International Student Connect (ISC) project is a bilingual collaborative effort between educational institutions and the settlement sector in Ontario to link international students to settlement services and community networks by providing orientation and resources.
This project is coordinated by COSTI Immigrant Services, based in the Greater Toronto Area, and funded by the Government of Ontario.
ISC offers international students helpful online resources that can be found both on the website and in printed format. Resources include a handbook, webinars and fact sheets on various settlement topics requested by the students and an online transition plan to help them map out their next steps.
The post-secondary sector was very much involved in the project’s development by taking part in the bilingual needs assessment in 2015. Fifteen educational institutions participated along with multiple stakeholders representing wider community networks. In the same year, a service delivery model and resources in English and French were developed through collaboration with educational institutions, settlement agencies and COSTI.
Subsequently, ISC was launched across Ontario to pilot test the project. To date over 16,800 students and their accompanying family members have been served by different settlement agencies through webinars, group sessions and one-on-one sessions on the campuses of 21 educational institutions.
In 2015, COSTI commissioned a third party evaluation to gauge the effectiveness of the project. Results showed that many international students are unaware of the wide array of community-based programs and services available to them, and that they require tailored services to meet their needs at different stages of their educational programs in relevant formats such as in-person and online services.
ISC offers settlement information and orientation to international students pursuing a post-secondary education in Ontario. The goal is to help international students and their families integrate successfully should they choose to settle in Ontario after graduation. Information is provided through 1-2 hours Let’s Connect sessions or One-On-one sessions at Colleges and Universities.
|Service Delivery Agency||Educational Institution|
|Catholic Centre of Immigrants (CCI)||University of Ottawa|
|Catholic Cross-Cultural Services (CCS)||Centennial College|
|Centre for Francophone Toronto||Glendon College|
|HMC Connections||Sheridan College|
|London Cross Cultural Learner Centre (CCLC)||Western University|
|New Canadians' Centre of Excellence Inc (NCCE)||University of Windsor|
|St. Clair College|
|Newcomer Centre of Peel||Sheridan College|
|Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Council||Niagara College|
|North York Community House||Glendon College|
|Peel Multicultural Council||Lambton College, Mississauga|
|Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office (TNO)||George Brown College|
|Thunder Bay Multicultural Association||Algoma University|
|University Settlement||University of Toronto|
|YMCA of Hamilton /Burlington /Brantford||Mohawk College|
|YMCA Simcoe/Muskoka||Georgian College|
|YMCA of South Western Ontario||Lambton College, Sarnia|