Ricky Kumar outside ACCE Building alongside the coat he brought to be donated at the event Photo credit: Sebastian Pinera

As winter looms, the International Education Centre and Algonquin Students’ Association teamed up to host Winter for Beginners, an event aimed at helping international students navigate the Canadian winter.

The event, held on Nov. 8, attracted a diverse crowd eager to learn about essential winter tips. Attendees were not only treated to informative sessions but also had the opportunity to contribute to a good cause. The SA organized a drop-off bin for gently used coats, supporting their annual coat drive.

“We want students to not only survive but thrive in the Canadian winter,” said Jess Guilbault, a guest speaker at the event. “Taking care of yourself physically and mentally, understanding the nuances of winter weather, dressing appropriately, and staying engaged are crucial elements. Winter can be challenging, but with the right knowledge, it can also be a season of beauty and growth.”

Guilbault encouraged everyone to not just get through winter but actually enjoy it. The event wasn’t just about talking — it was about helping people, especially newcomers.

“Winter can be terrifying, especially for newcomers. People always ask if you’re ready for Canadian winter, but they never really tell you how to overcome it. So, I think having this event was very handy,” said Meryem Hasdou, an architectural technician student at the event.

The importance of being ready for winter’s challenges turned the act of donating coats into a shared commitment to facing the upcoming chilly months together.

“I came here to donate one of the coats that I don’t really use anymore. I’m sure there’s someone else that will give it a way better use than I do,” said Ricky Kumar, another architecture technician student at the event. “With winter and freezing weather starting so early this year, people should already have at least an idea of what to expect in the next months.”