A parking lot isn’t usually a sightseeing location, but the array of license plates at Brock on Fall Preview Day was a visual representation that people are willing to go the distance to get a taste of the University.
On Sunday, Nov. 3, Brock welcomed a landslide number of prospective students and family members to campus. The day included program-specific presentations, athletic demonstrations, and touring research labs and the campus.
For some, it was worth crossing an ocean for.
Sophie Brown, who hails from Guernsey — the birthplace of Maj.-Gen. Sir Isaac Brock — came to Fall Preview Day with her parents, Nick and Susie, who planned a family vacation to Canada with Brock at its centre.
“The more research I did on Brock, the more I realized how amazing it would be to live and study here,” said Brown, who has positioned the University as her No. 1 choice. “It would be quite something to go from such a small island to such a massive country. I was a bit nervous because I was hoping it would be everything I wanted it to be, and it is. Visiting campus makes me want to come here even more.”
Brown’s dream of studying at Brock is dependent on scholarship opportunities. During her weeklong visit in Canada, she visited campus twice, where she met with students, staff and faculty, including James Allard, Chair of the Department of English Language and Literature, which she hopes to study in.
“My favourite part of English I’ve studied is North American literature, so it would be fitting to learn about these books in their native country,” said Brown. “I read Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale as part of my studies and I loved it. I couldn’t stop reading it.”
During the Brown’s trip to Canada, they also went on a boat tour of Niagara Falls, paid respects to Maj.-Gen Sir Isaac Brock’s monument at Queenston Heights, went to the top of the CN Tower and experienced the magic of a Toronto Maple Leafs home game, where Brock graduate Kyle Dubas (BSM ’07) is the general manager. Brown says hockey is her new favourite sport to indulge in.
Her father travelled to Canada in his 20’s, but it was Susie and Sophie’s first time on Canadian soil.
“We’re keen to support our daughter if she wants to attend university internationally,” said Brown’s father. “The particularly strong connection with Guernsey being Sir Isaac Brock’s birthplace is pretty great.”
Brown’s mother added that her family felt very privileged to be able to make the trip and experience another culture.
“Everyone in Canada is really friendly, and we’re all impressed with Brock,” she said. “There’s a lot of new buildings, so it seems there’s a lot happening to make it even bigger and better for future generations. Our visit gave us a very positive vibe. As parents, coming from so far away, we both agreed she would go with our blessing.”
Not everyone had to change time zones to make the trip.
Connor Reintjes, a Grade 12 student from Grimsby, came to Fall Preview Day to learn more about Brock’s Biophysics, Biotechnology and Computer Science programs.
“I really wanted to experience the environment and learning opportunities Brock offers,” said Reintjes. “I’ve developed in my mind the kind of courses I’m looking for. I like that Brock is nice and close to home, and there’s a good sense of community. I’ve been here before for sports and my sister’s graduation, so I’m quite familiar with the school.”
Kara Kelly, Manager of Recruitment Operations and Communication at Brock, said the University’s experiential opportunities and high rates of student satisfaction are contributing decision-making factors for prospective students and families.
“People recognize the importance of combining their studies with valuable experience,” said Kelly. “They’re eager to hear about all that Brock has to offer.”
She added that she was delighted that so many members of the Brock community pitched in to make the day a success.
“To see so many students, staff and faculty spending their weekend to welcome guests and share their passion for Brock is very heartwarming and indicative of the close community students will feel when they come to Brock.”