As NBCC continues to attract increasing numbers of international learners, the entire College community is pitching in to make them feel welcome.
At the St. Andrews Campus, Recruitment Advisor and Student Development Officer Brittany Locking knows just how to make international students feel at home. A newcomer to New Brunswick herself, she is very aware of the community’s appeal and makes sure international students find out for themselves.
“I fell in love with this community; the sense of belonging, of neighbours helping neighbours,” she said. “And that’s what we want to do for our international students, let them know the benefits of being in a tight-knit community by highlighting our small campus features for all they can be.”
As a tactic, it seems to be working – one of Locking’s biggest challenges to date has been housing. With an influx of international students arriving in St. Andrews this fall, finding places for them all to live has required some ingenuity on her part.
“St. Andrews has housing issues in general,” she noted. “Our biggest hurdle is that the high season for tourists doesn’t end until Thanksgiving, so there are places for rent that are occupied by tourists well beyond the start of the academic year.
“But we’ve reached out to the community and made some partnerships with the Algonquin (Resort), where they’ve hired students and part of their compensation package is housing and meals. The hotel has also made some other beds available for students, and that’s going to be an ongoing thing.”
Finding housing for students who are new the country has been hard work for Locking, but it’s also been very rewarding.
“It’s a really great thing to be a part of their journey,” she said. “For a lot of them, they’re leaving the only home they’ve ever known on the idea that this is going to be an amazing experience, and we have a big role to play in that.
“To be part of that is more than I could have ever hoped for.”