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A Regional Prespective on Retention of International Alumni
A Regional Prespective on Retention of International Alumni
A Regional Prespective on Retention of International Alumni
A Regional Prespective on Retention of International Alumni
A Regional Prespective on Retention of International Alumni
A Regional Prespective on Retention of International Alumni
A Regional Prespective on Retention of International Alumni
A Regional Prespective on Retention of International Alumni
A Regional Prespective on Retention of International Alumni
A Regional Prespective on Retention of International Alumni
A Regional Prespective on Retention of International Alumni
A Regional Prespective on Retention of International Alumni
A Regional Prespective on Retention of International Alumni
A Regional Prespective on Retention of International Alumni
A Regional Prespective on Retention of International Alumni
A Regional Prespective on Retention of International Alumni
A Regional Prespective on Retention of International Alumni
A Regional Prespective on Retention of International Alumni
A Regional Prespective on Retention of International Alumni
A Regional Prespective on Retention of International Alumni
A Regional Prespective on Retention of International Alumni
A Regional Prespective on Retention of International Alumni
A Regional Prespective on Retention of International Alumni
A Regional Prespective on Retention of International Alumni
A Regional Prespective on Retention of International Alumni
A Regional Prespective on Retention of International Alumni
A Regional Prespective on Retention of International Alumni
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A Regional Prespective on Retention of International Alumni

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  • 1. International Students Families in the University Context An experiential journey of delivering a program Presenters: Shahana Islam and Juanita Hennessey
  • 2. Origin of the Family Program
    • Student based initiative (need for social support)
    • Summer program
    • Limited Funding
    • Creative use of facilities and resources on campus
    • Based on this initiative the ISA Office recognized the need for an ongoing organized program
  • 3. Why a Family Program?
    • International Students are looking for Global opportunities
    • Increasing number of International Students’ families
    • Newly arrived families are in great need for services regarding multiple issues and
    • a variety of challenges
  • 4. International Student Population at Memorial University
    • Students from over 90 different countries
    • International Students: 1070+
    • Graduate students: 416
    • Number of families: ~ 70
    • New families Fall 2008: 18
  • 5. Purpose of the program
    • Assist students and their families to settle into and adjust to an unfamiliar environment
    • To open venues for students spouses and their children to interact with each other and exchange information
    • Deliver integration assistance
  • 6. Program Provides
    • Two main objectives:
    • Initial settlement assistance
    • Ongoing activities and supports
  • 7. Settlement Assistance
    • Contact the family as early as possible( if possible before arrival)
    • Meet the student and family soon after arrival
    • Address immediate concerns (housing, banking, food, etc.)
    • Respond to immediate student concerns and answer inquiries
  • 8. Settlement Assistance Continued
    • Inquire as to student’s area of study and research related information
    • Inform students as to the different offices and services on campus
    • Provide information : supports are available for the spouse and children on campus (Daycare, ISA programs, etc.)
    • Share experience and knowledge to help ease transition (time management, asking direct questions, etc.)
  • 9. The Reality : Challenges and Issues
    • Student balances study, research and family life
    • Student’s lack of time can make spouse feel isolated and lonely
    • Reduction of income to run a family
    • Difficult to find time for household chores and family time
  • 10. Impact of changes:
    • Immediate shocks: geographical change,
    • speaking & listening only in English, missing native language, missing family and friends
    • New climate, loneliness and isolation
    • Unavailability of familiar foods, fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, spices, etc.
  • 11. Financial Balance
    • Health insurance
    • High rent (housing) and heating costs
    • Daycare costs
    • Transportation
    • Expense of fresh groceries and milk products
    • Seasonal clothing
  • 12. Ongoing Activities
    • Meeting every 3 rd Sunday in a cycle
    • Discussion, play games, share information
    • Visiting local attractions
    • Entertainment
    • Sample different cultural food
    • Guest speakers
  • 13. Ongoing Supports
    • Encourage to keep contact through phone and email
    • Call and inquire as to their settlement and well-being
    • If needed, visit hospital, visit home or schedule a time for them to come visit the Family Coordinator
    • Respond to on-going issues
  • 14. Building a bridge with the local community
    • Assess the needs of individual families and match with appropriate resources
    • Inform as to programs and activities available off-campus
    • Publicize local community organizations
    • Encourage families to use these services
    • Invite people from various community services to provide information sessions
    • Build a support network among the families
  • 15. Provide Integration Assistance
    • Motivate families to participate in activities
    • Encourage families to ask questions
    • Share experiences, compare and analyze
    • Identify issues that can be modified
    • Maintain hopeful attitudes
  • 16. Provide Integration Assistance
    • Plan activities that promote positive thinking
    • Look at what can be done at present to help accomplish future goals
    • Inform families of possibility of future citizenship
  • 17. Obstacles of program
    • Families may live far away from the university
    • Transportation
    • Weather
    • Scheduling – finding a convenient time for most
    • Appropriate facilities – safe play areas, adult space, etc.
  • 18. Future…
    • Recently received considerable financial support from the provincial government through the Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism (Dept. of Human Resources, Labour and Employment)
    • Reevaluation and expansion of services
  • 19. References
    • Plett-Martins, V., & Grant, P. (2008). A needs
    • assessment of international students’ wives.
    • Journal of Studies in International Education, 12 (1), 56-75.
    • Urias, D. (2005, Mar – Apr.). Empowering the
    • disenfranchised: Supporting spouses of
    • international students and scholars.
    • International Educator, 42-47.
  • 20.
    • Feedback and Discussion
  • 21.  
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