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Healthy Minds Healthy College

Adjusting to life in Canada and at RRC

November 11, 2014

International students

Red River College is home to many international students as well as students who have immigrated from countries around the world.

Being new to Canada and adapting to a new culture and school system, can bring on unique challenges. For example, if English isn’t your first language, you may be finding it difficult to communicate with others and make friends. If you’re living on your own for the first time, you may be feeling lonely or isolated at times.

Getting involved at RRC

Diversity and Intercultural Services is one area of the college that can help you adjust to life in Canada and at RRC. The Diversity Centre at the Notre Dame Campus is a great place to meet other immigrant and international students.

“The centre is often referred to as “a home away from home,” said Lauren Konrad, student integration coordinator. “Students experiencing similar parts of student life often meet there and hang out. Students also come there to chat with staff and get connected to resources.”

At the Exchange District Campus, the Diversity and Intercultural Services office located in the Massey Building is a place you can go to visit with staff, sign up for programs and get connected to different resources.

Your mental health is important

It’s important to know that there are also resources available if you’re feeling stressed, anxious, overwhelmed or not quite yourself. The mental health conversation may not be happening in the same way in all parts of the world, but in Canada and at RRC, good mental health is a top priority. You should never feel scared or ashamed to tell someone if you think you might be struggling with a mental health issue.

Let your student integration coordinator know if you think you might want to talk to someone about how you’ve been feeling. You can also contact Counselling and Accessibility Services directly by completing the online intake form.

Here are some supports and resources for immigrant and international students:

  • RRC’s Language Training Centre
    While attending RRC’s Language Training Centre (LTC), you will learn English language skills, interact with other students and explore RRC’s many different career programs. To discuss career programs and adjusting to life in Winnipeg, contact Jillian Hoogland, student integration coordinator, at 204-945-8776 or by email at

You can also arrange to meet with a counsellor at the LTC to discuss any difficulties you may be going through. To make a counselling appointment, please contact Vidhu Bhanot, counsellor, at 204-945-8774 or email at
  • Manitoba Start
    Provides settlement, language, and employment supports to newcomers, free of charge.
  • Immigrant Centre
    Assists new immigrants with connecting and integrating in Canadian Society through a variety of programs and services.
  • Needs Centre

    Provides services and supports such as mentorship, after-school programming and employment skills training to refugee children and youth, and their families.
  • Mount Carmel Clinic

    A community health care centre serving the North End and Point Douglas areas.
  • West Central Women’s Resource Centre
Provides programs and services such as child-minding, mentorship and immigrant settlement services to primarily women living in and around West Central Winnipeg.