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August 27, 2019 3:38 PM

Program delivers airport welcome for new international students

New international students attending Conestoga this fall will be greeted upon arrival at Toronto Pearson International Airport thanks to the college’s participation in the Destination Ontario Airport Welcome program.

Conestoga College - airport welcome program 2019.jpg
New international students attending Conestoga this fall will be greeted upon arrival at Toronto Pearson International Airport thanks to the college’s participation in the Destination Ontario Airport Welcome program.

The initiative involves 15 colleges, four universities and six municipalities who will host temporary welcome kiosks at Pearson to assist international students as they arrive in the province.

“We want to provide the best support to our international students,” explained Diana Ning, manager, International Support Services at Conestoga. “Pearson is an international hub, but our campuses are located outside the GTA. Participation in the program means we can bridge the services we offer by supporting students the moment they arrive in Canada, not when they arrive on campus.”

The Destination Ontario kiosks will be staffed seven days a week in Terminals 1 and 3 between August 12 and September 8, from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., to offer students help with their arrival, free phone calls home, assistance with ground transportation and accommodation, and to connect them with Conestoga services. If needed, welcome staff are also available to greet international students should they arrive outside kiosk hours.

Ning said that in addition to the airport kiosks, students are also able to connect to the college before they leave home through an accompanying app. The iCent app, available on Google Play and the App Store, provides Conestoga-specific information for international students and allows them to register flights and arrival details, find campus orientation information, and use a chat function should they have questions or require help as they move through customs upon arrival in Ontario.

International orientation activities at Conestoga campuses, delivered in partnership between the International Office and Student Engagement, also help international students settle in. During fall start up, students will attend their program orientation as well as orientation events to help them learn more about Canadian culture and the comprehensive support services available to them at the college from the time they are accepted until graduation.

The broad mix of credentials offered at Conestoga continues to attract a diverse group of learners. This fall, the college community will welcome approximately 5,000 new international students.

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