Thunder Bay

Lakehead University welcomes record number of international students

The international student population at Thunder Bay's Lakehead University continues to grow.

About 400 new international students enrolled at Thunder Bay university for 2016-2017 school year

A Lakehead University booth at the Thunder Bay International Airport. (Michael Dick/CBC)

The international student population at Thunder Bay's Lakehead University is getting bigger and bigger.

More than 400 new international students are enrolled at Lakehead for the 2016-2017 school year, said Robert Perrier, Lakehead's director of international enrolment.

"This incoming class is almost a doubling of last year's intake," Perrier said.

The new international students were welcomed on Thursday with an orientation event at Lakehead's Hangar.

"The most important thing that we do with our new international students is, of course, welcome them to Canada, and prepare them for the transition to Canadian culture and society," Perrier said. "That's setting up the most fundamental basics of where are they going to be living, how are they going to sustain themselves, groceries, food access, meal plans, even getting their cell phones working."

After that, the university works on helping the students transition socially into the Lakehead community and the city at large, Perrier said.

He said Lakehead works all-year round to recruit new international students.

"It's a pretty complicated process," Perrier said. "We have partners with different organiazations and schools around that world that we work with, and students will sometimes transition out of programs in those partner institutions and find their way to Canada."

In addition, Lakehead has representatives embedded in target countries who continually recruit, visiting schools, universities and colleges.

Overall, there will be more than 900 international students attending class at Lakehead this year, Perrier said.

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