Virtual event helps Brock build momentum around the world

Pasquale Paola may have stumbled upon Brock during a chance encounter, but his experience during a virtual event reaffirmed he was on the right path.

The first-year Medical Sciences student from Cosenza, Italy, was travelling to visit friends in Niagara last May when he made his way past Brock’s main campus. As he drove by, he made note of the University’s name and later began online research into the school.

He discovered Brock’s virtual International Open Day was happening in October and, with his curiosity piqued, he registered to learn more.

“It was amazing,” Paola said of the event, which solidified his decision to apply to Brock. “I would give credit to the staff because they did a great job in explaining all the of Brock’s features and what the University provides and guarantees.”

Pasquale Paola, a first-year Medical Sciences student from Cosenza, Italy, was inspired to enrol at Brock after virtually attending International Open Day in the fall.

Since its inaugural Open Day in the fall, Brock International has held the online event quarterly in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The latest instalment, held Wednesday, Feb. 10 and Thursday, Feb. 11, attracted a record 960 incoming and prospective international students, parents and high school counsellors from 90 countries.

In addition to Open Day, international recruitment officers have daily outreach and interactions with prospective students and external stakeholders, along with virtual Coffee with a Recruiter sessions.

The pivot to virtual recruitment has resonated worldwide, with January 2021 international student enrolment up 34 per cent compared to last year.

“Students are recognizing the high-level of international student support being offered at Brock University,” said Camille Rutherford, Vice-Provost, Strategic Partnerships and International at Brock University. “Our staff are guiding them through the admission process, course registration and helping them acclimate to the world of online learning.”

By attending events, such as International Open Day, students receive advice from knowledgeable recruitment officers and University staff in their areas of expertise. This includes academic and language support, financial aid, immigration, student engagement and community involvement.

International Open Day has students choose from more than 13 interactive webinars offered in the morning or afternoon to account for time zone differences of a global audience.

After attending Open Day, Paola stayed in touch with Brian Scriver, Senior Relationship Manager with Brock’s Department of International Market Development, who helped him through the admission process.

Not long after the event, Paola applied and started his post-secondary journey by completing an eight-week Intensive English Language Program (IELP) to meet Brock’s English language requirements.

Now, nine months after starting his search, Paola has taken the first step in achieving his dream of becoming a doctor.

“I have only positive comments about this unique experience that will drive me to achieve my primary goal,” he said.

Throughout the recruitment cycle, future Open Days will be scheduled to invite a wider audience, including international high school counsellors and transfer students. Prospective students can sign up for Brock’s future student newsletter or email to connect with a recruitment officer in their area.

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