Fanshawe College ranked high by international students

Header image for the article Fanshawe College ranked high by international students Credit: SAMANTHA KACZALA
For the seventh year in a row, Fanshawe ranked high among its international students through the International Barometer Survey (IBS).

Fanshawe College ranked highly for the seventh year in a row in the 2016 i-graduate International Student Barometer (IBS), according to a Fanshawe news release.

The IBS is run annually by i-graduate which rates the overall satisfaction of international students of post-secondary schools around the world.

The survey is separated by four broad categories including learning, living, support and arrival.

According to the release, Fanshawe ranked second in the world for its international student satisfaction with their overall learning experience. The college ranked at 92.1 per cent for the overall satisfaction in the learning category. Fanshawe ranked first in Ontario in the same category with 92.0 per cent.

Caitlin Smith, international projects & exchange co-ordinator of the Fanshawe International Centre, attributed the high rank to the hard work of the school and the faculty.

“I think we have to give the credit to our amazing faculty and academic staff here at the college, because they have consistently met students’ expectations and exceeded them in terms of learning spaces, course content, career advising in the classroom, lecture organization [and] all of the sub-categories within learning. We’re always within the top three in the province, and at times in the world too,” Smith said.

According to Sue McKittrick, communications, recruitment and enrollment co-ordinator in the International Centre, the IBS survey also allows the college to be more aware of what students want at the college and how Fanshawe can improve to meet the students’ expectations.

“I think it’s an important survey because every year it’s going to point to things that aren’t perfect and that’s great. We want to improve so we want to know what students are saying and how we can help, so I think that every year we kind of go through the results and see what might be better,” McKittrick said.

Pooja Relekaar, a third year international student in the respiratory therapy program, said that she has been enjoying her time at Fanshawe since she first came here in 2015.

“The faculty treats you fine and they’re helpful and everything. Overall as a school it’s been really great and I’ve had no issues with accommodations or coming here,” Relekaar said.

According to Relekaar, one of the deciding factors for her choosing Fanshawe was the helpful community, some of whom she talked to over social media before choosing to attend the college.

“International students, usually when they are coming here, they have no idea what’s going on. So you would like some perspective from other people. I spoke to a few students here and I talked to my coordinator and then I decided I should go here,” Relekaar said.

Relekaar encouraged international students to “take the opportunities that are given”, to them to aid in adjusting to the new environment and culture around them.

Some opportunities for new international students to take advantage of are programs run by the International Centre.

For example, the Fanshawe Cares Program, helps international students arrange things like airport pick up and banking in the first few days of their arrival.

According to Smith, this program came about as a result of a previous IBS survey that had marked “the arrival category a bit low”, and when they “implemented Fanshawe Cares,” their “marks went up”.

Smith further stated that the survey can help make not only the International Centre’s services better, but also improve other services across the college.

“Our faculty is amazing and we are always going to improve our services and arrival and student life. That’s across the college, not just our office it’s affecting. These results, it’s really a college wide sign of strength that students are giving back such great results,” Smith said.