: English, Mandarin

Home: Shenzhen, China 


Having spent about seven years outside of homeland, I’ve learned to take comfort in living with a multitude of cultural identities, languages, and expressions. I am now able to find more beauty than distress when revisiting my favorite quote from high school by Nigerian poet Ijeoma Umebinyuo:


“So, here you are 

too foreign for home 

too foreign for here. 

Never enough for both.”

Muhaddisa Ali

2024 Graphic Design, UG

Languages: English, Urdu, Basic Korean

Home: I call both Pakistan and Providence my home.

I am Muslim. I absolutely love cats and pandas. I have too many panda themed items from stickers to plushies to stationary, and a fun fact about me is that I once took care of about 14 cats at the same time. I also have a keen interest in interior design, fashion and recently picked up crocheting. I love reading but am really bad at keeping up with it haha and I have recently been obsessed with checkered patterns. At RISD, I'm currently working 3 on campus jobs and am also part of 2 clubs: RSJP and The baby shoe house collective.

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Sari Sandler

2022 Graphic Design, UG

Languages: Russian, Hebrew, English and beginner French

Home: Born in Israel, live in Russia. Home is where my family is.

I am excited to become part of a larger community, create and develop both in my studies but also as a person.


Sichen Grace Chen

2022 Illustration + LAS, UG

Languages: English, Mandarin, and French

Home: I am Chinese-Canadian and I call Langley, Canada, home!

Hi everyone! I'm Grace and I'm currently a senior in illustration who loves narrative work and design. Catch me obsessing over a certain colour palette or new concept art. Outside of the studio, I love bringing people together whether that is through food or entertainment. Hopefully, as an international peer mentor, I will be able to help international students find a sense of belonging, stability, and community at RISD!


Sophia Spagna

2024 Illustration, UG

Languages: English (and a small amount of Yiddish picked up from my Jewish mom!)

Home: I'd definitely call my home Los Angeles, California, USA

I'm currently majoring in Illustration at RISD, and I plan to focus on studying visual development, animation, and illustrating for animation within that major. Fun facts about me: Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and as such, I usually wear a big waffle necklace. I'm also really into comics, graphic novels, and my accidentally gathered small collection of fake plants!

​​WHEN: The International Peer Mentors will have drop-in mentorship hours throughout the week and the Fall 2021 Schedule can be found below. 

Met with a Peer Mentor? Please complete this 3-minute survey to help us improve our services


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