We enable international students and young newcomers to be fully aware of and have access to opportunities in order to live, work, and play in Hamilton. The city welcomes thousands of international students all over the world every year. We view Global Hamilton Connect as an avenue for international students to network, learn and explore the city. Through our events, comprised of social, professional and immigration-related initiatives, we connect international students with personal and professional opportunities in Hamilton.
The group came together in 2014 as a result of several “What if’s?”
“What if we can come up with ways to take international students outside of the student ‘bubble’?”
“What if we support international students and their transition to their new home here in Hamilton?”
“What if we bring together our collective experience and understanding of the immigration experience, to connect international students to opportunities and networks in this city?”
For many of us who came as international students or immigrants, those were the questions we often asked ourselves. We learned to navigate the city, built our networking skills and sought out opportunities to get involved in our community. Though from different parts of the world, each of us have become proud ambassadors of Hamilton.
When Sarah Wayland from City of Hamilton approached us with the idea to form a group to promote opportunities to international students in Hamilton, we thought “Why don’t we put our heads together to ease international students’ transition to their new home and showcase opportunities in this city?”
After one initial meeting (and subsequent brainstorming sessions), Global Hamilton Connect (GHC) was born. The name speaks to a vision of internationality, diversity of thought and acceptance in Hamilton, coupled with the desire to connect this emerging group of young and skilled immigrants with employment, professional and community opportunities.
The number of international students in Hamilton has grown dramatically over the past decade, with growth expected to continue. We aspire to foster a sense of belonging and collaborate with organizations across all sectors to retain and advance top, young, international talent - as Hamilton and our community stand to benefit from this growing and vibrant group of skilled immigrants
Recognizing that students need a breadth of experiences to feel welcomed and connected to the city, our events are divided into several streams: professional development, social, community and immigration. Our annual social event in the fall welcomes new and returning international students, creating a space for them network. We also keep our fingers on the pulse of immigration news; our immigration seminar provides up-to-date information on the changes in legislation related to permanent residency. To encourage international students to explore Hamilton, we organize events that bring students to different parts of Hamilton including hikes near Sherman Falls and on the Chedoke trails.We are often called upon by post-secondary institutions, local nonprofits, governments and other stakeholders to represent the scope of opportunities for young newcomers in Hamilton. While we are not an advocacy organization, more recently we have begun to initiate academic and research activities as a result of the challenges faced by international students after graduation. Addressing policy barriers that hinder and delay the ability for international students to integrate and contribute will allow us to raise awareness, resource support and advocate for their retention in our community.
Partners and supporters
GHC is supported by City of Hamilton, McMaster University and Mohawk College. As a Hamilton HIVE member group, we are better positioned to connect international students with fellow young professionals and showcase opportunities that exist for rising leaders in this city.
Though our mandate focuses on international students, we welcome ideas and invitations to collaborate with interested individuals, community organizations, institutions and businesses from all sectors.
Visit our website globalhamiltonconnect.ca