July 2019
Get ready for fall - it's the true New Year   

If you're like me, you consider September the beginning of the year rather than Jan. 1, which sits in the middle of winter. In September, school is back in session and everyone has returned from vacation. Yes, I know that there is still a month of summer left but now is a good time to start planning for the coming months and building your professional skills. 

With that in mind, you might consider attending one of our professional development workshops. Our Early Bird discounts end August 31 so register now to take advantage of these low prices. 

If you are expecting to boost your team with new hires, be sure to post your opening on IntEd Careers, the job board for international educators in Canada. Of course, September is also a great time to hunt for a new position so have a look at this month's openings. 

In this month's feature article, we look at the question of helping international students with mental health challenges. 

As always, please get in touch if you have any questions or comments. 

"Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing." - Warren Buffett

Fall Workshop: Risk Management
and Strategic Planning in International Education

International education programs face a wide range of risks. 
World geopolitics can suddenly bring to an end a stream of students from a particular country. 
Economic crises can mean that people can no longer afford to study in Canada, forcing programs to lay off staff and cut services. 

There are many additional risks, such as those associated with housing students in homestays / dorms and taking them on wilderness trips.

In this one-day workshop, we will help international education programs to manage risk and strategically plan for success. This is a "must attend" for organizations across Canada that enroll international students. It's being held in Toronto on Nov. 1

Who should attend?
  • International education staff at colleges and universities
  • Deans and vice presidents of international
  • International managers at school districts
  • Directors at private language schools and career colleges
  • K-12 private schools with international students

Early bird ends soon for fall workshops!
Cultural Intelligence Workshops: Build Your Intercultural Skills

Homestay Manager Professional Development Conferences

Be sure to register by Aug. 31 to take advantage of the Early Bird rate!

Helping international students
with mental health challenges
Art from the mental health art exhibit
International students are facing an increasing number of mental health challenges due to the pressure to achieve and ongoing anxiety and depression. 

During the past five years in British Columbia alone, 15 international students committed suicide. Four of these were just teenagers.
Males are particularly vulnerable since they lack social supports and are faced with parental expectations to succeed at school, find employment and secure permanent residency status in Canada. An Australian study found that 82 percent of international students who killed themselves were male. 
Mental health concerns have an impact on all three international education sectors in Canada - post-secondary, K-12 and language programs. 
Sometimes a student has already been diagnosed with mental illness in their home country. In places like China there is such a stigma about mental health that parents often refuse to secure treatment. Instead, they send their child to a Canadian school, hoping they can get a "fresh start." However, their mental health may deteriorate in Canada since they lack the support of family and friends, struggle to learn English and face cultural differences. 

Fortunately, international education programs and service providers are finding ways to help. 

About five years ago, Keith Segal, CEO of guard.me insurance, recognized that an increasing number of international students were being hospitalized for mental health problems. In order to address the issue, the company established a 24/7 multilingual counselling line in conjunction with HR giant Morneau Shepell. 

"It offers counsellors who speak the student's language and understand their culture," says Jesse Poulin, Program Manager at keep.meSAFE, part of guard.me. "They can support international students in a way that Canadian counselors can't." 

Guard.me offers customized service to each of its 60 institutions across the country, which include colleges, universities, school districts and private schools. 

"There has been a huge shift in demand from students," Poulin says. If they are in crisis at 2 am, they want help right away and don't want to wait for an appointment at 2 pm at student counselling the following Tuesday. "We work with the institution to complement the services and resources they already have," she notes. 

Stress, anxiety and depression are the key mental health concerns for callers to the helpline. Canadian students are also benefitting - for example, the University of Windsor has been offering the service to international students for the past three years and is now rolling it out to the entire student population. More than 100,000 students across Canada and the US have access to the line. 

In addition to providing service at off hours, the helpline is reaching students who may be reluctant to go to a mental health office due to stigma. The company's data shows that 84 percent of those using the phone line have not attended on-campus counselling. 

Guard.me is also being pro-active in supporting mental health and wellness on campuses by offering workshops and seminars. Recently, it sponsored a mental health art exhibit at Fraser International College in Burnaby, BC. 

"We want to promote mental wellness and continue the conversation with students," Poulin says. 
Manager, Offshore
Education and Training

Here are some of the current international education opportunities: 

Visit the job board for more!     

The job board is here to help employers find the best candidates in international education.
To post an international education career opening please contact us.