Home International Students A New International Student Group for The Creative School

A New International Student Group for The Creative School

“We have to have each other's backs.”

by Julia Lawrence
In the background a projected sign, "Launch event." In front there is a group of people and in the right corner there are pamphelts "ISTCS."
International Students at The Creative School held its launch event on Tuesday, March 26th. (OTR/Julia Lawrence)

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Language barriers, making friends, and acclimatizing to a new city were three hot topics at the launch of the International Students at The Creative School (ISTCS), a new student group at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU).

ISTCS held its launch event on Tuesday, March 26 in The Catalyst at the Rogers Communication Centre where about a dozen students shared their experiences in Canada, made connections and learned how the group can support them in the future.

The group can be contacted to learn more about team hiring and its meet-up frequency through its Instagram account.

Brithi Sehra, fourth-year Creative Industries student and president of ISTCS says the group is meant to be a place for students to socialize, vent and act as an emotional support group.

“We also want to familiarize them with the city, so giving them tips on how to navigate the TTC or open a bank account or why a SIN (social insurance number) is important,” she says.

In a previous story for OTR, we reported on the loneliness international students face when studying away from home.

Sehra says she advocates for the fairness and recognition of international students—expressing that international students usually don’t get the resources that domestic students have access to including scholarships and jobs within the university.

“It [the lack of accessible resources] feels very discriminating,” Sehra says. “I want to advocate for our rights, but it’s hard to do so on an individual level, so this group will help for that.”

Ananya Sharma, a second-year Creative Industries student said she was excited to come to the launch event because she sees the group as a safe space for students at The Creative School to come together.

Coming from India and Dubai, Sharma was curious about how other international students dealt with things in the province and wanted to gain that insight from other creatives.

“We have to have each other’s backs because if not us, then who?” Sharma asks.

Other students at the event shared their struggles with building a community at TMU and within the city as international students.

As outlined on the group’s Instagram, they plan to provide educational support and career navigation facilities for students to take advantage of while at TMU.

Sehra says, “We need a community where we feel others understand some of the hardships we go through and celebrate overcoming them.”

Reporter, On The Record, Winter 2024

This article may have been created with the use of AI software such as Google Docs, Grammarly, and/or Otter.ai for transcription.

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