Upcoming Events

February 8, 2021 to February 12, 2021

2:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Symposium on Supporting International Students


Symposium on Supporting International Students

February 8 - 12, 2021

Register now!

The Symposium on Supporting International Students is a series of webinars and panel discussions designed for Student Affairs professionals interested in exploring how internationalization has led to shifts in practices, programs and services within postsecondary. The institute will feature three themes:

  1. Internationalization: An approach to program development and forming community
  2. Practicing reflexivity: Perspectives, bias and assumptions
  3. Health and well-being of student affairs professionals 

Student affairs professionals are increasingly working in an international landscape that calls upon the ability to diversify, integrate, and collaborate to meet global trends. In this series of webinars, you will learn from a diverse group of professionals working with an international lens to improve programs and services.

Registration opens: January 18, 2021

Registration closes: February 8, 2021


Registration Fees: Members   $49                  Non-members            $69


Schedule of Workshops

Full Description of Sessions:

Monday, February 8  1:00ET/10:00PT/11:00MT/12:00CT/2:00ATL/2:30NFLD

60 minutes

Student Services Leadership Panel - International Student Services heading into 2021

Kumarie Achaibar-Morrison - Associate Director, International Student Services, University of Alberta, AB, Gulcan Barclay - Manager, International Student Services, Camosun College,  BC, Megan Sager - Director, International Student Services, Western University, ON, Kelly Collins - Manager, International Student Office, Concordia University, QC 

International student services across Canada has rapidly evolved and adapted to support students during the COVID 19 pandemic. From immigration support to building student engagement needed re-imagination. As we enter the one-year mark of the pandemic lockdown, we are faced with thinking through our next steps in service delivery for the future. Join us to hear from leaders within international student services across Canada to hear about lessons learned from the past year and visions for this upcoming year and beyond for their staff, programs and students. 


Tuesday, February 9  2:00ET/11:00PT/12:00MT/1:00CT/3:00ATL/3:30NFLD

75 minutes

Impacts of COVID-19 on International Student Experiences & Service Providers

Lynn Walsh, Manager, Internationalisation Office at Memorial  University, St John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador; Garrett Beatty, International Student Advisor, Intercultural Programs, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta; Candace Stewart-Smith, International Education Professional, Regulated International Student Immigration Advisor (RISIA) certified, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo,

In early 2020, when COVID-19 began to surface,  post-secondary institutions across Canada had to quickly pivot to remote services and learning. Since then, most institutions have continued with remote learning while some programs are of a hybrid model. Many institutions continue to support students virtually, while also advising students in self-isolation. This transition and new area of support has impacted students and service providers in a number of challenging ways, including mental health, academic success, immigration status challenges, staffing needs and capacity. Join presenters from international offices at University of Calgary, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Memorial University to hear about their different experiences supporting students, each other and working within this pandemic.


Wednesday, February 10  11:00 ET/8:00PT/9:00MT/10:00CT/12:00ATL/12:30NFLD

60 minutes

Housing in Nova Scotia: What do International Students Say?

Ilaria Pivi, Coordinator, Housing and Arrival Services, Nova Scotia Community College; Mikala Gallant-Snively, International Student Advisor, Saint Mary’s University; and Christina Warren, Manager, Financial Aid and Student Counselling, NSCAD University

This presentation focuses on a research project led by the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) with the support of nine other post-secondary institutions across the Province of Nova Scotia in addition to EduNova. In the month of October, the Working Group launched an off-campus housing survey that asked international students to share their housing rental experiences. Students who lived off-campus (anywhere in Nova Scotia) during the 2019/20 Academic Year will provided feedback on their biographical information, housing affordability throughout Nova Scotia as well as their detailed housing experiences. In closing, students are were asked two open-ended questions in order to understand what they wished they had known before looking for housing and what they thought it would be useful for incoming students to know in relation to housing. The survey results were disclosed in November and are of key importance to document the students’ experiences related to off-campus housing. Having reliable data will enable institutions to improve on program delivery and supports as well as approaching municipalities, local stakeholders and community partners to develop long-term housing solutions in support of students as well as boosting local economies. Some of this data will be shared during this presentation.


Wednesday, February 10  12:00ET/9:00PT/10:00MT/11:00CT/1:00ATL/1:30NFLD

60 minutes

Housing in a Dangerous Time – Community wide implications of increased international enrolment and the Covid-19 pandemic

Paul D. Smith, Director of Career Services and Work Integrated Learning, Loyalist College; Thomas Crowhurst, Residence Housing Officer, Loyalist College

Through this storytelling style presentation, we will walk through the process undertaken by our Residence Staff and others to adapt and evolve our services offered to students. These changes in process looked at how to meet the needs of our large newly welcomed group of international students, while understanding those challenges likely impact many aspects of student life. They also affect our neighbouring community, including college perception, use of municipal facilities, change in environment, and life as a residence or off campus student. Through collaboration across departments we worked in concert to ensure our students receive the support and attention they need to meet the struggles they faced. These processes included a residence wide shift to double occupancy, creating a curricular approach to residence life, while navigating the tribulations of the COVID 19 pandemic.   


Thursday, February 11  1:00ET/10:00PT/11:00MT/12:00CT/2:00ATL/2:30NFLD

60 minutes

Internationalization of Career Programming and Services at the University of Waterloo

Lauren Broderick, Supervisor, Career Leader Program

In 2016, the Centre for Career Action at the University of Waterloo conducted an analysis to evaluate how well its service delivery model and resources supported international students. An overarching theme through this process, from environmental scan through to plan implementation, is that the best outcomes consistently revolved around intentionally streamlining and integrating programming and communications, rather than adding more to the student learning environment. This session will highlight the enhancements we’ve made for inbound international students and students seeking or returning from international experiences as a result of the analysis. We will then break out into small group discussions.


Friday, February 12  1:00 ET/10:00PT/11:00MT/12:00CT/2:00ATL/2:30NFLD

60 minutes

International Student Mental Health; A Pandemic of its Own

Stephanie Dinsmore, RSW MSW BSW, Tayyab Rashid, Ph. D., C.Psych

COVID-19 has urged education to pivot to virtual world, this has posed several challenges, especially mental health. The immediate mental health impacts of the pandemic are coming into focus. As Student Affairs professionals we continue to support students as they navigate their education. Yet, we too are experiencing the toll of the pandemic on our own mental wellbeing. From the session you will takeaway tangible practices and strategies to make a shift in your own work. Join us as we openly reflect on our own mental health experiences as professionals and our work with students.


Presenter Bios


Sessions will be recorded and registrants will receive all recordings at the end of the series.

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