Lake George’s Student Connection has made a huge difference this past season, catering to nearly 1,000 international students working in the resort area.
Complaints, lack of housing, safety concerns and accidents involving the college-age students have almost disappeared completely, according to Mayor Blais, the Committee’s Chairperson.
This year, the second full year of the of the committee operation, over 850 students were hosted to a variety of activities. Two welcome orientations in the spring found over 250 students attending to enjoy free food, gifts and a bicycle rally.
Over 50 bicycles were distributed to the students, serviced and provided by William Giorgianni and Anthony Metivier. All students attending the orientations were given free backpacks and sundries, provided by local business sponsors.
Welcoming brochures were available to all that included necessary local information on transportation, emergencies, religious services and important contacts.
Two bus trips to Niagara Falls sold out, allowing the students to comply with their J1 Visa’s that require hours of cultural experiences.
The Student Connection is funded by contributions from the Town and Village of Lake George, Towns of Bolton and Queensbury, as well as local sponsors including Lake George Steamboat Company, Boardwalk Restaurant, America’s Best Value Inn, TD Bank, Nina’s Sweet Shop, The Georgian Resort, Log Jam, Super 8 Lake George and Lake George Bike Rentals.
Members of the Student Connection are also attending the annual national convention in November in Branson, Mo. and are making a pitch for one in Lake George as well.
“It’s important that we try to make our international student’s experience in Lake George safe, comfortable and enjoyable,” Mayor Blais said. “Without them, many businesses would be hard pressed to provide the level of service our tourists have come to expect in the Lake George Region.”