Opinion: Langara is trying to make learning for international students easier
Langara looks to make international students feel more connected
By Breanne Doyle
In 2019, Canada had the third-highest number of international students in the world, behind only the U.S. and Australia.
This year is a lot different for international students. Because of COVID-19, most Canadian college and university classes are online. This means international students can study in Canada or in their home country.
Taking classes online has introduced a new set of learning curves: making friends, keeping motivated while working from home, and making meaningful connections with their professors.
But being from outside Canada may come with added obstacles this year.
Living and studying in Canada without being able to learn on campus may leave some wondering how to culturally and socially integrate with peers. International students in Canada may feel homesick, worried and stressed out being so far away from their family during a global pandemic.
International students not living in Canada and studying remotely may have to deal with different time zones, making classes and group projects harder to attend. They may also feel isolated if they can’t connect in person with their classmates. They may be worried about feeling culturally left behind if they choose to come to Canada later for employment or further studies.
Langara has been making efforts to make online learning for international students simpler
Luckily, Langara has been very kind to its international students.
For instance, they have access to counselling services. There are at least two mental health counsellors who are former international students. International students can speak with someone who can better understand the situation they’re living in and best know how to help.
At the beginning of the pandemic, Langara also offered a one-time allowance of $500 to any international student who could prove they were a student in need.
Small actions like these can have a huge impact on students like second-year marketing student Falguni Sharma.
“If you look closely… Langara is immediately based on the community and culture. They believe in connecting people,” Sharma said.
It’s great to see that in a year that students, including international students, are finding it hard to connect with, Langara has tried to make things a bit easier for us.
Below, we have Breanne Doyle catching up with Langara international student Falguni Sharma on how she feels about studying at Langara this semester.