The number of international students studying at NC has been growing rapidly at in recent years, and January 2012 enrolment reveals a record number of international student enrolment, with 200 new international students for diploma or degree studies and an additional 110 new students studying English-as-a-Second Language.
Combining new arrivals with current international students brings the college’s the total number of international students to more than 1,200. About 80 countries are represented in Niagara College’s student body.
The pace of the growth of Niagara’s international student contingent has been staggering. Just more than three years ago, at the beginning of the Fall 2008 term, the college welcomed about 500 international students. This January, the numbers have more than doubled.
“The start of every new term creates a high level of excitement as we welcome new students from around the world. For most international students Niagara College represents their new life in Canada and the start of so many new and often challenging experiences,” said Sean Coote, director of Niagara International. “You can imagine the transition that many of our students undergo, whether it’s experiencing snow and cold weather for the first time, or group work and an applied learning environment. The support from every Niagara College staff truly helps with their adjustment and success.”
Yunan Zhu is a Niagara College student originally hailing from Wuhan, in southern China. Yunan is set to begin taking the International Commerce and Global Development degree program, after graduating from Level 4 ESL.
“Niagara College has been a great school for me,” said Yunan. “The teachers are so nice and I can come in to the (Niagara International) office and talk to anyone. It’s great.”
A global focus for all students
As an increasing number colleges and universities put a stronger focus on equipping their graduates with intercultural competencies, NC continues to set an example as a global campus. It achieves this not only through its incoming international students but by providing opportunities for all students in the form of study abroad or work-abroad programs, as well as student exchanges.
Niagara International serves non-international students as well. The department is continuing with its development of the Niagara Passport program, an opportunity for students to add a certificate to their diploma outlining their efforts to put an intercultural focus on their studies.
The Passport is one initiative of the department’s Be World Ready campaign, an effort to promote ways students can better prepare for their careers by intercultural learning, gaining skills and attributes including leadership values, creative problem-solving and compassion and understanding and becoming more employable in the process.
Niagara International office to move
To accommodate the department’s growth and success, Niagara International is planning a move from its Welland office at S100 to the former After Hours SAC building, following upcoming renovations and interior redesigns. A summer move is currently planned.
For more information on all things Niagara International, check out the department’s website at international.niagaracollege.ca.