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Welcoming You With Open Doors
The beginning of a new year is marked by different months and on different days for lots of people. For teachers, September marked a new school year and February is an important month marking a new year in the Chinese calendar. For us at the Faculty, April marked a new fiscal year – or budget year that came with a refreshed sense of purpose and new goals for the coming year. As we move into the third quarter of this fiscal year, we’ve had six months to overcome challenges and build on successes from 2021/22. I wanted to share one notable highlight of the 2022/23 year thus far, which has been the re-introduction of international student travel to our beautiful campus in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
This past summer marked the first time since the summer of 2019 that we were able to welcome international student groups.
When greeting our international student groups at their orientation on their first day of classes with us, I like to talk about two things – how their experience here in Halifax will help them better understand themselves and their own culture, as much as it will help them understand Canadian culture -- and how their experience immersed in another culture will challenge them at a very deep level and help them understand just how strong and resilient they are.
In June, a group of close to 30 students from the Universidad del Atlantico in Colombia joined us to receive teacher professional development training from our highly skilled instructors in our English Language Studies department (read more about their experience here). In August, we hosted a group of 30 students from Kyoto Sangyo University in Japan for a combined English language studies and sustainability program. And this September we are hosting 15 Chilean public school teachers for our Language Educator's Program through Programa Inglés abre puertas (PIAP). This July also marked the re-launch of our English in Canada program, an immersive, four-week program that combines language classes, a university elective course in English, and fun cultural experiences.
Welcoming these groups of international students back to our campus this summer gave me hope that even more international students will be travelling to Halifax in the months and years to come to take part in our English language studies and professional development programs. Equally importantly, it gave me hope that international students everywhere can once again take part in the life-changing cross-cultural experiences that international opportunities provide.
This summer we signaled to the world that our doors are open once again. With in-person training available again, we can now, in more ways, act upon our core mission as a faculty by empowering our students to seize life-changing opportunities through learning experiences that matter.
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