More residence rooms urged for exchange students

Ryerson’s International Living/Learning Centre (ILLC) is one of the on-campus housing available for exchange students, with a minimum 8-month lease requirement. (Alvina Siddiqui / Ryersonian Staff)

By Tamara Sestanj and Alvina Siddiqui

Ryerson International, in collaboration with faculty exchange coordinators, is concerned about the housing shortage for exchange students. The new residence buildings that are to be built are under consideration as a solution.

They have not yet contacted administration, according to Suhair Deeb, international mobility co-ordinator at Ryerson International.

“But that will be a long discussion between us and the residence people,” says Christina Tachtampa, student mobility adviser at Ryerson International.

Ten years ago Ryerson had on average about 130 incoming exchange students annually. Now there are more than 250. But even though the number of international students coming to Ryerson has increased, housing options for them have not.

“Certainly the demand for the program is higher, but we don’t have more places,” says Deeb.

Currently, exchange students can apply to stay at the International Living/Learning Centre (ILLC), Pitman Hall or O’Keefe House, but only those who are staying for two semesters. Students who are staying only four months are forced to look into the limited off-campus housing options.

“When I looked for private housing, most of them wanted a year lease or six months,” says Kristian Lindhardt, a Ryerson exchange student from Denmark. “I was a bit surprised that there wasn’t any on-residence housing at all.”

Unlike the schools that many of these students are coming from that provide housing for incoming exchange students, Ryerson’s international students are expected to find their own housing accommodations.

Tachtampa says, “We’re bringing them into our university, there should be some sort of guarantee that they have housing. Most of our partners have that. So why don’t we?”

Check out our feature and listen to the stories of exchange students and the housing issues they are facing at Ryerson.

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