By Amy Sharaf
Ryerson is still trying to contact international students after the devastating tsunamis ripped through southeast Asia.
The university is still waiting to hear from 20 of the 60 to 100 foreign students from the regions affected, said international student services co-ordinator Diana Ning.
The International Student Peer Support Program has spent the last few weeks sending e-mails, newsletters, and calling roommates and family to track down those missing. Nevertheless, Ning remains optimistic.
“This is only the first and second weeks of school,” she said. “With international students, it takes them a while to get back anyway. Some just got back Monday.”
Vice President Academic Errol Aspevig circulated an e-mail at the beginning of the term, urging faculties to consider staff and students who may have been affected by the disaster.
“We have two (students) we haven’t heard from, maybe because of the travel infrastructure problems,” said Dean of Engineering Stalin Boctor.
One of the students is in civil engineering, the other is in mechanical engineering. Both are graduate students from Sri Lanka. Last week, Boctor assembled the engineering chairs to discuss academic problems that may arise because of the tsunamis. Another student from Sri Lanka, for instance, is still waiting for his financial aid from home.
Ryerson has given the student an extended deadline to pay his tuition. International student services is working with numerous other Ryerson groups and international offices at York University and the University of Toronto to compile information and provide services, including counselling, for affected students.
“We do expect people to come back to us, but it takes some time,” Ning said