An outside view of the administrative building for Algonquin College on a sunny day in April. Photo credit: Brandon Plant

Colleges Ontario has implemented new common standards to help international students in their relocation to the province. Algonquin College is one of the many colleges in the province to implement the new common standards, with the latest criteria set to be administered by June 2024.

The college believes that these new standards will provide essential resources and increased support for potential new students

“This is an opportunity to have a sector-wide approach to providing greater clarity on the information and support we give international students at the start of the process and throughout their experience,” a statement from Algonquin College said.

“Ultimately, the goal is to make sure that our international students are provided with the best possible support at Algonquin College and across the college system in Ontario,” the college’s communications department added.

Colleges Ontario announced the initiative in mid-March.

Aditya Singh, an Algonquin College business student, believes the changes are a positive step for what is otherwise an “anxious” process.

“When I applied to my program last year, it was difficult to make the choice because I was so far away from the country [Canada]. I was very anxious when making my decision,” Singh said.

“Adding more resources would be a great help for incoming international students,” added Singh.

The college says “these are sector-wide standards being implemented to strengthen the programs and supports for international students that already exist across Ontario.”

According to a press release from Algonquin College, the new standards will:

  • Ensure the marketing of programs to international students is accurate and transparent.
  • Require international agents working for Ontario’s colleges to have completed a sector-endorsed agent training program.
  • Ensure information on services, supports and facilities are provided to students before they arrive in Ontario and once they are in the province. This would include information on mental well-being, student housing and employment opportunities.
  • Provide targeted assistance to help international students adjust to a new environment.

“I think the most important thing that was announced is the school focusing on the housing and employment issue for international students,” Singh said.

“That was another big stress for me before coming here, so that would definitely help students make an easier transition when moving here because the cost of living is very high.”