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Supporting our International Students. International Students. Melissa Ostrowski. International Student Advisor 403-210-9595 Overview. Demographics Expectations of international students Services at CISSA

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International Students

Melissa Ostrowski

International Student Advisor


  • Demographics
  • Expectations of international students
  • Services at CISSA
  • International Student Orientation
  • Challenges international students face
  • How advisors can help
  • Resources
demographics of international students
Demographics of International Students
  • Fall 2012
    • Exchange Students: 300
    • Regular Registration: 2605
    • Visiting: 52
    • Total Registration: 2957
  • Exchange: France, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and Singapore
  • Degree Seeking: China, Iran, India, United States and Saudi Arabia
  • Visiting Students: Brazil
  • ESL and EAPP students are not included in these numbers
what do international students expect from us
What do international students expect from us?
  • To have knowledge of our institution
    • Academic programs at U of C
    • The cost of tuition
    • Contacts with other departments and areas on campus
  • Know about the education system in Canada and how U of C fits into that system (rankings, reputation, transition pathways, etc.)
  • To be a personal contact at the U of C
  • Ensure they are successful
    • This can mean different things to different people
services at cissa for international students
Services at CISSA for International Students
  • Advising
    • Drop-in Advising: Monday to Friday 9am – 12pm and 1pm to 4pm
  • Programs
    • Global Friendship Program
    • Mentorship Program
    • Spouse and Partner Program
  • Workshops (post-graduate options and income tax)
  • Handouts
  • Orientation
services at cissa cont d
Services at CISSA – cont’d
  • Advising topics:
    • Study permit, temporary resident (‘entry’) visas and general immigration issues
    • On and off campus employment regulations
    • Social Insurance Number (SIN)
    • Co-op, post-graduation, and off-campus work permits
    • Visitor visas and work permits for spouses/common-law partners
    • Health insurance and the Canadian medical system
    • Resources to apply for US visitor visas
    • Any other non-academic questions or concerns
orientation what do we discuss
Orientation – What do we discuss?
  • International Student Programs and Services
  • Advising for International Students on Immigration Matters (study permits, work permits & regulations, visas)
  • Using the UofC Libraries and Resources
  • Filing Canadian Tax Returns to get Government Refunds
  • Living in Calgary and City of Calgary Services
  • Opening a bank account, transferring funds, and obtaining credit cards
orientation cont d
Orientation – cont’d
  • Health Care & Insurance, Visiting a Doctor and services at the U of C Wellness Centre
  • Emergency Loans for international students
  • Student Rights and where to go for help
  • U of C Regulations and Services
  • Tips from current U of C students on everything you need to know to be a successful student
  • Upcoming trips, social events and workshops designed for international students
  • Campus Tour
winter 2013 orientation
Winter 2013 Orientation
  • Friday, January 4
  • 8:30 am to 3:30 pm
  • Location – KNB 132
  • Lunch is provided for students
challenges that international students face
Challenges that International Students Face
  • Adjustment and transition issues
    • Culture shock
    • Isolation
    • Weather
  • Financial stress
    • Difficulty getting loans/financial aid
    • Cost of living
    • Unsteady/unreliable source of funds
challenges that international students face cont d
Challenges that International Students Face – cont’d
  • Parental Expectations
    • Students pursuing the ‘wrong’ degrees – doing what their parents want them to do
  • Landlord and Roommate issues
    • Landlords taking advantage of students’ lack of understanding about their rights
    • Particularly of concern with landlord-tenant of the same ethnic background
  • Academic
    • Supervisor (grad students)
    • ESL
    • Plagiarism
how can we help students and meet their expectations
How can we help students and meet their expectations?
  • Keep up the fantastic work!!
  • Attend UCAN and make connections on campus
  • Use each other’s expertise
  • Have clear boundaries
  • Ask appropriate questions
    • To the student, department, other advisors, etc.
  • Be aware of resources on campus
    • Workshops
    • Events
    • Programs
  • Be aware of current issues in the world
    • Ie. the suspension of diplomatic relations between Canada and Iran
  • Annie Pilote & AsmaaBenabdeljalil
    • Supporting the Success of International Students in Canadian Universities
  • Naeem “Nick” Noorani & Sabrina Noorani
    • Arrival Survival Canada: A Handbook for New Immigrants
  • Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
    • A Profile of the Interculturally Effective Person
  • Canadian Bureau of International Education
    • A World of Learning: Canada’s Performance and Potential in International Education