February 2012 issue

News Round Up
Inside the industry
Advisor Survey
Secondary Focus 1
Secondary Focus 2
Tertiary Focus 1
Tertiary Focus 2
Vocational Focus
Special Report
Course Guide
Regional Focus
Market Analysis

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BC’s great outdoors

Stunning scenery, ski slopes, sociable people and superb cities make British Columbia a highly attractive study abroad destination, observes Matthew Knott.

British Columbia has a diverse and spectacular landscape, combined with a laid-back attitude and a multicultural mix,” enthuses Mara Muller at ILSC, which has a centre in Vancouver. “The breathtaking landscape lends itself to a variety of outdoor activities such as climbing, hiking, swimming, skiing and snowboarding,” advises Izabela Leszko at the University of British Columbia (UBC) about a region situated between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The people are as welcoming as the scenery, attests Kelsey Wagner at iTTTi, Vancouver, “BC is a safe and welcoming place to live and study. It is also home to many people of different cultures.”

The largest metropolis, Vancouver, has been consistently rated as the world’s most liveable city, advises Muller. “This ideal combination of natural beauty and cosmopolitan living is what gives Vancouver its great reputation.” Wagner underlines the city’s idyllic setting, “Our school is located right in downtown Vancouver where we are virtually surrounded by water; we have mountains as our backdrop and beautiful beaches that are all within 30 minutes.”

In terms of the city’s cultural scene, Muller recommends “world-class exhibits at the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Museum of Anthropology, and the Vancouver Maritime Museum”. Another top attraction, according to Ken Gardner, President of Vancouver English Centre, is Vancouver Aquarium, which “was voted British Columbia’s best international attraction and is a home for whales, sharks, dolphins, sea lions, otters and much more”. The UBC campus, around 30 minutes from downtown, has its own plethora of cultural amenities, enthuses Leszko, including a Museum of Anthropology, Beaty Biodiversity Museum, and the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts.

All advise that Vancouver is a city best enjoyed outdoors, and Gardner recommends Stanley Park, a 1,000-acre urban park circled by a sea wall and jogging track, as the best spot to take in the city’s beauty. “Stanley Park is the perfect activity for those who just want to relax, take pictures or enjoy nature. It is also a superb place for the more active ones who enjoy running, hiking and biking.” Another popular attraction is the 450-feet Capilano Suspension Bridge. “The view from the Bridge is awesome but even though it sways and creaks, it’s very strong. It’s actually strong enough to support the weight of ten military planes!” assures Gardner. Grouse Mountain presides over the city and offers hiking trails and outstanding views. Meanwhile, Granville Island and Gastown are mentioned as trendy spots because of their unique shops and historic backgrounds.

Vancouver was also the stage for the last Winter Olympics, and although the city itself has one of the mildest climates in Canada, snow fun is only a short trip, as Wagner explains. “From downtown, our school is only a two-hour drive from Whistler village. Whistler was the official venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Many students travel to Whistler for the weekend to learn how to ski or snowboard and also to shop in the village. When they come back they always tell us how beautiful Whistler was, and how much fun they had learning winter sports as well as dancing in the evening.”

Nanaimo is located in the centre of Vancouver Island, “the gateway to Vancouver, Victoria, Pacific Rim National Park, [and] the West Coast Trail”, boasts Ronda Bell, District Principal at Nanaimo-Ladysmith School, and she enthuses about the variety of outdoor activities there. “In Nanaimo, you can watch returning salmon spawn in a city park, catch fresh crab off of a local pier, paddle kayaks around Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park, hike and mountain bike on scenic Mount Benson or grab a coffee and stroll the Harbourfront Walkway,” she exclaims.

Water is also central to life at Powell River, which “offers plenty of options for anyone who loves to play on, over and under the sea”, advises Clas Huntebrinker, President of Camber College. “Powell River is blessed with a myriad of lakes measuring more than 30 kilometres to less than two. Dipping your paddle in the fresh water and gliding from one end to another is an unforgettable experience. It’s also one of Canada’s finest areas for diving, “Underwater sites surrounding Powell River are home to some of the most diverse scuba-diving sites in British Columbia.”

