A delegation of 15 participants from 13 universities, including a representative from Semmelweis University, and the TEMPUS organization traveled to Canada to take part in the „Recruit in Canada 2019” fair series from February 26 to March 5. The delegation traveled to the cities of Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto and participated in various university recruitment fairs. They also had the opportunity to partake in visits at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and the University of Toronto (UoT), as well as visit the cities’ Hungarian communities over the course of the week. The goal of the trip was to develop and expand Semmelweis University’s already existing relationship with Canadian higher education institutions.
The tour began in Vancouver, British Columbia, with an official visit of UBC followed by the recruitment fair. At UBC, the delegation was recieved by Ms. Cheryl Dumaresq, Managing Director of the Office of the Vice Provost, International, for an informal discussion on possibilities for future collaboration between the universities. Presentations included an introduction to the University by Ms. Dumaresq, student mobility, held by Ms. Wendy Kang, Associate Director for Go Global: International Learning Programs, and the Vancouver Summer Program, held by Ms. Grace Wong, Senior Advisor of the International Office of the Provost & Vice President, Academic. They also visited the Vancouver Hungarian Cultural Society to meet with local Hungarians from the area.
At the Vancouver recruitment fair, students who visited were mainly interested in the Faculties of Medicine and Health Sciences, with many also inquiring about scholarship opportunities and general information about Hungary, such as the weather and living costs. “We consider personal appearance to be important at an event where several higher education institutions appear, so that information can be conveyed in a targeted way to develop possible future collaborations,” emphasized Marianna Kovács, Project Coordinator for the Semmelweis Directorate of International Relations and representative of Semmelweis University on the Canada Tour. “We were able to inform potential students interested in full-time training about our “hands-on” training opportunities, so we can promote Hungarian higher education and increase our international visibility” she continued.
Montreal, Quebec was the next stop on the trip, with the representatives braving the cold for a day to participate in the university recruitment fair. The students’ interests were primarily focused on Semmelweis University’s training programs in the Faculty of Medicine and the Ph.D. School of Studies. The delegation also stopped briefly at the Montreal Hungarian House. They met with members of the local Hungarian community and delegation, who were enthusiastic about helping develop more relations in the area.
The delegation’s final destination was Toronto, Ontario. Among the three fairs, the Toronto fair generated the most interest in prospective students, according to Ms. Kovács. Many students visiting the stand highlighted their interest in the programs offered by the Faculty of Medicine, and asked about scholarship opportunities. A meeting with Ms. Michelle Beaton, UoT’s International Vice President, took place at UoT the following day, with topics including common areas of interest for collaboration; UoT has an estimated 700 summer programs available for students, many of which require international mobility experience. The delegation was also graciously invited for a visit to the Consulate General in Toronto, where they were able to meet informally with Péter Laky-Takács, an official representative of Hungarian communities in Toronto.
The Canadian tour was an overall success for Semmelweis University’s visiting delegation. In the framework of our University’s jubilee year, these kinds of showcase opportunities, made possible by the support of the TEMPUS foundation, especially reinforce our University’s long-term strategic goals of expanding our international cooperations, increasing our visiblity, and increasing the number of international students who take part in our programs.
Photo Source: Directorate of International Relations – Marianna Kovács