Updates from the Dean of Mohawk International

Below are updates from the Dean of Mohawk International.

April 16 Update from the Dean of International

Dear International Students,

I am sending this message to provide you with an update on our efforts to support you through the challenges you are facing related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.  The College and Mohawk’s International team understand that this has been an extremely trying time for many of you. All of you are coping with the stresses of being far away from loved ones and transitioning to an online learning model, while potentially dealing with financial difficulties brought on by the pandemic. We understand how stressful it is coping with these additional challenges while trying to concentrate on your academic goals.

Below is information regarding:

  • A new program being launched next week to provide emergency support;
  • A request for your feedback regarding COVID-19-related challenges
     

Financial Supports
The College is coordinating a number of financial supports that may be available to help support students in emergency situations.  The program will be launching next week.  We will communicate this information as soon as it becomes available. Watch your MyMohawk email and the College website for information.

Other financial supports available:

  • Government of Canada programs:  You may also wish to explore  supports available through the Canadian government:
    • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB): International students may apply for the benefit if the eligibility requirements are met. Visit the Canada Emergency Response Benefit webpage for more information on eligibility and completing an application.  Applications opened on April 6, 2020.  
    • Employment Insurance (EI): You may be eligible for Employment Insurance if you have been working part-time 20 hours a week and you have been laid off because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Some restrictions do apply, so please visit the Employment Insurance section of the COVID-19 – Employment and Social Development Canada webpage for further information.


Other Mohawk and Community Resources

Continue to monitor the International Student FAQ page where you will find answers to your questions and information about available supports.  Be sure to check the Online & Community Resources page that is continually updated with support information. If you cannot find the answer to your question online or in this update, or you wish to discuss your concerns further, please email: international.services [at] mohawkcollege.ca ().

Your Feedback

We want to continue to improve how we can support students during the COVID-19 pandemic.  To better understand the support you require, we ask that you complete the following brief, anonymous survey.  As a thank you for taking the time to provide your input, you will be entered into a draw for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card! 

Take the Survey!

Your health, well-being and academic success is extremely important to us at Mohawk College. We are committed to keeping you informed and supported.

We often tell you that "Mohawk is Home" and that statement is now truer than ever before. Please listen to the instructions from public health officials – maintain physical distancing and stay safe and healthy.

Thank you for your patience as we face these challenges together.

Sincerely,

Keith Monrose
Dean, Mohawk International

April 24 Update from the Dean of International - Financial Supports for Students

Dear International Students,

Last week, I sent you a message and reminder of supports currently available to international students and an update that the College will be making an announcement this week about additional COVID-related student supports.   Please see below under the “Central Emergency Bursary” regarding additional supports announced on April 23. 

COVID-19 Emergency Bursary

In the message you received from the College on April 23, you were provided with information about emergency financial support to assist students facing unexpected financial challenges due to COVID-19. To be eligible for support, students must have been registered as a full-time post-secondary student during the winter 2020 semester.  Eligibility also includes those students who are cleared to graduate or are continuing in their studies this summer (based on their program). Eligible students must demonstrate emergency financial need as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  These funds are intended to support expenses such as groceries, utilities or medical costs. Please see the COVID-19 emergency bursary application webpage for further details about this support and how to apply. 

As always, if you have any questions or concerns related to your studies or supports available at Mohawk, please email international.services [at] mohawkcollege.ca () for assistance.

Latest Updates

I also wanted to bring to your attention the recent announcement from Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada.  The main points in the government announcement are in the quote below:

“To help battle the COVID-19 outbreak, starting immediately, the government will remove the restriction that allows international students to work a maximum of 20 hours per week while classes are in session, provided they are working in an essential service or function, such as health care, critical infrastructure, or the supply of food or other critical goods.”  

This announcement temporarily releases previous restrictions and international students are temporarily allowed to work more than 20 hours if they are  

  • a study permit holder in an academic session  
  • eligible to work off-campus, and  
  • providing an essential service
      
     

To see if your work is considered an essential service or function, check the Guide on Essential Services and Functions in Canada During the COVID-19 Pandemic. This temporary rule change will be in place until August 31, 2020.  

