International recruiters get Brock experience

They’re the people helping to sell the Brock brand around the world, and on Sunday, they got a closer look at what makes the Brock University experience so unique.

Like most Canadian post-secondary institutions, Brock works with third-party academic recruitment agents who help attract international students in dozens of countries.

On Sunday, April 29 more than 65 academic recruitment agents from 21 countries arrived in Niagara as part of a three-day educational familiarization tour in partnership with Niagara College and the District School Board of Niagara.

The timing of the tour lined up with the conclusion of the International Consultants for Education and Fairs North American Workshop conference in Toronto.

Normally separated by thousands of kilometres and multiple time zones, the conference gave Brock rare access to a large number of international recruitment agents.

The agents play a vital role in the recruitment process for international students. As experts in their field, students rely on their knowledge and expertise to recommend where to study based on their needs. Partnering with agents also ensures access to students from areas of the world not regularly travelled by Brock’s own team of international recruitment officers.

“The agents know their own educational systems and the social and cultural details of their own societies,” said Tom Dunk, Brock’s Interim Vice-President, Academic. “For this reason, they’re well-positioned to assist us in the search for students who are both qualified for our programs, and most likely to benefit from the Brock experience.”

Gaining international experience by studying abroad is becoming increasingly popular and Canada is seen by many students as an ideal destination.

Known around the world as a welcoming, multicultural society, Canada has a high-quality standard of education that is globally recognized. In addition, students who complete a four-year degree program or a two-year master’s program are eligible for a three-year work permit, providing them with valuable career experience to bring back home.

Combined with the affordability of living in Niagara and the beauty of studying at a campus located in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the region is becoming an increasingly popular choice for prospective students. Brock is now home to more than 1,900 international students from 100 countries.

“Diversity enhances the academic experience by exposing students to different ideas, cultures and experiences,” said Leigh-Ellen Keating, Director of Brock International. “A more culturally aware student is better equipped with the tools and skills to succeed in a rapidly changing, highly diverse and competitive global economy.”

In attendance on Sunday’s tour were agents from more than 20 countries, including Brazil, India, Mexico, Turkey and Vietnam. Hosted by Brock senior administration and the University’s International Market Development, agents were provided a tour of the campus, listened to presentations from several departments and participated in breakout sessions to learn more about specific areas of interest, such as ESL, admissions, international student services and the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

Hannah Tran, an agent from Vietnam’s America-Euro Training and Overseas Study Consultation Company, said students often find job opportunities after studying in Niagara.

“The proximity to Toronto, combined with a high-quality level of education for a more affordable price when you consider the cost of living is what makes Niagara an attractive area for international students,” she said.

The day concluded with a tree-planting ceremony near Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex to commemorate the visit.

The agents remain in Niagara Monday and Tuesday with tours of Niagara College, Welland’s Centennial Secondary School and a trip to Niagara Falls.

More than 65 academic recruitment agents from around the world toured Brock University Sunday, April 29. The agents, which help Niagara post-secondary institutions recruit international students, are in Niagara for a three-day tour.

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