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Ryan Sullivan would like to see a diverse St. Thomas University community with students from as many countries as possible.Sullivan, the director of international recruitment, said diversity of students is one of STU’s priorities, as different experiences improve a student’s education and open up new horizons.
STU’s international student enrolment is up this year, with 80 students enrolled, compared to 71 last year, an increase of almost 13 per cent.
“We want to increase the number of international students that bring international experience and variety to our community,” Sullivan said.
Maite Cristina, a second-year student who is president of the St. Thomas University international students’ association, agreed with Sullivan about the benefit of having international students on campus.
“International students bring with them cultures, languages, ideologies and lifestyles that are different or similar to those in the Canadian culture,” she said.
“They spice up our university environment and challenge different views increasing tolerance, respect and diversity within STU. It is important in a liberal arts university to have diversity and [culture], it broadens ours horizons and opens our minds.”
Sullivan’s recruiters have widened their net. They especially focus on Asia, since many students from Japan, China and South Korea show an interest in studying in Canada or the United States.
“We are also recruiting in Latin America, in Colombia and Ecuador. But also the Middle East and other parts of the world,” said Sullivan.
For recruitment in Europe, STU’s international recruitment team has partners who support them.
The team has a recruiter for China, Lucas Liu, and has hired a student to cover Latin America. International brochures are translated into Mandarin and Spanish, yet most of the international recruitment is done online.
“We have a pretty small budget,” said Sullivan. “It increased this year and we try to be creative. We try to respond fast to students who are interested to show them we’re a friendly, welcoming community.”