The OCSB International Student Program: Building a community among students

As we start the 2021-2022 school year, the Ottawa Catholic School Board’s International Student Program is committed to building a sense of community among international students! Our focus is on bringing international students together to develop friendships and support each other. Whether it’s a virtual or in-person gathering with COVID-19 health and safety protocols in place, our students have been having fun getting to know one another and share in some laughs and entertainment.

Welcoming students from 45 countries this school year

Our international students were warmly welcomed by OCSB leaders, principals, guidance counsellors, teachers, host families and communities this school year! Students are joining us from countries like Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Norway and many more.

“International students are an integral part of our community and their presence greatly enhances the experience of all students. My focus is on creating diversity among those students to provide a wonderful cultural exchange,” said Jenny Perla-Leon, Manager of the Ottawa Catholic School Board’s International Student Program.

To ensure the safety and wellbeing of our students, both domestic and international, every international student follows our detailed plan to help them safely enter the country and quarantine once they arrive.

Virtual Trivia Night was a success!

With international students settling into their second week of school, we held a Virtual Trivia Night where students in Ottawa and our OCSB Virtual Academy could come together. A lot of laughter and fun was had, and we even discovered that we have 16 musicians in our group! One student remarked, “these will be friends I have for life!”

Getting to know each other and experiencing something new

It’s important for our international students to know there are other international students at their school who can offer them understanding and support. That is why we held safe gatherings at each of our high schools where students could get to know one another over pizza or donuts. We also invited our international students to attend an Ottawa RedBlacks football game – a new and exciting experience for everyone! The connections extend to our local students; Nurturing friendships between our domestic and international students brings a global perspective to our schools.

More to come…

Building a sense of community for our international students is part of our Ottawa Catholic School Board’s Strategic Commitments to Be Well, Be Community, Be Innovative. It is these commitments that help our students thrive. We have more fun activities and events planned so keep connected with us!

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