The NIT Intercultural Campus is anticipating 19 students for the upcoming 2013/2014 academic year, a significant increase from the current 5 students within the program.
NIT Director Phil Cann has seen these fluctuations before, suggesting that the current year’s lower number is mostly due to the weak Japanese economy, as well as other factors including the tragic tsunami/earthquake that occurred prior to the start of the current student’s program.
Although Japan’s economy has not made any significant improvements, and the tsunami/earthquake recovery is far from over, NIT’s “stepped up” marketing efforts have been very successful. Such efforts now include a professional marketing strategy including a comprehensive promotional DVD. The DVD was recorded this year and involved a professional filming company from Japan who shot the video in the Crowsnest Pass and Lethbridge regions. Many staff, homestay families and local residents/businesses were interviewed and appeared in the production.
“An increase in students also results in an increase in challenges”, said Cann, “particularly in the area of homestay”. One homestay family is required for each student, and therefore the immediate challenge is to find nineteen local families to participate in the homestay program. “Homestay is a very important component of the NIT Canadian program, providing shelter and emotional support critical to the wellbeing of an international student,” Phil explains. “Without homestay, we would not have a program”.
The NIT Intercultural Campus has been proven to be beneficial for the community. The campus provides a surprising number of employment opportunities and generates an impressive amount of economic activity in the region.
The homestay program also provides benefits to local families, offering a unique international experience without leaving the comfort of their own home. Homestay families will be reimbursed $675.00 per month for their participation, up from the current $625.00. The increase is in recognition of the rising cost of living, and brings the amount closer in alignment with homestay fees in Lethbridge. Homestay parents who serve 5 years (not necessarily consecutive) are also eligible for an all-expense paid trip to Japan to visit the NIT facilities and sightsee around the Tokyo area.
There are no restrictions to the family structure eligible to participate. NIT’s homestay family “community” includes married and single families, with and without children. Retirees also often participate in the program.
Homestay provides a caring environment for a young adult international student. Each homestay must provide a private bedroom with a bed, desk, dresser and/or closet and three healthy meals each day. Breakfast and lunches can be prepared by the students.
The next group of students are anticipated to arrive mid-May 2013, and will remain in Crowsnest Pass until the end of April, 2014.
For more information or to obtain an application form, call or drop into the NIT Intercultural Campus administration office at the Historic Court House, 13437 - 20th Avenue, call 403-562-7704, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications must be received by January 30, 2013.