From April 28 to May 1, more than 55 global partners from over 20 countries were welcomed to Niagara College as part of the College’s annual Study in Niagara Familiarization (FAM) Tour.
“When partners come to our campus to speak to NC staff first-hand and see and experience our learning environments, they are able to share this experience with their clients to ensure they leverage the best learning opportunities abroad,” said Carolyn Triemstra, dean of Community and Health Studies Division dean, one of the many NC staff and faculty in attendance at FAM’s International Breakfast.
In partnership with Brock University, the District School Board of Niagara and Tourism Partnership of Niagara, the annual FAM tour is led by Niagara College’s International Department and invites global education partners to tour educational institutions, learn about the region, and meet faculty and staff. By the end of the visit, study abroad companies will have learned about a variety of study, live and work in Niagara benefits and options for prospective international students.
“The FAM trip was a profound and unique experience that provided a mixture of information, culture, connectivity and understanding of people,” shared Massoud Tokhmehchi, managing director of a student abroad company in Iran named RAD Group. “I hope that the RAD Group can connect many prospective students to start their futures at Niagara College as I believe they will not only receive a good education, but learn how to lead a good life.”
“Hosting the Niagara FAM tour alongside the District School Board of Niagara and Niagara College is an incredible event to show-off the Niagara Region as a study destination for international students,” said Victoria Steele, Brock University’s international market development associate director. “Prospective and current academic partners have the opportunity to learn more about Brock as an attractive university option for English as a Second Language (ESL), undergraduate and graduate students, but also leave clearly identifying a study pathway from primary, secondary to post-secondary to speak about with prospective students and families back in their home country.”
The tour participants assist prospective students with learning about the Canadian education system and provide essential services to help them navigate the processes required to arrive and study in Canada. The knowledge gained about NC services, supports and programs allows them to better prepare students for their transition to studying at the College and living in Canada.
Hosted at the Welland Campus, this portion of FAM provided an opportunity for participants to learn about NC’s innovative programming and rich student life from staff and faculty in NC’s Schools of Study, International Division, and Student Services.
“Speaking with international partners allows for great dialogue about what their potential students may be looking for and how we can achieve the best program match with our NC offerings,” said Triemstra. “They are also able to provide direct feedback from their current or past students, an opportunity to hear from international graduates of the programs. Having global partners on campus allows us to engage first hand with recruiters who represent various countries and learners.”
In addition to the College’s services, campuses and facilities, the FAM tour allows participants to experience, on a very personal level, what makes Niagara College, its community, and the Niagara region, so unique and attractive.
“We now have a better understanding and first-hand knowledge of what life in Niagara is like and what the student will experience studying at Niagara College,” said Glesca Education Group’s Lauranicol Ortiz, who is originally from Panama. “Students are more likely to choose a school after receiving positive feedback from someone, especially an academic partner who they have developed a relationship with. This establishes a direct connection to Niagara and the College which is even more important for an international student as many live across the world and are unable to personally visit the school and may be unfamiliar with the region.”
From Siegener Sabitho Global Education located in Nigeria, Tunde Anifowose-Kelani, PhD, now feels equipped to describe why Niagara College is one of the best places to study. “FAM showed the fantastic relationship and connectedness between the community and the College,” said Anifowose-Kelani.
To Anifowose-Kelani, the trip showed how international students can feel at home at NC. “You don’t feel like you are just a student, you feel like you are a citizen going to school. I believe the Niagara College curriculum is designed to help students to integrate within the community and help them in becoming complete human beings; to be useful to themselves and the world at large.”
Niagara College would like to thank its many staff and faculty who assisted in hosting another successful FAM event.