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Who We Are

The Welcoming Intercultural Newcomers Association (WINA) (formerly the Welcome BBQ Association) is an African-intercultural organization based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It has offered 18 years of Annual Newcomers BBQs as a non-profit organization. The organization is rebranding its services to focus on delivering programs and services to International Newcomer Students (INS) within the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM).


WINA is located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi'kmaq. WINA also respects the sovereignty, lands, histories, languages, knowledge systems, and cultures of First Nations, Métis and Inuit nations. We are all Treaty people.

About WINA

The Welcoming Intercultural Newcomers Association (WINA), formerly the (Welcome BBQ Association), is an intercultural organization based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. WINA has offered 18 years of Annual Newcomers BBQs as a non-profit organization.    WINA’s platform has been rebranded to provide programs and services to assist international students in reaching their potential as they study in Atlantic Canada. 

At WINA, we are committed to equity, diversity and inclusion and our ongoing purpose is to provide a welcoming and inclusive community for all students, staff, stakeholders and volunteers regardless of their age, colour, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex.
Today, more than ever, with the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada, there is a particular need to develop the WINA platform, in partnership with other settlement organizations and educational institutions, to support INs holistically as they study in Canada. At this moment of unprecedented, acute, international need and opportunity, WINA is responding to the identified needs by re-investing in its programs, deepening their impact, and implementing a national vision for its target population.   

At WINA, we recognize what it means to build bridges of tolerance, respect, and understanding with our target population as they integrate and assume their profession in Canada. Therefore, it is the role of WINA to support INS transition pre-arrival to Canada to transition to university and personal growth through an integrated system of professional and peer-supported services that will connect our students with employers as they seek permanent residency in Nova Scotia. 


WINA's mission is to enrich the lives of International Newcomer Students (INS) in Canada through its holistic integration framework with an intercultural focus on pride and dignity. WINA animates cultural awareness by promoting public intercultural events and student services on academic advocacy support, mental health and well-being, settlement services and more within Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM).


To be a "Welcoming and Hospitable Newcomer Student Hub" that provides services for International Newcomer Students (INS) to enhance student success, student satisfaction and retention/recruitment in Nova Scotia. 

WINA is the "Welcoming Newcomer Student Hub" that provides services for International Newcomer Students (INS) to enhance student success, student satisfaction and retention/recruitment in Nova Scotia.

Our Values: 

At WINA, we emphatically and unequivocally endorse

Cultural Understanding
Advocacy for Rights
Access to Resources
Educational Excellence

An international student advocacy organization serves several critical purposes, aiming to address international students' unique needs and challenges. Here are some critical purposes of such an organization.

The Purposes of WINA are:  

  • To address the unique needs and challenges faced by international students. 

  • To contribute to international students' overall well-being and success by promoting a positive and enriching educational experience for members from diverse backgrounds.

  • To facilitate cultural integration by organizing events, annual welcome barbeque workshops, and initiatives that promote cross-cultural understanding and interaction among international Canadian students and residents.  

  • To collaborate with educational institutions, government bodies, and other organizations to create a supportive and inclusive environment for international students.

  • To provide or advocate for support services tailored to the unique needs of international students, including academic assistance, mental health resources, and legal support.

  • To offer information and guidance on various academic and daily life aspects, including visa regulations, housing, healthcare, and employment opportunities.

  • To foster a sense of community among international students through networking events, mentorship programs, and social activities, helping them build connections and a support network.

  • To respond to crises and emergencies affecting international students, offer support and resources during challenging natural disasters, political unrest, or health crises.

  • To support clients' career development by providing information about job opportunities, internships, networking events, and advocating for fair employment practices.

  • To provide legal assistance and guidance on immigration issues, ensuring our clients know their rights and responsibilities and can navigate legal challenges effectively.

  • To research the experiences and challenges faced by international students, using data to inform advocacy efforts and influence institutional policies.

  • To advocate for improving educational programs and resources for international students, addressing issues related to language barriers, cultural sensitivity in curriculum, and inclusive teaching practices.

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