The province is a welcoming destination for international students, insist all of the schools surveyed. “Canadians in general are known for their polite and friendly attitudes,” says ILSC’s Muller. “As a major hub for ESL, Vancouverites are also very familiar with international students,“ she continues. UBC’s Leszko concurs, “With so many nationalities represented, Vancouverites are known to be friendly, culturally sensitive, and welcoming to visitors.” UBC demonstrates this by providing ‘welcome mixer’ events and international nights on campus. UBC’s English Language Institute also offers a variety of social and cultural activities with cultural assistants – undergraduates who accompany and guide international students on outings to places such as Whistler, Victoria and Seattle. “The socio-cultural programme is extremely successful since it allows students to practise their conversational English in a social setting, which is what makes our programmes so unique and sought after,” observes Leszko.

British Columbia’s numerous festivals are also very much part of the itinerary for many international students. According to Muller, “Vancouver hosts a number of yearly arts, music and culture festivals that students can attend. Some events are volunteer-run, so students can also participate behind the scenes. A few popular yearly events and festivals include the Vancouver Jazz Festival, the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, the Celebration of Lights fireworks, the Fringe Festival, the Santa Clause Parade, Chinese New Year, the Shakespeare Festival, the Vancouver Film Festival and many more.” Wagner, meanwhile, mentions the BMO Marathon and the Vancouver Sun Run. “Many students from our school volunteer at these events as it is a great way for them to talk to many local people and to practise their English.”

Advisor viewpoint

“British Columbia is the most popular region in Canada for Swiss students. First of all, the vibrant city of Vancouver is well situated on the coast and has a very attractive location. Between nature and modern facilities, our students love the amazing standard of life in this city. Victoria is getting extremely popular and has gone from a secretly suggested destination to a well-known student hot spot with a lot to offer and a great nightlife, and Whistler is attractive in winter and summer with amazing outdoor activities. The proximity of nature, sea, city and outdoor activities makes British Columbia one of the most popular regions worldwide for students to study. They have the best and friendliest homestays where students not only feel at home but also are integrated in the average way of life of a Canadian family.”
Claudio Cesarano, Globo-study Sprachreisen, Switzerland

“Eight years ago I discovered Powell River on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia; a small, peaceful and beautiful town with a friendly population of 22,000, and a magnificent language school, Camber College. This is a great school that besides English classes provides a lot of activities. With a beautiful and safe environment, of course, I also send students to Vancouver.”
Rodolfo Robles Pacheco, Viajes Neuve Leon, Mexico

“An increasing number of GLS Sprachenzentrum clients chose BC as their destination to combine quality language learning with leisure, from whale-watching to snowboarding. BC truly embodies the saying ‘the best of both worlds’, with its wonderful coastline and mountain ranges. Vancouver is a favoured location for German interns wishing to acquire work experience.”
Katrin Schauer & Carolina Diaz, GLS Sprachenzentrum, Germany

Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of Study Travel Magazine. If you would like more information on any of these advertisers, tick the relevant boxes, fill out your details and send.






Britannia Student Services  
Sara's New York Homestay LLC  

English Australia  
International House World Organisation  
Study Gold Coast  
English in Chester  

Access Macquarie Limited  
Bond University  
Impact English College  
ILSC Australia  
International House Sydney Teacher Training & Prof  
Language Studies International  
University of New South Wales  
University of Newcastle Language Centre  

Banff Education Centre  
Brentwood College School  
College of New Caledonia  
Greater Victoria School District  
ITTTI Vancouver  
Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District #68 
St George's School  
Thompson Rivers University  

iMandarin Language Training Institute  

Language Conquests

Camp Beaumont  
International House London  
Kaplan International Colleges  
Liverpool International Language Academy  
London School of Business & Finance  
London School of English  
Malvern House London  
Prime Education  
Queen Ethelburga's College  
St Giles International  
University of Essex - International Academy  

Cambridge Esol  
City and Guilds Branch Office in Europe  

Alphe Conferences  
British Boarding Schools Workshop 
STM Star Awards  

Dr. Walter GmbH  

International House Dublin  

Dialogo Language Services  

Limkokwing Institute of Creative Technology  

EC English Language Centre  

Cape English Language School  
EC Cape Town  
Eurocentres Cape Town- One World Language School 
Good Hope Studies  
inlingua Language Training Centre Cape Town  
International House Cape Town  
Interlink School of Languages  
Jeffrey's Bay Language School  
Kurus English  
LAL Cape Town  

Xul Comunicación Social  
Malaca Instituto - Club Hispanico SL  

Cyprus Tourist Board  
Malta Tourism Authority  


Open Hearts International College  
Brown University  
Global Language Institute  
Hawaii Tokai International College 
UC Berkeley Extension  
Zoni Language Centers  

City School of Languages  

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