Saturday’s 2018 Ottawa Welcome Event for International Students provided a forum for foreign students to gather information that will facilitate their successful integration in Ottawa – ultimately encouraging them to stay or become “ambassadors” for the city, after graduation. This is the third event that has been hosted since 2015.
The March 3 event was hosted by the City of Ottawa, along with post-secondary institutions and many community partners. More than 200 students attended the event, which featured workshops, an information fair, as well as entertainment and networking.
The event helps support both the Province of Ontario and the City’s immigration strategies, in their common efforts to attract and retain international talent to bolster both Ontario’s and Ottawa’s economies. International students have been a proven source of skills, knowledge and talents to Ottawa’s job market – also bringing multilingual skills and global connections to our region.
Ottawa has quickly become a destination of choice for international students, experiencing a 43 per cent increase in the number of international students between 2007 and 2012, according to a 2012 Citizenship and Immigration Canada report. That same report cited that 8,500 international students were studying in Ottawa in 2012.
The Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration provided funding for this event. RBC Royal Bank also sponsored the event and presented information about their new community program that focuses on preparing and empowering youth for the jobs and labour market of the future.
“Efforts like today’s welcoming event helps these talented and skilled international students network with community partners and develop a strong sense of belonging. It is also an opportunity for them to learn how they can benefit from City of Ottawa on a long-term basis. Attracting and retaining international talent and knowledge benefits our city’s vibrancy, economic growth and social well-being.
Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa
“Today’s event highlights how the City of Ottawa’s Municipal Immigration Strategy goes beyond just attracting new Canadians, but it also gives them the necessary supports to successfully integrate into our community. The participation of all the post-secondary institutions, community partners and agencies at the event also exemplifies how the community plays an important role in the strategy, by coming together to make Ottawa a welcoming and friendly city for everyone. This event is a great foundation to help make their post-secondary studies in Ottawa a positive and beneficial experience.”
Councillor Diane Deans, Chair of the Community and Protective Services Committee
“We believe the diversity of thoughts, perspectives, and experiences provided by international students strengthen our communities. Canada’s future prosperity depends on our ability to harness the energy, skills, innovation and optimism of young people, including international students. We’re proud to support the Ottawa Welcome Event for International Students through our RBC Future Launch initiative. RBC Future Launch is our commitment to helping empower young people by improving access to work experience, skills development, and networking opportunities to build resilience for the future of work.”
Tina Sarellas, Regional President, RBC Royal Bank