BY HEATHER CAMPBELL
for northern life
Mayor Dave Courtemanche and most of the city councillors welcomed about 75 students from all over the globe to the City of Greater Sudbury Wednesday afternoon.
An International Students? Reception was held at Tom Davies Square for students from the city?s three post-secondary institutions, Cambrian College, College Boreal and Laurentian University.
Courtemanche started his welcome to students by helping them to get their bearings, ?To help you get your bearings in the city, this is Tom Davies Square and I?m the mayor.?
Students were acknowledged as he called out the names of countries they travelled from, such as Japan, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Spain, Rwanda, Germany, Finland, France, Kenya and India.
Laurentian University alone is welcoming approximately 60 new international students in 2005/06 making it approximately 400 international students studying at the institute. College Boreal expects approximately 100 students.
?You enrich the education of our students,? Judith Woodsworth, president, Laurentian University, told students and ?have good warm clothes.?
Melissa Keeping, director, Laurentian International, says this reception demonstrates how the three institutions come together with the community to provide positive experiences for students.
Ivy Kahoro, 25, from Nairobi, Kenya, is in her second year of nursing at Laurentian. She spent some time in Toronto and prefers Sudbury for her studies.
She looked at a number of institutions across North America, but is glad to be in Sudbury because, ?the people are really friendly.? Kahoro says ?I have received many invitations to go to people?s houses for special holidays and that never happened when I was in Toronto.?
Dr. Rayudu Koka from the Sudbury Multicultural Folk Arts Association told students, ?We don?t want to steal you from your home country but if you choose to stay in Canada, we would like it to be Sudbury.?
Koka is also a member of the Diversity Thrives Here initiative that is working toward making the city more welcoming and inclusive. He informed the students that if they encounter any discrimination to contact the Multicultural Folk Arts Association and they will assist them.
Courtemanche said international students help counter the city?s outmigration problems.
?In the 1990s our city experienced an outmigration which has had an impact on our economy. Immigration has now become critical to the growth of our city and future prosperity,? he said.