Niagara College welcomed approximately 50 prospective students from around the globe to the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus on July 6, as part of a Familiarization Tour.
The prospective students are touring postsecondary educational options in Canada while studying at the International Language Academy of Canada (ILAC) in Toronto.
Vivian Ho, pathway placement specialist at ILAC, spoke from experience as she explained how she believes Niagara College provides students with practical hands-on knowledge that better prepares work-ready graduates. Arriving in Canada January 2017 from Vietnam, Ho is a graduate from NC’s Hospitality – Hotel and Restaurant Operations Co-Op program and gained employment at ILAC two weeks after finishing her program.
“I love Niagara College and am proud to be a graduate,” said Ho. “Niagara College allows students to build a solid foundation for a working career. I believe my experiences at Niagara College provided me the skills and confidence to gain the job I have now.”
The ability to gain hands-on experiences motivated Kurba Sarikaya from Izmir, Turkey, to accept her admissions offer in the Culinary Management Co-Op program for this upcoming September 2018. Although she had not visited the campus prior, she felt that NC was the right fit as her program offers work experience in her desired field, better preparing her for the workforce in Canada after graduation. Before moving to Canada, Sarikaya graduated from a five-year Food Engineer program in Turkey, interning at Coca-Cola. However, watching her mother cook while she was young inspired her to purse her lifelong dream of becoming a chef.
“I am so glad I was able to visit Niagara College before beginning in September,” said Sarikaya. “I was nervous about moving somewhere new in Canada, but now that I was able to experience the campus and visit my future classrooms, I feel more confident and excited about my decision. I can’t wait for September.”
Viktor Bova from Zaporizhia, Ukraine, was also impressed by Niagara College’s applied learning environment and his tour led by Fernando Gama de Oliveira, international student recruitment regional manager- The Americas.
“I can see myself studying here in the future,” said Bova. “I really enjoyed learning more about Niagara College and Fernando was a big part of that. He made the tour interesting and fun, while still being informative about life as a Niagara College student.”
Touring the College allows prospective students to gain a better understanding of NC’s atmosphere, intangible spirit as well as the College’s surrounding environment, which better allows students to envision themselves attending Niagara College.
“I believe it is important for students to participate in familiarization tours as they are able to gain a better understanding of what studying in Canada is like,” said Andrea Diaz, junior pathway advisory – Latin America at ILAC. “In particular, visiting Niagara College allows prospective students to learn more about the many advantages of living in the Niagara region that go beyond living in a tourism destination.”
Diaz explained how she believes a large draw for students is how inviting the Niagara region is for individuals looking to settle down after graduation or, for many of the mature students, Diaz highlighted the appeal for families to relocate to the Region to raise their families.
By hosting Familiarization Tours, Niagara College is able to showcase its campus and facilities as well as the students, faculty and staff that make the College a welcoming and inviting community to be a part of.
In addition to the ILAC visit, NC will host a series of prospective international students in July. On July 13 and July 27, the College will welcome groups from the Ukraine and Japan.