Gabriela Facchini, manager of international business developments and partnerships at Sheridan College in Ontario, has been going to Mexico for education fairs to recruit international students for language and postsecondary study for more than 20 years.
Every year, interest was about the same – until this year, she reported. “The whole focus [in Mexico] has turned away from the US and toward Canada,” Facchini told The PIE News at Languages Canada’s annual meeting in Quebec City last week
“Canada has always been popular, but we have always had to compete with the United States; that is now changing due to the ‘Trump effect’.”
Each year, Facchini hands out around 400 brochures at education fairs to recruit international students to study language in Canada. This year she sent an extra 400, thinking she might need more recruitment literature than usual.
When she arrived at a recent fair in Canada in late February, she was told that preregistration was up 50%. Still, at the events, she ran out of all of her materials, including all of her business cards. “My experience was not unique,” she said.
Mexican interest in language and postsecondary study in Canada is growing, which Canadian institutions attribute in part to strained relations between Mexico and the US since Trump gained power.
Recent regulatory changes in Canada have also made it more attractive for Mexicans to study in Canada as well. Canada lifted the visa requirement for Mexicans on December 1, 2016.
“Canada and Mexico have a rich and diverse relationship. I am confident that the lifting of the visa requirement will facilitate people-to-people ties, opportunities for youth mobility, education and prosperity and that it will enhance engagement between our two countries,” Stéphane Dion, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs said in a statement in December.
Now that no visa is required for Mexican students to attend language programmes of six months or less, many language educators in Canada expect to see a rise in applicants for language student programmes.
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