See the IRCC webpage for full details. 

Other Mohawk and Community Resources 

Continue to monitor the International Student FAQ page where you will find answers to your questions and information about available supports.  Be sure to check the Online & Community Resources page that is continually updated with support information. If you cannot find the answer to your question online or in this update, or you wish to discuss your concerns further, please email: international.services [at] mohawkcollege.ca ().

Your Feedback

We want to continue to improve how we can support students during the COVID-19 pandemic.  To better understand the support you require, we ask that you complete the following brief, anonymous survey.  As a thank you for taking the time to provide your input, you will be entered into a draw for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card! 

Take the Survey!

Your health and well-being is extremely important to us. We are committed to keeping you updated and informed.

Keith

Keith Monrose
Dean, Mohawk International

May 13 Update from the Dean of International - Supports for Students

Dear International Students,

Fall 2020

Last week, you will have received a message from the Vice President Academic regarding the Fall 2020 semester. The college has made the decision to deliver the Fall 2020 semester through a combination of remote/virtual learning and in-person delivery.  Our plan includes the delivery of lecture-based program components in a remote/virtual environment while all required face-to-face deliveries (e.g. labs, simulations, assessments, etc.) will be delivered on campus. The college is also working through the changes that may need to happen in order to maintain physical distancing in classrooms, common areas and service delivery points throughout our campuses. It is important to emphasize that our plan for the Fall semester is based on current information. As we have learned with the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation can change very quickly, and we may be forced to alter or change our plans unexpectedly in the weeks and months ahead.

We understand that you need to decide whether or not to travel to or continue residing in Canada for study, given these latest developments. In the coming weeks, you will have the opportunity to participate in virtual sessions with representatives from your program area to hear more about program specific plans and to give you an opportunity to ask questions. Please watch MyMohawk for details.

We continue to monitor updates from Immigration Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The latest update from IRCC is “if your in-class courses are being moved to an online-only format because of COVID-19, you’re still eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit program (PGWP).” Please continue to monitor the IRCC website for updates. We will continue to post updates to the International Student Frequently Asked Question page as we become aware of them. As well, continue to monitor the Government of Canada website with updated information on travel restrictions. If you are able to travel to Canada, you will need to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, regardless of whether or not you are showing symptoms. If you have questions, please email: international.services [at] mohawkcollege.ca ().

Thank you!

Thank you to those who completed the survey we sent two weeks ago. Your input is very important and helps us to understand the issues you are facing and how we can help. The top 3 financial challenges you indicated you are facing are:

  • Housing/Rent
  • Food
  • Technology supports for remote coursework

I’ll respond to each of these needs below with suggestions for support.

Supports

Housing/Rent

The Ontario government has advised that “tenants who are having challenges paying rent should speak with their landlords about possibly deferring their rent or other payment arrangements.” Also note that “under the Residential Tenancies Act, landlords cannot charge fees or penalties for late rent payments.” Please see the Ontario government webpage Renting: Changes during COVID-19 and review your tenant rights if you feel you are being treated unfairly.

If you are unsure, contact international.services [at] mohawkcollege.ca () with your questions. The Mohawk Student’s Association can also provide free legal counselling on topics such as landlord/tenant rights, employment law, and more. Visit the MSA website for further information. We will offer webinars on this topic in the near future.

While there isn’t any rent-specific financial support available, you may wish to apply for the government-sponsored Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or the College’s COVID-19 Emergency Bursary (CEB). More information about these financial supports is below under the heading “Financial Supports”.

Food

Please continue to check the Online & Community Resources page on the Mohawk College website. On this page, there is a food section with links to resources in the community that can help. One organization that can help is Hamilton International Students - check their website for details on food-specific supports available to international students. If you are unable to access food supports, please contact international.services [at] mohawkcollege.ca ().

