The City of Mississauga organized an event to welcome international students at the Mississauga Civic Centre last Friday to showcase the services and opportunities in the city.

About 80 international students from UTM and Sheridan College’s Oakville and Mississauga campuses gathered in the Council Chambers to listen to Hazel McCallion, the mayor of Mississauga; Deep Saini, the vice-president of U of T and principal of UTM; and Jeff Zabudsky, the president and CEO of the Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning.

“We want you to be a part of our city. We welcome people from all over the world in our city and our university,” said McCallion. “You’re very special, and we want to do anything we can to make you feel at home.”

The speakers encouraged students to stay and work in Mississauga after they graduate and to become ambassadors for the city in their native countries.

“Canada is probably the most exciting cultural experiment ever conducted on this earth,” Saini said. “And the biggest part of that experiment is happening in places like Mississauga and Vancouver. These are the places that are attracting the largest number of people from different cultures.”

He concluded, “So you are part of this experiment. Conduct that experiment really well and make a better world.”

After the talk, students mingled with the speakers and other international students over refreshments in the Great Hall.

Students talked to representatives of various city services, including recreation and parks, transportation, arts and culture, economic development, and the city library, which allowed students to set up a Mississauga Library card on the premises.

UTM is home to students from over 125 countries.