Providing Support for International Students

Posted on September 26th, 2016

Mental health issues have been identified as the number one impediment to students finishing their degree programs. The effectiveness with which post-secondary institutions identify health risks and support students in need greatly influences the likelihood of academic success. This is particularly true in regards to international students, who are represent a burgeoning population on campuses across the country. 

“Like many students from South East Asia, Ji-Ho expected more true and false quizzes, more memorization of facts and figures, more prescriptive learning. He wasn’t prepared to defend his ideas, argue, or work in groups. He has yet to befriend a Canadian. He spends most nights in his dorm room streaming Korean television on his laptop. As the weeks pass, Ji-Ho finds it hard to get out of bed and has missed several classes. He feels lonely, depressed and tired, trapped in a cycle which makes him feel hopeless.”

Students such as Ji-Ho can find support through programs such as SAFE. The app targets international students who wouldn’t normally seek help through normal channels. It’s designed to work with existing on-campus services to support students in their native language and culture via chat, phone, email, video conference or in person, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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