International students bring big money to region

Out-of-country students bring on average $35,000 into our economy

When Carolyn Russell visits India it’s not for the awe-inspiring sights or the food. It’s to hunt.

Russell, the University of Victoria’s director of student recruitment, visited India and Bangladesh last fall looking for potential students.

“We don’t do advertising but we do recruitment visits,” said Russell.

She’d been to India before and was eager to meet more students with strong academic backgrounds and family ties to Canada.

The recruitment trip was a success, as the university received applications from students from both countries.

“We recruit to internationalize our campus and add new perspective to our campus,” said Russell, adding UVic has been actively recruiting internationally for about 10 years.

This year UVic has nearly 2,000 international students. In the last three years the number jumped 26 per cent, a number the university is expecting to continue to rise.

“Like all students, (international students) contribute to the local economy,” said Russell. “They buy goods and services. They encourage friends to come study here and their families come to visit.”

Many international students stay in Canada after they graduate, Russell pointed out, adding she has no clear numbers on how many become permanent residents.

Aside from the beautiful landscapes with oceans, lakes and trees, Russell speculates students from across the world flock to Victoria for the “co-operative education and experimental learning” offered at UVic.

Most international students who come to UVic arrive from either China or the United States.

The school recruits students worldwide and has three recruitment staff travelling for 16 weeks a year to draw in new students from abroad.

“Countries from all over the world are represented in our university,” said Russell.

The interests of international students are as broad as domestic students, but the most popular department is social sciences, with engineering and business also common choices.

Russell said it’s common for international students to live on-campus for the first year, then move off-campus.

Even smaller institutions such as Royal Roads University see a significant impact from its international students, said Thevi Pather, director of global advancement at RRU.

The university offers a lot of distance learning courses with short intensive residencies and on-campus programs.

The distance courses are more popular with Canadians, and most international students opt for the on-campus experience, Pather said.

This school year RRU has about 250 international students, and most of them live off campus.

Most RRU international students arrive from China, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and South America.

Pather said that on average international students bring between $32,000 to $35,000 into the local economy through tuition and living expenses.

“That’s no small change,” he said.

RRU, like UVic, also has recruiting staff travelling to countries in search of attracting more students.



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This male Dungeness can safely be harvested after passing muster. An official with Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it is not clear how well locals on the Saanich Peninsula are complying with crabbing regulations, but her comments suggest that any problems might be of a minor nature. (Department of Fisheries and Oceans/Submitted)
Sidney and Sooke record 57 crabbing violations in 2020

While recreational crab fishery has ‘compliance issues,’ no evidence of ‘large scale poaching’

Police seek information after a pedestrian was hit in a crosswalk at the intersection of Goldstream Avenue and Veterans Memorial Parkway on March 3.(Google Maps)
Witnesses sought in Langford pedestrian hit and run

Suspect is older man driving four-door, gold sedan

The University of Victoria has said some of its students were impacted by an off-campus exposure to COVID-19 last weekend. (Black Press Media file photo)
University of Victoria students impacted by off-campus COVID-19 exposure

UVic has not specified where the exposure occurred

Const. Mat Jones of the CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit joined a team of Saanich police officers and ICBC representatives cracking down on distracted driving at the McKenzie/Quadra intersection in Saanich on March 3. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
‘Leave the phone alone’: 40 distracted driving tickets issued in two hours at Saanich intersection

Saanich police, CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit crackdown on drivers’ cell-phone use

Victoria police are investigating after a person broke into and stole a vehicle from a Douglas Street car dealership on the morning of March 3. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Suspect sought after vehicle swiped from Victoria dealership

Suspect broke into Douglas Street dealership shortly before 5 a.m.

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforcement, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

Most Read