No home for exchange students

In News /

By Shauna Upton

Students headed to Ryerson on exchange are forced to find their own living arrangements. With only eight month contracts, Housing Services offers no solutions to students studying here for one semester.

“The majority of exchange students are here for one semester and the bulk of them come in September,” said Gigi Law, international communication and administrative officer at Ryerson.

New Zealand’s Auckland University of Technology (AUT) student Emily Brown assumed campus housing would be available at Ryerson.

“One of the main things I was looking forward to with the exchange experience was living in a dorm on campus,” she said.

Brown, studying human resources, stayed in a hotel for a few weeks while looking for more permanent accommodation.

She believed that the university wasn’t particularly concerned if she had somewhere to live or not.

“They’re hosting us,” said Brown. “At home they take responsibility for the student’s safety.”

Rachel Paine, an AUT student in business information and tourism management, said she knows Ryerson students who have lived on campus at her university.

She believes living on campus would have changed the dynamic of her exchange.

“I potentially would’ve gotten a better feel of Canada,” she said. “I would have gotten to know a few more Canadian students, not just exchange students.”

Ida Sofie Asle, a Copenhagen Business School student from Denmark, and Alex Blenko, an international business student from the University of Portsmouth in the U.K., said their universities offer on-campus housing.

“The responsibility rests with the individual student,” said Glen Weppler, director of student community life.

Weppler is responsible for student housing services, which offers an off-campus listing for rental accommodations in the city. The service allows anyone to post, which raises safety concerns for international students.

The location is not ideal to create additional housing, which has resulted in approximately 400 students on the waiting list.

“Other institutions may have an easier time accommodating exchange students because they have open rooms,” said Chad Nuttall, manager of student housing. “We have such demand for our rooms.”

 

Comments

  1. It’s pretty sad we can’t give exchange students proper or even guaranteed housing. We ARE their hosts, and our treatment of them reflects on Ryerson and Toronto.

    How are they going to meet Canadians or become part of any Ryerson community when they have to band together and find housing elsewhere?

    I completely understand our space issue, but the school needs to do a lot more to help and accommodate exchange students, if only just helping them find alternatives and making sure they actually have a place to live when they land.

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