Entering University is an intimidating and scary experience even for the most “prepared” high school graduate. Moving to a new country, leaving behind friends, family and the familiar is another equally intimidating and scary experience. Doing BOTH at the same time can be an extremely overwhelming experience.
Like Pitbull :P
As an international student I did just that. I left behind my home, my culture, my friends and my family to move to Canada for University. Honestly, it was the BEST and most challenging experience of my life. When I first got here I had to deal with the harsh reality that my mom wasn’t there to cook and clean for me. I was on my own. There were some growing pains, (like doing LAUNDRY) but eventually I was able to settle in and find my niche.
For many international students their first glimpse of Canada will be at the Lester B. Pearson International Airport. I can still remember entering the MASSIVE airport and being amazed by how many people were buzzing around.
After clearing customs and collecting my luggage I walked out into the outer waiting area. In movies when people enter this area they are greeted warmly by family and friends excited to see them, this was NOT my experience!! When I walked out into the greeting area I was met by no one, worst of all I had no idea where I was supposed to go.
I am VERY happy to report that things have changed and International Students are welcomed as soo as they set foot on Canadian soil!!!
Welcome to your home away from home!
The Pearson Airport and The City of Toronto in conjunction with local post-secondary institutions unveiled a “Student Welcome Program” last year which focused on providing International students with a warm welcome to Canada and support as soon as they arrive! The program was such a huge success last year that they have decided to host the program again this year.
What does this “Welcome” look like?
The City of Toronto will set up ‘welcome’ booths next to the main information booths in both Terminal 1 and 3 of the Pearson International Airport.
At these booths, new International Students will be offered:
-A warm greeting from a current International Student attending an institution in the GTA
-A welcome package
-A free phone call home
-Accommodation and Transportation Support
Does this sound like something you’d be interested in?
Want to know WHEN these booths will be open??
Hours of Operation:
-August 11th- 17th: 7:00am-12 noon and 6:00pm-11:00pm
-August 18th -September 3rd: 7:00am-11:00pm
-September 3rd -10th: 7:00am-12 noon and 6:00pm-11:00pm
If you’re looking for more information feel free to check out this link!
If you’re an International Student and you have the opportunity to experience this service, let me know what it’s like! I’d LOVE to hear about it!