Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Education




Viczko, Melody


In 2015, the Canadian government announced a plan to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees (Government of Canada, 2017b). With involvement from community agencies, private sponsors and government support, the initiative resulted in the resettlement of 40,000 Syrian refugees (Government of Canada, 2017b). In this context, many Canadian universities became involved in initiating programs to support the education, sponsorship and settlement of Syrian refugees (WUSC, 2017), with the premise that education plays a role in the settlement of refugees and their economic and social integration (Adamuti-Trache & Sweet, 2010; Brouwer, 2002; Ferede, 2010). What remains unknown are the experiences of these refugees in their transitional period while they are university students. This qualitative case study examines the perspectives of five Syrian refugee women about their university experiences at one university in Ontario through semi-structured interviews. The findings highlight academic, social and emotional challenges that they experienced, with a focus on participants’ needs for referral services, representation of their issues and social support.