Concordia's Thursday Report

Vol. 29, No.3

October 7, 2004

 

International students celebrate a new place in Montreal

By Eliane Dandjinou

From left, Ying Hong Cheng (China), Sidd Bannerjee (India), Ana´s Lelaumier-Becavin (France), Juan David Lopez (Colombia) and Yinka Ibukun (Nigeria).

From left, Ying Hong Cheng (China), Sidd Bannerjee (India), Ana´s Lelaumier-Becavin (France), Juan David Lopez (Colombia) and Yinka Ibukun (Nigeria).
Photo by Andrew Dobrowolskyj

Left to right, Diala Lada (Jordan), Moemedi Koketso (Botswana), Laura Stahl (Australia), Yonatan Weic (Israel), Miia Mannerla (Finland) and Elena Corelis (U.S.)

Left to right, Diala Lada (Jordan), Moemedi Koketso (Botswana), Laura Stahl (Australia), Yonatan Weic (Israel), Miia Mannerla (Finland) and Elena Corelis (U.S.)
Photo by Andrew Dobrowolskyj

International students and consulate representatives turned out for a reception on the Loyola Campus on Sept. 27.

Balbir S. Sahni, director of the Centre for International Academic Co-operation, gave them some impressive statistics: a total of 3,260 international students from 143 countries, representing an increase of 215 per cent in enrolment over the past eight years. The top five countries of origin are China (850), USA (334), France (240), India (152), and Lebanon (101).

“The goal of Concordia University is to increase our enrolment of international students by 10 to 20 per cent over the next five years. But the diversity of countries is very important; we want to have students from all over the world represented on our campuses.”
Diala Lada, from Jordan, is majoring in Marketing. She is “originally Palestinian, lived in the Arab Gulf in Bahrain most of my life, moved to Jordan, attended private school and volunteered with Caritas. I have values that can’t be changed, but I am open-minded at the same time, and very proud of my country.”

Anais Lelaumier-Becavin, from France, is a Communication Studies student who came to Concordia because “Quebec is the easiest place to come as a French student because of the language, but also because of the intercultural and rich student life. I chose Concordia because it is one of the best Canadian universities in communications.”

Juan David Lopez, an exchange student in Economics from Colombia, said the cultural shock “so far hasn’t been too bad, although the main language in Montreal is French and that poses an obstacle [but] I’ve had a week of meeting people who have helped me a lot.”

Yinka Ibukun is from Nigeria, and is majoring in Journalism. “The infrastructures here in Concordia are amazing. People are friendly.”
Her main challenges are “being totally independent and finding my own landmarks.”

For Yinghong Cheng, from China, starting her studies in Economics was challenging enough; she said that it is due to the fact that “the social values here are very different from my own culture. I am trying to learn and understand that.”

These students have dreams. While he watched other students enjoying snacks of many countries, Sidd Bannerjee, from India, said, “I see myself helping shape policy as an agent in an inter-governmental organization like the UN or the World Bank.”