North Island College welcomed over 30 new international students this week, meaning close to 200 international students will have called NIC their home this academic year. This marks an approximate 40 per cent increase in international student enrolments over the 2012/13 academic year, a 75 per cent increase over 2011/12, and the largest international student enrolments in NIC’s history.
“The increase in international student enrolment over the past two years has been exceptional,” says president John Bowman. “As a result, we have opened additional course sections and enhanced student services and activities, benefitting our domestic students as well.”
“Having students from Africa, India, Asia and South America come here to live, work, and learn is a really powerful experience both for them and our communities,” states Mark Herringer, NIC’s executive director of international education. “The 40 per cent increase in international students itself is meaningful but the real impact of having 150 to 200 international students in communities the size of Courtenay, Comox, and Cumberland is the rich cultural environment that results.
“Many of our students are living with homestay families, going on vacations with them, and creating positive experiences that will last a lifetime,” adds Herringer.
Nine Brazilian undergraduate students studying at NIC through the Science without Borders (SwB) program are included in the above figures. Funded entirely by the Government of Brazil, the SwB scholarship program was launched in July 2011 by the Brazilian Ministry of Education and the Government of Canada’s Ministry of Science and Technology. The program aims to send Brazilian students abroad to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
The Brazilian students will be at NIC for up to eighteen months. They will begin their studies by upgrading their English language skills, followed by two semesters of science education. They may also participate in an internship opportunity with a local business prior to their return to Brazil. An additional 20 students from Brazil are expected to arrive in February.
Business, Tourism, Interactive Media, English Language, and Science programs have all experienced strong interest from international students.
For further information about NIC programs, services and events, please visit http://www.nic.bc.ca or call 1-800-715-0914.
— North Island College