Lakeland College, in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada, is an increasingly popular destination for international students looking to earn their diploma at one of Canada’s top-quality colleges while enjoying the affordable education and solid work opportunities that Canada’s education policy provides.
We talked to Paul Ostrowski, manager of the international program, for some insight into why more and more students are studying at Lakeland College and more teachers are recommending Lakeland to their students who want to get study abroad.
Canada enrolls 5% of all international students in the world, making it the seventh most popular place to study abroad. What makes Canada so attractive to students?
Canada offers world-class education and top-ranked institutions. Canadian tuition is affordable, especially with the current economic climate and in comparison to the US dollar. Aside from the educational benefits, the physical landscape of Canada is stunning, and our people are friendly and diverse, celebrating cultural diversity. Moreover, employment opportunities during and after studies for international students are very favorable and are a great way to gain international work experience.
What are some of the reactions you’ve had from international students studying at Lakeland?
When we asked our current and prospective international students why they chose Lakeland College, their top three reasons were all very similar. They chose Lakeland for high-quality education, liberal immigration policies/abundant work experience opportunities, and for the opportunity to experience Canadian culture. We have a strong reputation built on a proven ability to offer students the crucial skills and knowledge needed to succeed in their chosen career. Our top-quality education is affordable and rich in hands-on, live-the-learning experiences. Also, our size allows us to offer unique small-town experiences that you might not get in a larger city center, yet we are close enough for a city weekend escape. Being located on the border between Alberta and Saskatchewan is also very appealing because we are situated halfway between two major city centers – Edmonton and Saskatoon.
What are some of the more popular areas of study for international students at Lakeland College? Any trends?
We have a number of programs, including business administration, agricultural and environmental sciences, childhood and youth development, fire and emergency services, and a wide variety of others. Our two-year business program offers an additional co-op internship during the summer semester that is a great way to make industry contacts and gain relevant work experience in the field. It also allows for two additional years of university-level training, leading to a degree in commerce or management.
Experiential learning is a popular form of education. What about at Lakeland?
A lot of colleges say they are educating the leaders of tomorrow. At Lakeland College, our students are leading today. Our students have the opportunity to take charge and participate in shaping their own education through career-relevant, student-run projects and events. From learning how to run a profitable business to teaching to firefighting skills, Lakeland expands the walls of the typical college classroom to give our students the tools and experience they need for the real world. Smaller class sizes, real work experience and valuable leadership skills are what students gain from being in charge of their education and time at Lakeland. It sets them apart from others when they transition to their career.
How about life outside of class? What are some of the activity and lifestyle options available to Lakeland students?
We have a number of extra-curricular activities for students to get involved in! Clubs are a great way to meet new friends and get involved on campus. We have a climbing club and scuba diving club but also some very Canadian-themed clubs too, such as male and female hockey clubs, a rowing team and even a rodeo club! We also have 115 student horses boarded at the Vermilion campus.
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