Saya Soma is a graduate student at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, pursuing the Master of Arts in Global Governance. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia (UBC), where she majored in Political Science and minored in International Relations.
During her time at UBC, Saya’s research focused on immigration and asylum policies, two-way refugee integration, refugee resettlement pathways, human rights protection, climate migration, community building, and multilateral and international institutions. She also chaired the UBC chapter of the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) and facilitated its Student Refugee Program, through which young students from several refugee camps resettled in Vancouver and studied at UBC. Her experience working with WUSC deepened her passion for fostering community support for immigrant and refugee newcomers. This led her to coordinate several community engagement events and a UBC Student-Directed Seminar on the topic of Canada’s asylum provision framework. Since 2020, she has also worked as a research assistant at the UBC Centre for Japanese Research, under the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs. In her role, she coordinated multiple webinars on Japanese political issues and researched Japanese domestic and foreign policies, particularly related to the country’s COVID-19 responses.
Prior to studying at UBC, Saya worked in the field of international education administration, where she gained knowledge of temporary migration policies in Canada (international students and temporary workers).
In pursuing her Master’s at BSIA, she hopes to conduct comparative research into immigration and asylum policies in several migrant-receiving countries, as well as study the role of multilateral institutions in international migration.