More international learners are choosing Bow Valley College
“I have a love affair with dentistry.”
Those are the words of Kauveri Buddepu, a recent graduate of the Health and Human Services Management Post-Diploma Certificate at Bow Valley College.
Kauveri is from Visakhapatnam, India, and studied here as an international learner during the 2017-2018 academic year. She had been working as a dentist in India, but wanted to educate herself in business and management — knowledge that’s required to be a good dentist.
During her studies at Bow Valley College, she received the Students’ Association Award for International Students in Honour of Sharon Carry for her exemplary community service and active involvement in leadership and volunteerism at Bow Valley College.
Kauveri is part of an international student population that has increased in recent years. Bow Valley College has an early history of taking in those from abroad, for example, in 1968, when staff worked double shifts to prepare ELL programs for Czechoslovakian refugees after the revolution.
But the recent growth, says Amy Schalin Weatherall — manager, global campus initiatives and international learner development — has been particularly pronounced over the past seven years. It has also shifted towards certificates, diplomas, post-diploma certificates, and post-baccalaureate certificates.
“When I came [to Bow Valley College] 14 years ago, we were mostly focused on ELL,” she says, alluding to our history as a vocational college. “Now, the breadth that we offer is a lot greater.”
Amy attributes this international student growth to a number of factors. First, our campus has become more equipped to fulfill international students’ needs, with campus life initiatives like the Intercultural Centre and student clubs. Second, we have more agents overseas, and they’re more geared towards recruiting for career programs than ELL.
Third, our programs are very focused on helping learners find jobs.
“Which is what international students want,” says Amy.
With other local institutions becoming universities in recent years, Bow Valley College has welcomed even more international learners.
“If they choose a university, they have to attend for four years,” says Odalis Colmenares, international learner advisor at Bow Valley College. “We offer the option for diplomas.”
The International department has also had a larger agent presence in Vietnam, Latin America, and India. It was one of those agents that recruited Kauveri to enroll in the Health and Human Services Management Post-Diploma Certificate (she also had a dentistry colleague in India who is an alumnus of Bow Valley College).
Since graduating in April, Kauveri has been working part-time in a dental clinic as an administrative assistant, a job she worked while pursuing her studies at Bow Valley College.
She is searching for a full-time position, and mentioned that a dental office supervisor role interests her. She is also working on her permanent residency status and preparing for her dental exams, as she wants to get certified to practice in Canada.
The love affair will live on.
Posted on September 17, 2018
Story by Julie-Anne Cleyn, photos by Chris Bolin