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Two-day international student summit underway at Sheridan College

Jul 25, 2022

City of Brampton and Sheridan College logos

Over 200 leaders from postsecondary institutions, community agencies and all levels of government are gathered at Sheridan College’s Davis Campus in Brampton, Ontario to engage in meaningful dialogue aimed at improving the international student experience in Canada.

Co-hosted by Sheridan and the City of Brampton, the summit will feature discussions with international students and subject matter experts that will form the basis of a forthcoming community Charter to support international student success and will include shared principles, actions, and a mechanism for accountability.

International students are an important part of the Brampton community, adding to the city’s rich, ethnocultural fabric. Many students begin their studies as a pathway to citizenship in Canada, often carrying the burden of expectations of their families while facing additional obstacles that are atypical of the domestic learner experience.

The summit is a key deliverable of the International Student Experience Roundtable that was convened in 2021 by the City of Brampton and Sheridan to develop an integrated strategy that aims to make Brampton the best practice leader in Canada in supporting international students to thrive. 

Attendees at tables at Davis gym

Summit highlights:

  • Inspiring keynotes by international students who are at multiple stages of their postsecondary journey
  • Best practice case studies from national and international jurisdictions
  • Breakout sessions that explore the impacts and gaps in immigration policy, barriers to safe and affordable housing, gaps in supports and services to ensure academic success, the need for gender and culturally sensitive supports, opportunities for meaningful work experience, how to foster a sense of belonging and inclusion for international students, and more

The summit will feature a diverse group of keynote speakers and will be facilitated by Roopa Desai Trilokekar, associate professor in the Faculty of Education at York University.

The summit is generously supported by guard.me International Insurance and sponsored by Centennial College, St. Clair College and Nadya Wen.

Quotes:

Bill Boyes, Chief, Brampton Fire and Emergency Services and Roundtable Co-Chair

“The City’s overarching goal is to work collaboratively to identify the challenges facing international postsecondary students, ensuring we collectively prioritize immediate and longer-term solutions that will keep the community and students safe, successful and well.”

Gurpreet Malhotra, CEO, Indus Community Services and Roundtable Co-Chair

“We must turn our attention to addressing these issues through collaboration and constructive dialogue. In reviewing the data, hearing the community’s concerns, and incorporating feedback from service providers on the front lines, we will better understand the lived experiences of international students and be well positioned to define the problems, work out possible solutions and implement a plan of action.”

Dr. Janet Morrison, President and Vice Chancellor, Sheridan College

“When international students succeed, our whole community thrives. I hope the summit fosters constructive dialogue and collaborative problem-solving among key partners—all levels of government, community service agencies/resources, and post-secondary institutions.”

Dr. Amira El Masri, Director Global Education and Internationalization, Sheridan College

“International students enrich the culture and vibrancy of our communities. They speak multiple languages, enable cross-cultural experiences, bring diverse perspectives and opinions to our attention, and help to break harmful stereotypes and bias. They’re incredibly resilient and can teach us so much. That’s why it’s up to all of us to build a welcoming atmosphere to help them flourish.”

Rowena Santos, Regional Councillor, Brampton Wards 1 and 5

“I am very excited to that Sheridan College and City of Brampton are hosting this summit to work towards a charter. International students are an asset to our community.  They bring talent and skills that Brampton needs to keep growing and the kind of citizens our country needs.  It is up to all of us to work together to ensure that these students receive the kind of housing, social and health supports they need to succeed here.”

Jaspreet Singh, Founder, International Students’ Association

“I am looking forward to the summit and informing the discussions with my lived experience as an international student. These are issues that no single association or organization can tackle alone. The summit allows everyone to get on the same page and have positive dialogue and take united action on key priorities.”

Dr. Kate Bingham, Acting Medical Officer of Health, Peel Public Health

“Our international student population contributes to the diverse mosaic that makes Peel so unique. But coming to a new country can be challenging and difficult to navigate alone without proper supports. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that collaboration by community organizations is integral to ensuring the holistic well-being of vulnerable populations.” 

 

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