Recently, the Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade, released an important study that demonstrates how international students contribute significantly to Canada’s economy.
The report, The Economic Impact of International Education in Canada, contains some remarkable numbers, beginning with $6.5 billion—the total amount spent by the 178,000 international students in Canada last year. This figure is greater than the values of the export of coal and coniferous lumber—two of our traditionally largest export sectors.
Approaching its 25th year, Selkirk College International has welcomed thousands of students from over 20 different countries to the West Kootenay and Boundary regions. Last semester, there were 100 students from nine countries, including Japan, Korea, India, Cuba, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Switzerland and Poland, studying at the college. In 2010 Selkirk International is hoping to receive its first cohort of students from the Middle East.
“The presence of international students in our communities brings diverse perspectives, expertise and skills to our classrooms and is of great benefit to us from both an economical and social perspective.” comments Vi Kalesnikoff, Dean of Community, Corporate and International Development. “International students who choose to stay bring significant economic and social benefits to Canada. They are an ideal source of highly qualified people for the skilled labour market who are already integrated into our communities.”
Students study at Selkirk College anywhere from one month to four years. Many students begin their studies in the English Language program and proceed on to programs such as University Arts and Sciences, Resort and Hotel Management, Contemporary Music and Technology, Digital Arts and New Media and Business Administration. Selkirk alumni have gone on to degree programs in universities across Canada or returned to their home countries, often to better jobs than they left.
With international students enrolled in programs across its campuses, Selkirk College has internationalized its campuses and its curriculum. The college is fortunate to be a part of the process of weaving the economic and social fabric of our local communities, and Canada as a whole.
For further information about Selkirk College International, which also includes study abroad opportunities, please contact Department Head, Shana Rablah, at 250.365.1395 or visit selkirk.ca/international.
First published on January 05, 2010