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Languages Canada reports on the success of its trade mission to Turkey

ISTANBUL, January 29 – February 1, 2019  - This past week, Languages Canada brought thirteen members – representing universities, colleges, and private sector language programs – to Istanbul, Turkey to meet with 34 high-quality education agencies from Turkey and Iran. Participants also had the chance to interact with over 30 local high school and university representatives.

The four-day mission kicked-off with a welcoming reception, attended by local government, high school and university representatives as well as Canadian Trade Commissioners based in Istanbul. Ulric Shannon, Consul General of Canada in Istanbul delivered the opening remarks.

Over the next two days, close to 500 B2B meetings were held between participating LC members and attending agencies. These B2B meetings were preceded by presentations from Diego Sanchez, LC’s Manager for International Marketing and representatives from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. For the first time in a trade mission, LC members had the opportunity to meet on one-on-one sessions with the local Trade Commissioner, Vefa Atağ, to explore business opportunities beyond student recruitment.

On the final day of LC’s trade mission, a roundtable event was held at Bahçeşehir University (BAU) in Istanbul, bringing together LC members with heads of international relations offices from Istanbul postsecondary institutions. Topics such as Internationalization at home, student mobility and research collaboration were some of discussions taking place among participating institutions.

The mission was very successful, with Languages Canada members already reporting that they have established new relationships with participating agencies.

Martine Allard, Director for ELI at Seneca College, commented on new enrollments coming in to her program only one day after her meeting with a local agent. “LC missions are of very high level”, she says, “and this goes hand in hand with the highest standards of quality Languages Canada is known for among agents.”

Kateryna Gnatkova, Marketing Manager for Eastern Europe and Turkey at the English School of Canada, said she was impressed with the number and quality of students coming from Iran – a bonus agent LC brought to Istanbul from Tehran for the Turkey Mission, as a teaser for future investigation into the Iranian market. She also identified the mix of agencies (geographical location, size, and number of years of experience) which contributes to the quality and variety of opportunities available.

Atacan Duzgun took part in his first LC mission. The Business Development Representative at Quebec-based BLI congratulated LC on the organization of the event and the great opportunity to understand the expectations from Turkish students and how to match these with programs available in Canada.

LC also featured, for the first time in a trade mission, a casual talk with a local education sector expert – UED’s President, Aslihan Ozenc, who gave the trade mission participants valuable insights into the market. On this occasion, members learned first-hand the complexity of the Turkish education system. She also shared intel on how to navigate the culture of Turkish families who traditionally send their children to study abroad. This allowed LC members a unique opportunity to identify business leads that go beyond traditional school-agent relations.

This trade mission was made possible thanks to the support of the Consulate of Canada in Istanbul; Global Affairs Canada's Global Opportunities for Associations program; Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; and our sponsor international insurance. Lorie Lee,’s Director of International Business Development and an expert in the market, said how happy she was to support clients – both Canadian schools and local agents – during LC’s 5th trade mission to Turkey.

Thank you to all participating Languages Canada members and local agencies.

REGISTER NOW for the next Languages Canada Trade Mission, taking place September 30 to October 4 2019 to Russia and Ukraine, with agents from the two hosting countries plus Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to meet with agents from these key markets driving more and more students to Canada every year!

For more information on Languages Canada trade missions, please contact Diego Sanchez at

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