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Fanshawe delivers promise of free tuition for 10 Syrian refugee families


Wendy Curtis, executive director at Fanshawe International, speaks with two Syrian refugees at a Fanshawe College information session in April 2016.

Christopher Walker | Interrobang | News | March 20th, 2017

Fanshawe College has kept its promise in supporting the City of London’s plan to help Syrian refugees who came to Canada during the Syrian Crisis.

In doing so, Fanshawe pledged to give free tuition, as well as any related fees, to 10 Syrian refugees, in order to support them getting settled in Canada and help them earn an education in their new found home. Fanshawe successfully kept their promise, with the help of private donations and fundraising efforts from the Fanshawe College Foundation, according to a college news release.

Fanshawe president, Peter Devlin, provided his comments in the news release confirming the news.

“Fanshawe is committed to providing pathways to success, and we’re thrilled to help empower 10 new families settling in London,” Devlin said. “The students’ resilience is inspirational. They have thrown themselves into their studies and are all doing very well, determined to unlock their potential and contribute to their new community. We’re proud to see them finding hope and building futures through a Fanshawe education.”

With Fanshawe celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the college will be looking over the fact that it has attracted over half a million students from 70 different countries each year for the ability to educate, engage, empower and excite students’ minds.

According to the release, London has been accepting government- sponsored refugees since 2015, which was the same year the college announced their support to help Syrian refugees through the free tuition. A mix of male and female Syrian refugee have registered for a wide variety of programs in both the fall 2016 and winter 2017 semesters.

According to the news release, since December 23, 2016, the federal government reported that London has taken in 1,638 refugees.

Lynn Koudsi, a Syrian student is an example of how support from the college is helping the Syrian refugees.

Koudsi, a Fanshawe student since January 2017, is in the computer programmer analyst program and on top of that has been helping her parents settle in to their new community.

“When I first arrived to Canada, I found the perfect combination of diversity and equality, which made it easier to blend in and feel like I am home. Yet, I was extremely worried about continuing my studies in a completely foreign country,” Koudsi said. “But all my worries dissipated when Fanshawe generously offered me the opportunity to follow my dreams and passion, allowing me to pursue my education. And ever since I started attending, I felt fortunate to be part of this loving and helping community, surrounded by professional teachers and co-operative staff. Fanshawe College is truly the ideal start for a happy and successful life,” Koudsi said in a press release.

There is one thing for sure, Fanshawe continues to create excellent opportunities for students from all around the world.

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