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Immigrant and International Students Welcomed

December 10, 2010


Stephanie Forsyth (left), RRC's President and CEO, with Jhon Pinto (centre), a Civil Engineering student from Colombia.

Red River College's 6th Annual Welcome Party for Immigrant and International Students, held Fri., Nov. 26th at the Notre Dame Campus, was an entertaining — and welcoming — event that drew over 380 student, staff and family members.

The party featured Bhangra dances by Sher-E-Punjab; French Canadian folklore courtesy of Ça Claque, African rhythms from the Casimiro Nhusi Band; and the Latin American energy of Cubanisimo and Papa Mambo.  Children in attendance also enjoyed caricatures, face painting and amazing balloon shapes.

Greetings were offered by a number of individuals — among them, Stephanie Forsyth, RRC's President and CEO; Nadia Mahmood, Acting Manager for Diversity and Immigrant Student Support; Levinia Brown, Elder; Stevenson Alloso, Director of International Education; and Danielle Funk, President of RRC's Students’ Association — all of whom touched on the importance of welcoming immigrant and international students to the College.

“Manitoba welcomed more immigrants last year than at any time in its recorded history — 13,520 people from around the world decided to make this province their new home," Forsyth said in her address. "As immigration to Manitoba increases each year, Red River College has seen significant growth in the number of immigrant and international students on our campuses. We've responded to that demand with more programs and services catered to you, and I'm proud to say that we are a leader in Canada when it comes to innovative ways to support immigrant and international students.

"We know you have a lot of hopes and dreams for a better future for you and your families. We also know that enroling in a college program can be very challenging. That's why our Student Services team is here to provide you with the tools you need to succeed as a student, and help in your transition to the Canadian workplace."

Hemanjit Singh Chawla, a post-graduate student from India who's currently studying Technology Management, was clearly impressed with the event.

“The party was well organized with music, dances and snacks," said Chawla. "The Sher-E-Punjab Indian Bhangra Dance was vibrant with lots of enthusiasm and power among the participants and audiences. And the Cubanisimo’s Latin Dance was soulful and out of this world. The balloon and sketch artists were too good and drew lots of people and kids. The sketch by Tom Andrich will be a memorable gift for lifetime. I really enjoyed the party to the fullest."

Classmate Kürşad Sabanci, an international student from Turkey, agreed.

“Thank you for the welcome party … which was very enjoyable and lots of fun," said Sabanci. "I really enjoyed myself at this event."

The Welcome Party was organized by RRC's Diversity and Immigrant Student Support department, and was made possible thanks to the generous support of the International Education department and the RRC's Students’ Association.