Hi Everyone,

We hope you are well and taking good care of yourselves amid these uncertain times.

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting all of our families, our communities, and our way of life. Our hearts go out to anyone who has been impacted, either directly or indirectly.

We are all dealing with the implication of this outbreak during a time which under normal circumstances would be the busiest time for all students. We encourage you to make decisions that reflect the best interest of your staff, international students, clients, and community.

We also wanted to be of service to you and provide you with some useful resources. The ISC project team has prepared a webinar in English and French with general information about COVID-19. Please note this webinar does not replace information and updates provided by the Government of Canada and Ontario and your educational institutions. Click the buttons below to watch it and feel free to share it with your network.

Despite the many challenges of this past quarter, the International Student Connect (ISC) project delivered 503 sessions and served 5,094 students in Ontario. We are grateful to work with you and we appreciate your dedication.

Stay tuned, we are working with our partners and will be offering more online services to the international student community in Ontario. Thank you for serving international students in Ontario through ISC sessions and resources. Should you have any questions, please reach out to us directly at the coordinates provided below.

Stay safe and stay positive,
The ISC Project Team

COVID-19 Webinar - ENGLISH
COVID-19 Webinar - FRENCH

COVID-19 Useful Resources

Outbreak Update Telehealth Ontario 

Coronavirus Information Line
Travel Advice IRCC: COVID-19 and Immigration

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides temporary income support to workers who have stopped working related to COVID-19. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks. The benefit is available to workers: 
  • Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
  • Who have stopped working because of reasons related to COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits or have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular benefits or Employment Insurance fishing benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020;
  • Who had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and,
  • Who have not quit their job voluntarily.
International Students are eligible for the CERB providing they meet the requirements listed above. To learn more, please visit

International Students and Mental Wellness

Mental health is the foundation for the psychological and emotional well-being. It is a necessary resource for living a healthy life, function in different environments and cope with life's inherently challenges.

The World Health Organization (WHO) refers to mental disorders as a “broad range of problems generally characterized by some combination of abnormal thoughts, emotions, behaviour, and relationships with others.”

International students face unique challenges that could make them more vulnerable to experience mental disorders. In addition to adjusting to life in a new country and coping with academic responsibilities, they tend to face language barriers, culture shock, lack of social support, isolation and limited knowledge about the services available to them if they are feeling distressed.

To learn more about this topic, watch ISC’s new webinars Disorders Affecting Mental Wellness and Self-Harm Prevention. These webinars have been developed in collaboration with COSTI's Family and Mental Health Services and provide information about mental health resources available to international students in Ontario as well as prevention strategies.

Watch ISC Webinars

Need Help?

          International Students can find support using the resources below:
Kids Help Line
Young People Good2Talk

Number of international students in Canada increased by 13% from 2018 to 2019

Source: IRCC – Study permit holders with a valid permit on December 31st by country of citizenship, 2000 - 2019

New data released by Immigration, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (IRCC) indicates that as of December 31, 2019 there were 642,480 international students in Canada. This number represents a 13% increase from 2018.

According to IRCC, India was the top source country of international students with 219,855 study permit holders, followed by China and Korea with 141,400 and 24,180 study permit holders respectively.

The chart above shows the number of temporary residents in Canada on a study permit from 2010 to 2019. The number of international students in Canada at all levels of study has grown by 94% over the past five years, and 185% over the past nine years.

International students who stay and work in Canada earn less than domestic students

The Labour Markey Information Council (LMIC) partnered with the Education Policy Research Initiative (EPRI) to provide in-depth evidence on the labour market earnings of PSE graduates. Their joint report How Much Do They Make? used data obtained from the Education and Labour Market Longitudinal Platform (ELMLP) and represents all graduates of publicly funded post-secondary institutions from 2010 through 2014. The analysis is broken down by credential and field of study.

One of the key findings of the study is that international students who stay and work in Canada tend to earn less than their Canadian counterparts, but the differences generally narrow over time.

According to the report, “across four of the five credentials observed, international students earn between 17% and 38% less than Canadians one year after graduation. However, these differences narrow to between 5% (doctoral degree) and 20% (master’s degree) five years out. Among college-level certificate graduates, international students have similar earnings to Canadian graduates.

Taking graduates at all credential levels together, international students who graduated in 2010 and then stayed and worked in Canada earned 21% ($9,000) less than Canadian graduates one year following graduation.

By field of study, only international students with master’s degrees in Mathematics, computer and information sciences, and Health and related fields earn more than their Canadian counterparts —an additional 7.8% ($5,800) and 6.0% ($4,600) five years after graduating. Two of the largest differences observed are also among master’s degree holders. Master’s graduates in Business, management and public administration, as well as Education, earn 35.5% ($37,800) and 40.0% ($32,400) less than Canadian graduates.”

To learn more, please click here

What is International Student Connect?

International Student Connect (ISC) is a bilingual pilot project that provides settlement support and orientation to international students pursuing a post-secondary education in Ontario. It is coordinated by COSTI Immigrant Services and funded by the Government of Ontario.

Our goal is to help international students integrate successfully should they choose to settle in Ontario after graduation. Information is provided through one to two hours Let’s Connect sessions or One-On-one sessions at Colleges and Universities.

Check out the ISC Handbook and learn more about the project here.

We want to hear from you!


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Copyright © 2019 International Student Connect. All rights reserved.

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COSTI Immigrant Services
2301 Keele Street, Unit 102
Toronto, ON
M6N 3Z9

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International Student Connect · 2301 Keele Street · Unit 102 · Toronto, On M6N 3Z9 · Canada

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