Wilfrid Laurier University is a leading multi-campus, university known for academic excellence and a culture that inspires lives of leadership and purpose. Laurier has a distinct commitment to teaching, research, experiential learning, sustainability and scholarship, which combine to address critical challenges in society, business, the economy and the environment – globally and in the communities we serve. At Laurier’s heart is its strong student focus, which results in exceptional levels of student satisfaction and a deep sense of community that lives on through the university’s highly engaged alumni. Laurier takes pride in building meaningful relationships with colleagues and students. The Laurier community supports one another, encourages collaboration and teamwork and respects work/life balance, all while recognizing the importance of a challenging, rewarding and inspiring career. Laurier has more than 19,000 students and 2,100 faculty and staff across campuses in Waterloo and Brantford, as well as locations in Kitchener and Toronto. Diversity is one of Laurier’s core values. The university is committed to providing an inclusive workplace and employing a workforce that is reflective of local and national demographics. Our locations are situated on the traditional territories of the Neutral, Anishnawbe, and Haudenosaunee peoples. We recognize the unique heritages of Indigenous peoples and support their intentions to preserve and express their distinctive Indigenous cultures, histories, and knowledge through academic programming and co-curricular activities. Laurier’s Centre for Indigegogy is one example of how Laurier honours Indigenous knowledge.We currently have an opportunity to join the Laurier community as an International Student Advisor, Brantford.
The International Student Advisor Brantford (ISAB) reports to the Associate Director, International Student Support in Laurier International. The ISAB is an important member of the International Student Support (ISS) unit in Laurier International with the responsibilities of delivering culturally appropriate programs and services via individual and group sessions that support the transition, well-being, academic success, and career development of international students on the Laurier Brantford campus. International students include students attending Laurier’s undergraduate and graduate programs, the Laurier English and Academic Foundation (LEAF) program, Conestoga College and on exchange from partner universities.
With a large cohort of international students on Laurier’s Brantford campus being English language learners in the LEAF program, programs and services developed and delivered by the ISAB must pay special attention to the needs of those students who have met the academic criteria for admissions to Laurier but are required to improve their English. To achieve this goal the ISAB works closely with the Manager, facilitators, and support staff of the LEAF program and the staff of ISS to support the successful transition of LEAF students to academic programs at Laurier campuses in Brantford and Waterloo.
Based on the partnership between Laurier and Conestoga College, both institutions are committed to providing an inspiring and engaged experience for all international students studying in Brantford. The ISAB’s supports for Conestoga International Students focuses only on providing integrated social and cultural programming.
The ISAB will work closely with members of International Student Support in Brantford – the International Programming Assistant and the Administrative Assistant/Receptionist – to develop and deliver programs and services to all international students on the Brantford campus.
The specific area of programs and services supported by the ISAB involve the following:
Regulations: Making international students aware of and supporting them in how to abide to the rules and regulations of Canada’s immigration system and the university so that they are able to live and study in Canada.
Life Necessities: Assisting in the international students’ transition to life in another culture by mitigating vulnerabilities for those away from their support system who are seeking community that shares culture and learning skills that are pertinent to thrive in university life in Canada.
Academic Transition: Develop, facilitate and evaluate programming that addresses the needs of international students; be aware of LEAF-specific and Laurier-general academic policies and procedures; enable the development of the skills necessary for academic success.
Social/Cultural programming: Through program development, provide opportunities for international students to interact with each other and the broader student body, build a sense of belonging and well-being, and feel welcomed and invited to engage in their community, at their campus, and in the broader community.
Health and Emotional Well-Being: Developing for the international students, an integrated circle of care that focuses on support, education, awareness, peer-to-peer engagement and sustainable lifestyle choices.
Career planning and Development: Supporting international students with part-time and full-time work opportunities during and after their studies. Providing opportunities for career exploration and gaining knowledge and experience to enter the workplace after graduation.
The ISAB also acts as a liaison and advocate for students with staff and faculty at the Brantford campus who also provide services to international students. The ISAB ensures that the services meet the specific needs of international students. The ISAB is also responsible for advocating on behalf of international students in the Brantford community for access to and the creation of appropriate and relevant services. This advocacy work includes working on committees and developing partnerships and relationships with community organizations that provide services to international students in Brantford.