Technology

We are aware that access to technology can be a struggle as the College has moved to online learning. The College has a limited number of laptops and Chromebooks for loan to students who do not have access to online learning from home. If you need to borrow a laptop or Chromebook you can email us at helpdesk [at] mohawkcollege.ca, phone us at 905-575-2199 or go online through our Information Technology Portal.

Information on Chromebook versus laptop

Financial Supports

College Bursary

In the message you received from the College on April 23, you were provided with information about emergency financial support to assist students facing unexpected financial challenges due to COVID-19. To be eligible for support, students must have been registered as a full-time postsecondary student during the winter 2020 semester demonstrate emergency financial need as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds are intended to support expenses such as groceries, utilities or medical costs. Please see the COVID-19 Emergency Bursary application webpage for further details about this support and how to apply.  Please note that applications for funding close on May 15, 2020.

Mo'Money Supports

Mo’Money is a Mohawk service that provides students with financial literacy supports and information.


Government of Canada Relief Programs

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB): International students may apply for the benefit if the eligibility requirements are met. Visit the Canada Emergency Response Benefit webpage for more information on eligibility and completing an application. 
  • Employment Insurance (EI): You may be eligible for Employment Insurance if you have been working part-time 20 hours a week and you have been laid off because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Some restrictions do apply, so please visit the Employment Insurance section of the COVID-19 – Employment and Social Development Canada webpage for further information.

 

Webinars

You also let us know that you would like more webinars on:

  • Immigration/Permits
  • Mental health support
  • Conversation and a way to connect to others
  • Help with finding a job

Watch the Language & Culture Centre Instagram Page and the College Events Page for upcoming events.

Immigration/Permits

We continue to offer webinars on the topic of the Post-Graduate Work Permit at which you can get your questions answered – please monitor the College events listing for details of dates and times. The next Post-Graduate Work Permit webinar will be held on May 14 at 4pm – 5:30pm.  See more information.

Mental Health Support

Counselling Services continues to be available by phone. During this time, you may email counselling [at] mohawkcollege.ca () to set up a phone appointment. (Please provide your phone number and student number.)  Emails are being monitored and will be responded to Monday - Friday, between 8:30a.m. to 4:30p.m.

For additional resources, please visit the Counselling webpage for a list of over-the-phone and app resources.

Also, the KeepMeSafe app from guard.me is available to assist international students with live 24/7 support from mental health professionals in a variety of languages. To access:

  • Download the My SSP App (available from the App store/ Google Play) and follow the prompts to access support; or
  • Call 1.844.451.9700 to be connected with live support

An online Calming Hour is also available every day.

Access the Calming Hour: https://mohawkcollege.zoom.us/j/165905801 

  • Yoga (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) 11:15 - 12:00pm 
  • Guided Meditation (Monday through Friday) 12:00 - 12:30pm


Conversation

We continue to offer Coffee Club but in an online format. Coffee Club is a great way to meet new people and relax with friendly conversation. Watch the Language & Culture Centre Instagram Page and the College Events Page for details of the next Coffee Club! The LCC Instagram page also hosts weekly activities so be sure to check back often for fun events!

Finding a Job

Finding a job is difficult for everyone during these trying times. Please continue to monitor the Online & Community Resources page for links to job websites. Student and Graduate Employment continues to offer employment resources and appointments with students – visit their website for further information. We are working to provide webinars on this topic soon. Watch the Language & Culture Centre Instagram Page and the College Events Page for details.

Other Resources

Continue to monitor the International Student FAQ page where you will find answers to your questions and information about available supports.  Be sure to check the Online & Community Resources page that is continually updated with support information. If you cannot find the answer to your question online or in this update, or you wish to discuss your concerns further, please email international.services [at] mohawkcollege.ca.

We have shared a lot of information today. But your health, well-being and academic success is extremely important to us at Mohawk College. We are committed to keeping you informed and supported.  Please continue to listen to the instructions from public health officials – maintain physical distancing and stay safe and healthyWe often tell you that "Mohawk is Home" and that statement is now truer than ever before.

Sincerely,

Keith Monrose

Dean, Mohawk International