Three representatives from the Applied Computer Education (ACE) department made the journey to Brazil this spring to participate in a series of meetings and events. The trip comes after a successful visit from the ACE department along with RRC’s International Education office in September 2018.
Stops in Fortaleza, Brasília, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro
Cristy Kubara, Marnie-Leigh Boulet and Stephen Jay went on the follow-up trip in March 2019, stopping in Fortaleza (Northeast), Brasília (Brazil’s capital city, Centre-West), São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro (Southeast).
The goal for the ACE department during their trips was to position RRC as the institution of choice for Brazilian students who want to further their studies, specifically in the Information Technology (IT) sector in Winnipeg. On the most recent trip; RRC ACE staff visited four post-secondary institutions, presented their custom designed technology camps to high school students and participated in one of the most popular educational trade shows in Brazil.
They visited the Higher Education Institute of Brasília, the Pan American Christian Academy, Metodista and the Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology in Ceará. They explored various collaboration ideas, including joint programs, partnership on applied research activities, academic exchanges, along with special projects and internships for Canadian students.
Another important aspect of the trip was meeting with the Canadian Trade Commissioners to first thank them for the great job they are doing representing Canada in Brazil, and to also learn more about how RRC can enhance the ACE department’s brand in Brazil.
“As this was my first time in Brazil, it was imperative for me to understand what Brazilians want to know when it comes to choosing Canadian institutions for their higher education” said Marnie-Leigh Boulet. “We discovered that the main reason why international students from Brazil choose Canada for higher education is to increase chances of receiving gainful employment upon graduation.”
Raising awareness about ACE programs in Winnipeg
International recruitment fairs in Brazil tend to be very well attended, but most potential students are only familiar with the major cities in Canada, specifically Vancouver and Toronto. “One thing we did find was that while we were promoting our programs and the college, we also had to promote Winnipeg and Manitoba,” said Boulet.
“One of the first things they asked was how cold it was,” added Kubara. Winnipeg is much smaller in comparison to Sao Paulo (population of 19 million people), so many of them liked the idea of Winnipeg.”
The recruitment fairs ended up being a great success, with over 350 connections made with people who are interested in Red River College programs.
Although the trip is over, the work isn’t finished, RRC is currently focused on formalizing a partnership with several Brazilian post-secondary institutions.