Supports for International Students

How can we help you?

The population of international students at St. Lawrence College has increased dramatically in recent years. We know international students may have difficulty adjusting to college life due to unique factors such as:

  • Language
  • Cultural barriers
  • Lack of support network in Canada
  • Pressures regarding high academic expectations
  • Lack of financial resources
  • More independence for the first time
  • Mental well-being 

These factors could lead to an increased potential of being victimized.  Research shows that International Students may experience sexual violence at a higher rate than domestic students. 

Due to different cultural values and norms, it may also be more difficult for International students to report or understand instances of sexual violence.

St. Lawrence College (SLC) is committed to providing accessible, free, culturally competent, and confidential services to all International students.  Part of that commitment is in supporting students who have experienced sexual violence.

What does Sexual Violence mean?

Sexual Violence is defined as “any sexual act or act targeting a person’s sexuality, gender identity or gender expression, whether the act is physical or psychological in nature, that is committed, threatened or attempted against a person without the person’s consent, and includes sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, indecent exposure, voyeurism and sexual exploitation.”

Examples include:

  • Giving unwanted compliments, or gifts
  • Repeatedly asking someone on a date, or to be in a relationship, even though they are not interested
  • Touching someone in a sexual way, without receiving their consent

Important Points to Remember

A protection order is used by a court to protect a person in a situation involving domestic violence, harassment, stalking or sexual violence. You do not need to be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to get a protection order. We can assist you with each step of this process.

Working with the SRRO, International Student Department, and the police, we can get these questions answered for your specific case.

If you contact the police to report domestic violence, and your intimate partner is convicted of a crime, they could face removal orders from Canada, depending on their immigration status and the seriousness of the crime. A protection order may be put in place to keep you safe, this means you would not be able to see your boyfriend/girlfriend. It is important to remember that your safety and well-being are the most important, it is not your fault if your partner faces consequences for their actions.

Sexual Violence Support

St. Lawrence College is committed to creating a campus environment that is safe for everyone. St. Lawrence College values respect for all individuals, civility, diversity, dignity, equality, and freedom, and is committed to maintaining a healthy and safe learning, living, social, recreational and working environment. We are also committed to maintaining a campus free of discrimination and harassment, and strive to foster an atmosphere of healthy attitudes and behaviours towards sexuality, sex and gender roles.

All students who experience or witness Sexual Violence have the right to confidentiality and access to campus and community support services. All information and records pertaining to you will be kept confidential and will not be shared with anyone unless you give us permission. 

The only exceptions are:

  • If you seriously intended to hurt yourself or someone else.
  • If you reported an incident of abuse involving someone under the age of 18.

For more information on sexual violence, please view the free e-module below developed by COSTI Immigrant Services. The module* explores sexual and gender-based violence and has information specific to international students in Ontario.  

*Please note that this module does describe sexual violence in detail, if you require support, please do not hesitate to reach out to Student Wellness & Accessibility or the Student Rights & Responsibilities Office (SRRO)

Neighbours, Friends and Families is a public education campaign funded by the Ontario government to raise awareness about Gender-Based Violence so that those who are close to at-risk women can support them to change their lives for the better.

COSTI Immigrant Services worked with community partners serving immigrants, refugees, and ethnocultural communities in the Greater Toronto Area to develop an e-module on understanding gender-based violence to promote the message that everyone has a role to play in preventing abuse in our community.

Contacts for Support at SLC

International Office:

  • Laura Caldwell, RISIA
    International Student Advisor
    613-544-5400, ext.1883
  • Carolina Palmer
    International Student Advisor
    613-544-5400, ext.1564

Student Wellness

International Office:

  • Jammie Bannon
    International Student Advisor
    613-345-0660, ext.3373

Student Wellness:

International Office:

  • Francine Desnoyers, RISIA
    International Student Advisor
    613.933.6080, ext.2330

Student Wellness: