Niagara College hosted more than 90 prospective students along with accompanying professors and administrators from Colegio San Nicolas in Aruba on April 2.
The visit was part of the College’s ongoing international student recruitment diversification strategy. NC and the Aruban Ministry of Education and Family signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2016, formalizing NC as one of a select few Canadian institutions actively promoted and supported in Aruba.
The prospective students – whose ages ranged from 16 to 20 years old – spent the day touring both the Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake campuses; and for all but a few of the Arubans, this was their first full day in Canada.
“Niagara College seems really accepting of different cultures,” said Gardine Carty, one of the visitors, who was asked what she would take away from her experience visiting the College.
Renewable Energies Technician student Edelysse Nicolaas, who is a graduate of Colegio San Nicoles, was especially excited about the tour, as part of the College’s growing Aruban community and one of the first students to benefit from the partnership between NC and the Aruban government. Nicolaas joined the tour and explained to the visitors why she loves the learning environment at NC and how she hopes to stay in the Niagara region after she graduates.
Sean Coote, director of NC’s International division, noted that hosting a delegation this large is a key indication of the growing popularity of Canada and Niagara College, versus traditionally favored global education.
“The partnership between NC and the Aruban government established a pathway for Aruban students who are looking for a global experience as part of their studies,” said Coote. “As a result, we have seen an increase from one Aruban student in 2016 to eight in 2018.
“We certainly expect the number of Aruban students looking to Niagara College as their preferred study destination to increase.”
The visiting students had the opportunity to learn from and interact with faculty and staff from various areas of the College including Athletics; the Canadian Food and Wine Institute; the schools of Media, Trades and Technology; as well as the schools of Environmental and Horticultural Studies; Business and Management; and Hospitality, Tourism and Sport.
In addition to the Aruban visit, NC will host a series of international delegations in April. On April 5 and April 10, the College will welcome groups from the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic, part of the largest series of prospective international student tours in the College’s history.