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Around the world in 56 ways

A global welcome: Concordia International Students’ Reception charms guests from lands afar
September 11, 2013
By Scott McCulloch

It was more culture bash than culture clash as Concordia’s international students were treated to a heartfelt welcome from the university’s senior brass.

Students from 56 countries converged at Montreal’s Nouvel Hôtel and Spa on September 9 for the International Students’ Reception, an annual social to recognize the university’s 6,300 international students.

“This is one of my favourite events on campus because the company is great,” said Concordia President Alan Shepard.

Concordia International Students Association President Surena Hesami, an Iranian graduate student, called the evening an ice-breaker. “If you are open to meeting people and want to have a great time, this is the best place to be.”

Photos by Joe Dresdner

The multicultural powwow, organized by the Office of the President and Advancement and Alumni Relations, helps ease students’ culture shock, said Brad Tucker, associate vice-president for Enrolment and Student Services. “We’re here to welcome you to Concordia and help you feel at home.”

Sensitive to recent unrest on foreign shores, Shepard reassured students from world hotspots that they could count on Concordia for support.

“To those of you who’ve come from countries where, at the moment, things are very difficult, if there’s anything the university can do to help you, reach out to us and let us know,” Shepard said.

Effusive in his welcome message, Concordia’s provost and vice-president of Academic Affairs, Benoit-Antoine Bacon, told guests he was deeply honoured to take part. “Each of you helps us make Concordia the university of tomorrow.”

Concordia’s international students account for 14 per cent of enrolment.

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