International student numbers at all-time high for Holland College
College hiring more English teachers as international student enrolment jumps 26%
International student numbers are at an all-time high for Holland College — with 330 international students attending the school this year.
That's a 26 per cent increase over last year.
"We have more international students now than we've ever had in our history," said the vice-president of programs at Holland College, Sandy MacDonald.
MacDonald said it's good news for the college and good news for domestic students who get exposed to many different cultures and different ways of learning and working.
"We'll have to work a little harder and a little more innovatively to get those numbers and keep them where we are," he said. "Our ratio of local students to international students will change. It's going up and it will probably have to continue to go up if we're going to support ... the number of programs we now have at the college."
The international students mostly come from the Bahamas, United States and Mexico.
"In the last few years we've gone the international route, in much greater efforts than ever before, " MacDonald said.
Expanding newcomer program
The language instruction for newcomers to Canada or "LINC" at Holland College is also seeing lots of growth. Student numbers are expected to jump to more than 1,200 this year — about double last year's numbers.
The college recently secured about $850,000 in federal funds to help hire more teachers and reduce the waiting list for people trying to get in.
Sam Sun moved to P.E.I. from China and said he waited more than a year for a spot in the newcomer English classes.
"It's a very long time," he said.
'It's good for immigrants'
Two others in his class said they waited three months or six months for spot to open up.
Sun is glad to hear about more teachers being hired.
"It's good for immigrants," he said.
The college said it's trying to eliminate those wait times and is currently conducting job interviews.
It expects to hire 15 to 18 new teachers for November.
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With files from Laura Meader