A first Comox Valley international student welcome event will do just that this Sunday at Simms Millennium Park in Courtenay.
International students offer the Comox Valley several key opportunities.
On a social level, the students create an opportunity for increased understanding and appreciation of difference, enriching the Valley with their ways of knowing; all of which adds to our collective commitment to living in a peaceful world.
On an economic level, the students (and their families) bring significant purchasing power into the Valley. Conservatively, each student spends $20,000 per academic year on program and basic living costs. With close to 200 students anticipated in 2011-12, that is a $4-million infusion into our economy.
And this doesn’t count the “spending money” these students have for participating in social, cultural and recreational opportunities.
Welcoming students publicly provides a message to the students, their families and the community as a whole that each one is welcome, appreciated and safe in our Valley. The message to the families is that this small community where their children will be cared for and appreciated.
And for the community it continues the theme of welcome initiated by the Welcoming and Inclusive Community Roundtable and supports the messages of WelcomeBC.
It also says to new immigrants that diversity is valued and it says to those who are challenged by diversity that there is opportunity to build understanding.
The event happens Sunday at Simms from 2 to 4 p.m.
—Rotary Club of Comox