Julia Hechler, 18; Pia Borchardt,18; Susanna Bunse,18 are exchange students from Germany who are here for one semester. Photo credit: Hritika Jimmy

The International Education Centre held an orientation event on Saturday, Jan.11 in Marketplace cafeteria, for international students starting their classes this winter term.

The cafeteria was filled with small flags of all the countries in the world and multicultural songs played prior to the event. In total, 437 students registered for the event and received their tickets online.

The event started with a game called social bingo after which the students were sent to different classes in the afternoon to get detailed lectures on health insurance, important immigration information, student services, Canadian culture, law and rights.

“These services were started to cover the gap in our ability to support international students,” said Ernest Mulvey, director of the International Education Centre, talking about the pre-arrival and arrival services. “The college is one of the top 25 institutions in Ontario that receive international students.”

Later, they went back to the cafeteria where they had lunch and socialized with other students.

This marked the end of the string of events held for the international students since they were accepted. There were pre-arrival services in India and China and arrival services for all the international students, which included pick-up from the Ottawa International Airport, up to three nights at a hotel.

The contractor, Inderpreet Singh also took all the international students to the bank and for groceries so that they “feel like they are properly received.”

“Today I am hoping to know about the college,” said Reshmi Jose, 18-year-old, business administration student near the health insurance booth. “I have been to the counseling and employment booth and I will register to the volunteering booth in the end.”

Algonquin College is the only college that provides the opportunity for students to get their Social Insurance Number on campus as opposed to going to Service Canada.

The International Education Centre has planned a pilot for online module courses on Brightspace with the vital information that will be available to them as soon as the students get their student ID number.

“It is good because it guides us as to how to be in college and the facilities given to the students,” said 24-year-old Mrinalini Pardiwala, electro-mechanical engineering technician student.