International students attending Canadore College were protesting yesterday afternoon at the Commerce Court Campus, fed up with the lack of housing.
Spokesman Khushpreet Singh, a student from India, tells BayToday that the challenges faced by international students in search of urgent accommodation "has escalated to a critical point."
Today marks the first day of international students' arrival at Canadore College Commerce Court Campus and several organizations from Brampton have come forward to assist these students, who Singh says, have been left without proper housing options.
"Unfortunately, Canadore College has provided only temporary residence for a mere two days, and a permanent solution remains elusive," he says.
In response to what Singh calls "a dire situation," the students have decided to stage a protest.
"Their determination is unwavering, as they plan to maintain a 24-hour presence until their accommodation issues are adequately addressed. Their stance is clear: they cannot leave because they lack a place to call home."
About 30 students are involved in the protest and have vowed to keep it peaceful. Canadore security is keeping a close eye, but hasn't yet become involved.
"International students arriving in North Bay, like myself, often find it extremely challenging to secure suitable accommodations," explains Singh. "Many of us arrive from different countries, leaving behind familiar surroundings and support networks. As we adapt to our new academic environment, the stress of not having a stable place to live becomes an additional burden.
"Although some students attempt to secure housing through Canadore College's residency options, it's disheartening to learn that all available apartments are already occupied. Even more distressing is the fact that some students are resorting to living in their cars, while others are forced into expensive motels that can cost up to $100 per day. This financial strain adds to the existing challenges of adjusting to a new culture and educational system."
Singh says he hopes that by raising awareness about this issue, "We hope to reach out to the residents of North Bay who may have spare properties or rooms available for rent. Such a gesture could greatly alleviate the housing crisis while fostering a sense of community between students and local residents."
Singh hopes by going public through BayToday, there will be a connection between international students "with generous local homeowners who can provide safe and affordable housing options. This initiative would not only address an immediate need but also contribute to the overall well-being and success of international students in North Bay."
Editor's note: If you can help these stranded students, email [email protected] and we'll make sure your contact information gets passed along.