Languages Canada held another successful Inbound Trade Mission and FAM Tour last week in Whistler, Vancouver, Nanaimo and Victoria BC, this time playing host to the largest delegation of Japanese education agents ever to visit Canada!
“This mission proved extremely popular with participation across all segments of LC’s membership both English and French, private schools, and public colleges and universities,” said Diego Sanchez, LC Director of International Affairs, who was responsible for organizing the event. In total, 30 Canadian institutions took part in the mission, including three school district members of the Canadian Association of Public Schools – International CAPS-I) and one non-Languages Canada member BC institution. The Japanese delegation was composed of decision-makers from top education agencies across Japan, as well as a representative of University of Teacher Education Fukuoka.
“Japan ranked as Languages Canada members' top student source country in 2021,” added Mr. Sanchez. “This mission was the perfect opportunity to take advantage of that momentum by nurturing existing agent relationships and fostering new partnerships. And we were thrilled to host the event in an iconic Canadian setting; we’re showcasing education programs, of course, but we’re also showing off Canada’s amazing beauty and charm at the same time!”
The event kicked off with a welcome reception on Sunday, November 20, at Whistler’s Table Nineteen restaurant. LC Director of Public Affairs, Rachel Lindsey, hosted the meet-and-greet during which Canadian and Japanese attendees enjoyed connecting with each other in a glacier-fed lakefront setting overlooked by towering mountains. “Having institution representatives and agents meet in a cozy and casual atmosphere like this really helps to break the ice and get everyone ready for the main event.” said Ms. Lindsey.
More than 900 one-on-one meetings took place at Fairmont Chateau Whistler on November 21 and 22. Each institution had the opportunity to promote their programs and services to every Japanese agent in attendance. "This was the largest group of Japanese agents ever to visit Canada – in fact, no other agent workshop outside of Japan has boasted this many delegates at the same time and place," affirmed Sanchez. The combined sending power of the Japanese delegation was 11,200 students in 2019 and 4,466 in 2021. “Thanks to the relationships strengthened or established over the course of this event, our members are well positioned to welcome even more students from Japan in the coming years.”
Canadian institutions also had the opportunity to meet with Megumi Akiyama, Information and Education Promotion Officer at the Embassy of Canada to Japan, who made herself available to assist with further market intelligence and follow-up discussions with Japanese partners, while Lisa Williamson, CAPS-I Marketing and Communications Manager delivered a presentation to Japanese agents on Canada’s K-12 sector.
Following the B2B program in Whistler, Languages Canada representatives escorted the delegation of Japanese agents on a 3-day tour of campuses in Nanaimo, Victoria and Vancouver, including stops at:
- LaSalle College Vancouver / Languages Across Borders (LAB)
- Vancouver Island University
- Global Village Victoria
- Oxford International
- SSLC Sprott Shaw Language College Canada
- Kwantlen Polytechnic University
- Canadian College of English Language
- Tamwood Language Centres
At Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Japanese agents had the opportunity to hear BC Council on Admissions & Transfer (BCCAT) Executive Director & Co-Chair Dr. Robert Fleming speak about pathways and admissions within the BC Post-secondary Transfer System, which comprises some 40 institutions, 26 public colleges, universities and institutes, 12 private degree-granting institutions, and two out-of-province institutions. Colin Doerr, British Columbia Council for International Education (BCCIE) Director of External Relations also delivered a presentation to Japanese agents on BC’s education system.
Tatsu Hoshino, Director and Executive Secretary of JAOS (Japan Association of Overseas Studies) spoke on behalf of the Japanese delegation: “Thank you so much for giving us this wonderful opportunity to talk with and visit LC members. We all appreciate Languages Canada’s decision to make this fam tour for Japanese agents. I found it very informative and valuable because there were several university-based English programs as well as private language schools; we were able to talk face to face with the person in charge and visit both public and private types of programs. I am sure this experience accelerates our effort to promote Canadian programs in Japan.’’
Languages Canada thanks Megumi Akiyama, Lisa Williamson, Dr. Robert Fleming and Tatsu Hoshino, Colin Doerr, as well as Lorie Lee of guard.me International Insurance and Lenka Kubasova of BONARD for your partnership and participation. “I also want acknowledge my colleagues Rachel Lindsey, Yulia Motuz and Linda Auzins, who conducted the event on site and provided a smooth experience to all attendees,” added Diego Sanchez.
This initiative was made possible thanks to the Global Affairs Canada CanExport Associations Program.
Languages Canada’s next Inbound Trade Mission and Fam Tour will take place in February in Montreal with Colombian education agents.