A Message from Judith Morris, President & CEO, Lambton College - Subject: Benefit of International Students to the Sarnia-Lambton Community


December 12, 2017

At Lambton College we are fortunate to welcome students to our campus from all across the globe.
At Lambton College we are fortunate to welcome students to our campus from all across the globe.

At Lambton College we are fortunate to welcome students to our campus from all across the globe. As Lambton College President & CEO, I’m very thankful for the diversity, innovation and economic contribution our international students make to both our College and our community.

These students allow us to continue to expand our student population at the College, and their presence in our city greatly enhances our intercultural understanding.

As a community, we have a responsibility to welcome these students, as well as other newcomers, to our region.

In the last five years, the number of International students who choose to study in Sarnia has nearly doubled. Currently, we have 772 international students enrolled at Lambton College (up from 472 students over the same term in 2016). These students come from all over the world including India, Mexico, China, Brazil, and Jamaica.

I would like the community to recognize the great benefits these newcomers, and in this instance, our students, bring to our community.

Sarnia-Lambton’s population is both declining and aging. In fact, 21.2 per cent of our residents are above the age of 65, well above the provincial average of 16.7 per cent. Understandably, that also means the number of working people in the region has gone down in the last five years.

Add to that the fact our nation is experiencing the highest level of immigration since Confederation. Today, one in five Canadians are foreign-born.

While the majority of these newcomers choose to settle in Canada’s urban centres, a study conducted by Statistics Canada actually found that those who choose to move to small towns and rural areas are quicker to learn an official language, and will soon earn more financially than other immigrants.

Not only do these statistics outline the benefits of small town life for immigrants and their children, their presence is of great economic benefit to smaller cities like Sarnia.

These families send their children to our schools, a growing issue in Sarnia, with the sting of declining enrolment still fresh in our minds.

They shop at our businesses and utilize local services.

They are entrepreneurial, bringing with them education, skills and innovative ideas - key factors as we work to attract new businesses and investments to our region.

They share their culture with us, introducing us to international foods and new traditions.

Our community is richer for having welcomed these individuals and their families. By welcoming them, we become more informed and more tolerant in our own lives.

The truth is, allowing newcomers to call Sarnia-Lambton home is key our region’s prosperity.

Next year, Lambton College hopes to welcome as many as 1,200 International students to Sarnia. As we expand on our International programming, it is my hope that our community continues to accommodate, experience, and embrace these students.

If these newcomers choose to stay and build a life for themselves in Sarnia, it allows our community to grow. But even if they choose to leave, I want to ensure that the sentiments, experiences and memories they take with them, are of the giving, tolerant and welcoming community that I have come to know and love.


For media inquiries or more information:

Jami Kloet
Corporate Communications Coordinator
Lambton College
Telephone: 519-542-7751 ext. 3337
Mobile: 519-328-2081
Email: jami.kloet@lambtoncollege.ca