To the editor:
A recent study indicates that Canada derives nearly $15 billion from international student spending! These benefits are also being felt here locally as Thunder Bay is now home to over 2,000 international students who are attending Lakehead University, Confederation College and local elementary/secondary schools to further their education. These students contribute greatly to the local community through their spending on food, rent, clothing and other items.
In addition, international students enroll in a wide range of programs, ensuring that these program options also remain available to local students. Without this enrolment, it would be difficult for both the college and the university to offer such a wide range of programs, given the decline in our younger population.
In recent years, local businesses, particularly those in retail, hospitality and healthcare sectors, have been struggling to attract and retain young employees to service positions. International students are helping to fill these gaps and their dependability and strong work ethic are huge assets to the people who hire them. This is a win-win situation as international students are not subsidized through any government funding programs, so these part-time jobs help to cover their school and living expenses here in the city.
We all benefit because these international students have chosen to study in our community.
Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce