Georgian College ranks first in overall international student satisfaction among 11 Ontario colleges and sixth globally among 182 institutions that participated in the 2016 International Student Barometer (ISB) autumn wave survey. The ISB survey is the largest and most extensive survey of international students globally.
The survey covers four categories, spanning arrival experience, learning, living and support. Georgian’s highest scores included such key areas as program content, expert lecturers, quality housing, learning support, online and physical libraries, arrival support, visa advice, safety, campus environment and orientation.
The survey included almost 160,000 students from 182 institutions in 17 countries. More than 700 Georgian students responded to the survey. It was administered online by the International Graduate Insight Group to students attending postsecondary institutions outside their home country.
“Our faculty and staff are very proud of this high praise from our international students,” said Georgian President and CEO MaryLynn West-Moynes. “We don’t do this alone – we are fortunate to have the support of the Segal family, who funded the Segal International Centre, as well as strong partners such as local school boards, Lakehead University, CFB Borden, Simcoe County, Barrie, Orillia and Grey/Bruce County. All of them help us recruit students to this great part of the world and provide them with amazing experiences.
“I am particularly grateful to our Homestay hosts who welcome international students into their homes so they can experience life with a Canadian family. It’s a win-win. Our entire Georgian community benefits from the cross-cultural experience of having international students in the classroom and hopefully many of our stellar international graduates will stay and help us meet the workforce shortages we are facing.”
Georgian has been growing in popularity with international students over the past several years. In 2013, the college’s international student population was almost 700 students from over 40 countries. In 2017, that number has swelled to more than 1,500 international students from over 65 different countries.
Leslie Palson, Georgian’s dean of International Education and Development, said the results of the ISB survey are a true indicator of how satisfied international students are to be studying at Georgian.
“The survey findings reflect how valuable our international students are to the communities in which Georgian serves,” she said. “Georgian’s dedication to the success of all students is what sets us apart and it is apparent that our international study body benefits from the valuable services and supports. We will continually strive to surpass their expectations.”
Gabriele Dibenedetto, an Italian citizen who is studying computer programming at the Barrie Campus, said Georgian is truly a place he can call home.
“My first stop was the International Centre, which has been a fundamental part of my experience in Canada. Other services, such as Student Success and First Year Experience services have also been invaluable,” Dibenedetto said. “I have learned many things during my stay at Georgian; not just academically, but also things that I’m sure will help me in life. I learned the value of volunteering and work, which ultimately made me a better person. It has been a very edifying experience and I hope current and future Georgian students will experience the same.”