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Around the World!

We welcome students from around the World!
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International Students celebrate Canada Day @ Simms Park

Imagine… over 200 students from 22 countries living and studying in the Comox Valley this year. How did this happen?

In the Spring of 2005 the Superintendent of the day, Mr. Brian Morgan, had a vision of bringing the world to our students and our homes. The school district’s Mission – Vision – Values speaks clearly to embracing diversity and it was clear that our schools were predominantly culturally homogeneous. Could we become an exemplar of multiculturalism to which our Canadian Constitution speaks and lives?

By starting the first ever Comox Valley International Student Program with identified staff to lead it, the school district embarked on a five-year plan to recruit students from around the world. Learning from the best practices of many other school districts that already had long-standing international student programs, the program staff focussed on best quality homestay practices, recruiting strategies, and cultural and recreational programming. The education system in Canada speaks for itself as it is admired around the world for providing a ‘free’ and top quality education to every single child. And those international students who come here to graduate are highly successful – with a 100% success rate at entering a college or university of choice.

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International Students visit Pacific Rim on Vancouver Island’s West Coast

The program has grown over the years and we continue to expect further growth. As enrolment grows so too does the staffing allocation.

And the best news is that no moneys are spent by tax payers.

It is a self-funding program that actually injects significant funds into teacher staffing and enrichment programs. Furthermore, it is estimated that each full time equivalent student spends a further $10,000 annually on travel, recreation, entertainment and clothing while here. Therefore, our international students not only add academic and cultural value in our schools and community they have a huge economic impact on our local economy.

If you’re out and about and meet one or more of the international students we hope you find time to connect. They love our valley for its welcoming culture and really need to feel an important part of this home away from home.

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International students on kayak excursion

Editor’s NOTE: Wow! 100% success rate for post-secondary studies for international students that come here to the Valley to not only enrich their education, but their lives. Well done!

If you would like to be involved in any way, Steve Knight, District Principal of the Comox Valley International Student Program can be reached at 250.703.2904 or by email. You can also visit www.studyinbritishcolumbia.com

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