Advising, Advocacy and Support
Provide supports in areas such as cultural adaptation, health, immigration, personal challenges, and any other issue that might affect an international student’s status in Canada;
Make appropriate referrals to other service providers at Laurier (e.g., academic advising, counselling services, health services, career services, etc.);
Advocate for the interest of international students at the University and in the Community;
Encourage the integration of international students into the University and Brantford communities by providing information on events planned by WLUSU, student groups, faculties and community organizations;
Organize activities and events for international students that are appropriate to enhance their settlement and orientation, in addition to their social and cultural adjustment;
Be a resource for Laurier International staff in Brantford to ensure they have sufficient knowledge and appropriate information regarding the needs of international students;
Coordinate the International Student Leader program;
Ensure support is available to accompanying spouses and families of international students.
Academic Transition of LEAF students
Support the LEAF Program in ensuring a smooth transition for LEAF students into their undergraduate programs, whether in Brantford or Waterloo;
Work with LEAF Level 5 students in particular to assist them in preparing for and transitioning to their undergraduate programs;
Keep the LEAF Program team aware of any student concerns or issues relating to this transition;
Collaborate with the LEAF Program Assistant (LEAF) and the International Student Academic Transition Advisor (ISS) to develop and deliver a series of workshops and programs to assist LEAF students in their academic transition (e.g. LEAF Headstart).
Develop, deliver and assess the orientation programing and services for international students studying at Laurier’s Brantford campus;
Support the LEAF program in the delivery of orientation programming for its students (4 times per year);
Work in collaboration with the Communication Assistant, Laurier International to create and update communication and information publications for incoming students, including the Pre-Arrival Guide and International Student Handbook, ensuring the information is complete and accurate for students studying at Laurier Brantford;
Provide support to international students seeking accommodations in Brantford. Supports include but are not limited to referrals to housing services/supports provided by Laurier; mentoring from student leaders; workshops and information sessions on tenant-landlord rights and responsibilities; supporting international students in seeking solutions to current housing situations;
Provide an ongoing series of programs and services to assist international students in their transition and adaptation.
Facilitating the University’s ability to support International Students
Collaborate with academic departments, Student Affairs and Academic Advising and Support to develop programming that meets the specific needs of international students;
Support opportunities for domestic students, staff and faculty to interact with the international student community;
Encourage and support student groups to hold events in conjunction with the University community;
Liaise with international student groups, including the Intercultural Student Association, and support their efforts to work together;
Cooperate with the Global Engagement Coordinator to coordinate the WUSC Student Refugee Program (SRP) in Brantford.
General Program Management and Promotion
Provide a case management approach to service delivery with appropriate record-keeping, statistics, scheduled appointments and the protection of privacy information;
Maintain an accessible venue/office from which to provide services;
Serve on committees and attend meetings with other departments, such as the O-Week Steering Committee, Conestoga College-Laurier Working Groups on International Student Support, LEAF-ISS Weekly meeting and any other committee/group supporting international students to ensure current knowledge is shared and maintained concerning events, activities, programs and processes that involve international students;
Gather and maintain statistics on international students that are available to the university community;
Provide and update the content for the International Student Support section of the Laurier International website related to Brantford.
Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of two years of related experience or an equivalent combination of education, training and experience
Demonstrated knowledge of and experience in working with and advising international students at a post-secondary educational institutions
Meet the requirements to be a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) or Regulated International Student Immigration Advisor (RISIA) under the guidelines established by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC)
Experience in the development, delivery and evaluation of programs and services that support the cultural and academic transitions of international students
Knowledge and experience in the areas of socio-cultural competencies, intercultural effectiveness, intercultural communications, cultural adaptation theory and student development theory, with the ability to facilitate group presentation in these areas
Ability to exercise mature judgment, initiative, diplomacy, tact and problem-solving
Excellent mentorship and supervisory skills
Excellent program and event planning, administration, group presentation/facilitation, interpersonal, and communication skills (oral and written)
Comprehensive knowledge of student academic and registrar processes, student information systems and software applications; familiarity with Banner and Cognos is an asset
Experience with management of confidential and personal information
Ability to work in more than one language is preferred
International work, study or volunteer experience an asset
Ability to work both independently and collaboratively
Ability to work flexible hours including occasional evening and weekend hours
A driver’s license and the ability to attend events and participate in meeting at Laurier’s Waterloo and Kitchener campuses.