International Students Adjusting to Canada

International Students Adjusting to Canada
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By Brittany Barber
Graphic By Progga Arni Sarder

With more than 100 ethno-cultural groups at Centennial College, international students services are plentiful as the college takes pride in having over 6,000 international students. Sometimes college can be overwhelming, especially when you’re new to the country, which is why Centennial has numerous services for every international student to take advantage of. 

Whether you’re in your first semester or last, there is a service that will fit your needs, no matter the issue. Each campus provides students with the ability to meet with an international student advisor to help you with your individual needs.

Donna Mapanao is one of the international student advisors happy to help each student succeed and achieve their goals. Donna has been with Centennial College for twenty years and has personally met with hundreds of students coming from many countries around the world. 

“If a student is struggling, we want to figure out why,” Mapanao says about helping international students on a one-on-one basis. We offer free services for students that need extra support from counselling to tutorials and basic tips,” she said.

“We are here to focus not only on one side of the student but we need to do the whole totality of the student, working on their well-being, their academics and emotions because we are here for them.”

Among the services offered to ensure success for all international students, the International Education Services and Global Experience (SaGE) team is here to help in any way they can including providing support for students interested in accommodation options, health insurance, personal development skills or for general transition concerns.

As one of the most culturally diverse post-secondary institutions in Canada, Centennial College provides international students with the tools to help them further themselves. 

Through counselling, students are able to express concerns with their transition as well as explore cultural differences in Canada, learn study skills including time management, note-taking, test preparation and more.

Having worked with international students for many years, Donna Mapanao wants students to take advantage of everything Centennial has to offer. “We want to give [international students] direction and options, while also building a good relationship with the student individually,” she says.

According to the International Student Handbook that can be found online on Centennial’s main website, “joining the International Centre Facebook page will help you stay informed about the on-campus workshops, information sessions that we organize for international students, study permit extensions, work permits, and everything related to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.”

Not only does the Facebook page provide information on what is offered at the school, but also is a great way to get to meet other international students. Staying connected through Facebook will provide students with information on special events like student clubs, job fairs and can even help you connect with students that are selling used textbooks at a discounted price.

With numerous services offered at Centennial College for international students, there is no doubt that you will succeed, enjoy learning and meet new people during your stay. Having a support system makes all the difference in your studies abroad, and Centennial College wants to make all students feel welcome, safe and excited for new opportunities.

For more information, please visit the sage office at your campus or visit the website to find the handbook

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