It  Takes  a  Village:  Building  Resilience  by  Connecting  International  Students  to  the  Broader  Community

What is the objective of this project?

How can external stakeholders such as post-secondary institutions and off-campus community partners help international students studying in their community to build resiliency? How might connecting international students to the community enhance their employability post-graduation?

What is our approach?

Year 1 - We conduct the study in Windsor, focusing on the University of Windsor (post-secondary institution) and the New Canadians’ Centre of Excellence, Inc. (off-campus community partner).

Information is gathered from administrators and international students to determine:

1) The programs and services post-secondary institutions are providing international students in terms of boosting their employability in Canada post-graduation.

2) The role off-campus community partners are currently playing to boost employability of international students in Canada post-graduation.

3) Programs and services international students have taken advantage of, and their perceptions towards the effectiveness of these programs and services in terms of helping them find meaningful employment in Canada post-graduation.

4) Coping mechanisms of international students when faced with the lack of services.

5) Collaboration efforts between post-secondary institutions and off-campus community partners.

Year 2 - We expand this study to other post-secondary institutions and off-campus community partners nationally. The research scope will be adjusted and expanded based on what we have learnt from Year 1.

How will this project be implemented?

This study will be a 2-year longitudinal case study.  The first year, we will focus on New Canadians' Centre of Excellence (NCCE), as well as administrators and international students from the University of Windsor (UWindsor). Administrators will include Program Administrators of academic programs with substantial international student enrollment as well as Program Administrators for non-academic offices such as the International Student Centre (ISC). International students will be recruited through these administrators.

We begin by exploring the current service mix generally offered by UWindsor with respect to international students. Semi-structured interviews will be carried out with administrators, while international students will respond to an anonymous online survey. As for NCCE, we will conduct semi-structured interviews with its administrators to determine its past and present collaboration efforts with UWindsor, as well as its mix of services sought and used by international students.

The second year, we will broaden our research to cover other post-secondary institutions and off-campus community partners nationally. We will coordinate this effort with other research teams in the partnership.

What are the phases of this project?

Year 1: 2018 - 2019

Jun 2018 – Oct 2018: Identify administrators at the University of Windsor for interviews. Construct anonymous online survey for international students. Seek clearance from University of Windsor Research Ethics Board.

Nov 2018 - Jan 2019: Conduct interviews and distribute anonymous online survey.

February 2019:  Activities Completed, Data gathered, Analysis and Write-up.

March 2019: Prepare and present practical report to partners:  NCCE, UWindsor, and international students. Prepare paper for presentation and/or publication in academic outlets.

Year 2: 2019 – 2020

Expansion of research scope. Scope and schedule is tentative to what we learn in Year 1, and to coordination with other research teams.

Who is involved in this project?

Principal Investigator:

Francine Schlosser, University of Windsor,



Reza Shahbazi, New Canadians' Centre of Excellence, Windsor

Gerry Kerr, University of Windsor

Duncan Lam, University of Windsor


Community Partners:

Year 1: New Canadians' Centre of Excellence, Inc.

Year 2: To be determined