The event kicked off in Montreal on Sunday, February 12 with a visit to LaSalle College and Languages Across Borders, members of the LCI Education Network, where the delegation was offered brunch and a campus tour. This first day was capped off by a reception for Colombian agents and participating Canadian institution representatives on the top floor of the beautiful Marriott Château Champlain which affords amazing views of the city.
Close to 100 delegates were in attendance in Montreal, attesting to the popularity of the event and the significant level of interest in the Colombian student market among Canadian institutions. Canadian participants included 32 institutions representing all segments of Languages Canada membership—English and French, private schools, public colleges and universities. Participants also included members of the Canadian Association of Public Schools – International (CAPS-I) and the British Columbia Council for International Education (BCCIE).
February 13 and 14 were dedicated to B2B meetings between agents and institutions at the InterContinental hotel in Montreal. More than 1000 meetings were held during the event. Each day also featured presentations designed to help Colombian agents get to know Canada as a study destination and Canadians better understand the Colombian student market.
First up was a panel discussion about Canada’s K-12 system with representatives from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Quebec school boards. Topics included differences from province to province, programs available to international students and how to best promote them to Colombian families. Meanwhile, ANEX (Colombian association of study abroad agencies) President, Felipe Garces, and Executive Director, Melania Passante, provided Canadian representatives with information on current recruitment trends in Colombia.
Other presentations were focused on the differences between private school, university, and college ESL programs in Canada, as well as study destinations beyond “MTV” (i.e., Canada’s three biggest cities—Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver.) Languages Canada’s Director of International Affairs and mission showrunner, Diego Sanchez, also shared data from LC’s 2022 Annual Survey and IRCC statistical analysis in a presentation titled Smart Data: IRCC Stats and Visa Approval for Studies in Canada.
Once the B2B program in Montreal wrapped up, Languages Canada representatives escorted the delegation of Colombian agents on a 3-day tour of LC member campuses in Montreal and Toronto, with stops at:
Feedback from Colombian agents and Canadian participants was overwhelmingly positive.
“Despite the years and experience we always learn new things. Every time we attend an event like the Languages Canada FAM Tour, I am more convinced that we are in a great industry with wonderful people and with the possibility of helping many to make their dreams come true. We have a great mission as we transform lives. The most valuable thing about this mission is being able to strengthen the bonds of friendship with all attendees and see that even though we compete, we can still have a collegial relationship and be friends.”
- Maria del Pilar, Managing Director, Study Now
“César Balbuena and I had the pleasure to be part of Colombia trade mission in Montreal, where we met over 30 Colombian agents in two days!!! I want to thank Languages Canada, Yulia Motuz and Diego Sanchez for organizing this amazing event where we connected with new agents and strengthened the partnerships that we already had. As a Colombian, I’m very proud of all agents from my country that we met. I want to congratulate ANEX Colombia agencies, you are doing an amazing job recruiting students and bringing more diversity to Canada through Higher Education. For sure 2023 will be an amazing year for industry and this is just the beginning.”
- Dayhana Grandas, Regional Manager, LATAM, Georgian College
Languages Canada sincerely thanks Air Canada and guard.me International Insurance for their generous support of this trade mission, as well as ANEX, the Embassy of Canada to Colombia, TNT Tours, CAPS-I and BCCIE.
This initiative was made possible thanks to the Global Affairs Canada CanExport Associations Program.
Languages Canada’s next inbound trade mission and FAM tour will take place next December in Banff, Alberta, with Italian and Spanish education agents.