Anneliese Von Eicken, a third-year Biotechnology student from Honduras, was very appreciative when she received a surprise gift card in her inbox earlier this week.
Brock International Services and the Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU) partnered equally to distribute fifty $25 gift cards to local restaurants and grocery stores to international students in need.
“I’m so grateful to receive a gift card from Brock International during this difficult time,” said Von Eicken. “It really does relieve some of the stress of cooking and taking online finals at the same time.”
Teghan Hinksman, Community Engagement Coordinator for Brock International Services said the goal of the initiative was to show Brock’s international student population that the University is here for them.
“International students’ needs are at the heart of every event, activity and program we do,” said Hinksman. “I’m proud to be a part of a department that was able to provide these students with delicious meals during these hard times.
Niveditha Sethumadhavan, BUSU Vice President – External Affairs, who is also an international student, recognizes the difficulty of being unable to go back home or be with their families during this time of high uncertainty.
“As an institution and as a student union, it is our duty to be able to enhance not just the experience of students, but especially to support them in times of need,” said Sethumadhavan. “This initiative not only supports our international students, but also local businesses within the community who are all going through this tough time together.”
Brock’s international student population in need of financial support are also eligible to apply for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program.
The government program provides $500 per week, for up to 16 weeks, to supplement employment lost as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A statement released from Global Affairs Canada highlights how deeply the Canadian government values the international students that have chosen to study in Canada and the contribution they make to our educational institutions, our communities and our country.
International students interested in applying for the CERB must fill out the online application.
Brock University also recently launched the COVID-19 Undergraduate Student Emergency Bursary and the COVID-19 Graduate Student Emergency Bursary.
The bursaries will be used to provide short-term emergency financial aid for both graduate and undergraduate students who have experienced a demonstrated financial loss due to the pandemic.