Sault College will soon be receiving a number of international students, a much-needed presence as the institution grapples with COVID-era delivery of education.
“For the January 2021 winter semester, we anticipate up to 370 international students may potentially travel to Sault Ste. Marie. They will primarily come from the Philippines, India, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brazil and Colombia,” said Richard Peters, Sault College strategic international development vice president, in a reply to SooToday.
“We anticipate a few international students beginning to arrive in the next few weeks, with the majority still awaiting visa approvals and likely to travel in late December, and then January through March,” Peters said.
Students arriving from overseas and new to Canada are required to quarantine for 14 days and obtain a COVID test with a negative result before coming out of quarantine.
The students, Peters said, will quarantine off-campus in a few local hotels.
The students will be provided with transportation from the airport to their quarantine accommodations. As a welcoming service by the college, transportation is ordinarily provided to newly arriving international students for free.
The cost of quarantine accommodations and food will be paid, for the most part, by the students.
However, Sault College is providing a bursary of $1,000 to help students partially offset the cost of the 14-day quarantine. Students will pay the difference between the total quarantine cost and the bursary amount. Students will also pay for their own medications (if needed) and other personal needs and costs.
The $1,000 COVID bursary is covered by the tuition fees charged to international students, which range between $15,000 to $18,000 per two semesters. No provincial or federal funding is used to cover any costs involved with international students. International students and the tuition fees they pay provide a cash flow in addition to provincial funding and the overall college budget, Peters said.
As reported earlier, Sault College announced approval of its COVID-19 Readiness Plan by the provincial and federal governments Thursday, Sault College President Ron Common stating, in a news release, “we’re excited to be able to welcome back international students to the Sault with this approval.”