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International Students Families in Unversity Context
International Students Families in Unversity Context
International Students Families in Unversity Context
International Students Families in Unversity Context
International Students Families in Unversity Context
International Students Families in Unversity Context
International Students Families in Unversity Context
International Students Families in Unversity Context
International Students Families in Unversity Context
International Students Families in Unversity Context
International Students Families in Unversity Context
International Students Families in Unversity Context
International Students Families in Unversity Context
International Students Families in Unversity Context
International Students Families in Unversity Context
International Students Families in Unversity Context
International Students Families in Unversity Context
International Students Families in Unversity Context
International Students Families in Unversity Context
International Students Families in Unversity Context
International Students Families in Unversity Context
International Students Families in Unversity Context
International Students Families in Unversity Context
International Students Families in Unversity Context
International Students Families in Unversity Context
International Students Families in Unversity Context
International Students Families in Unversity Context
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International Students Families in Unversity Context

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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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