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Mentorship exchanges allow students to ‘study abroad’ without leaving home

January 11, 2019

While attending Red River College, students will make friends, become exposed to new ideas, and learn the skills they’ll need to succeed in the workplace. The one thing they might not get to do is study abroad — unless they take time out of their academic schedule to do so.

But RRC’s Intercultural Mentorship Program allows students to broaden their horizons without having to incur the costs of plane tickets, living expenses or additional student fees. In fact, the only investment required is 10 hours of volunteer time, spread over the winter term.

Each year, RRC welcomes over 700 immigrant and international students who wish to further their education in Canada, just as the province regularly welcomes new immigrants who help to grow our economy and strengthen cultural diversity.

In the case of students, cross-cultural exchanges can have positive impacts on their careers, as well.

“Having an understanding of diversity and cross-cultural communication are key power skills to have in our global economy,” says Vera Godavari, RRC’s Mentorship Program Coordinator.

“In Michelle Obama’s talk on The Importance of Studying Abroad, she emphasizes building intercultural bridges as a key to success in the global economy. As she points out, good grades are important, but it’s also about having ‘real experiences with the world beyond your borders — experiences with languages and cultures and society that are very different from your own.’”

Under RRC’s Mentorship Program, local students are paired with international or immigrant counterparts for a series of learning opportunities in which they can share each other’s culture and create meaningful connections.

As Godavari points out, the program helps to enhance what Obama describes as “cooperation by immersing yourself in one another’s culture, learning each other’s stories and getting past the stereotypes and misconceptions.”

“The connections made between students today can blossom into so much more tomorrow — improving the future for all of us,” Godavari explains.

Sign up now to become an intercultural mentor for Winter 2019. The deadline to apply is midnight on Sunday, Jan. 20.

College establishes academic partnership with top-tier university in India

January 7, 2019

Red River College will partner with Chitkara University — one of India’s leading teaching and research institutions — to deliver innovative programming and continue efforts to internationalize the College and compete on the global stage.

“Red River College is a global operation, and growing in stature in the area of international education,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.

“Over the past few years, we have significantly increased our efforts to internationalize the College, and the signing of this agreement with Chitkara University will allow us to continue to encourage academic collaboration, educational exchanges and innovative joint research projects with a leading institution in India.”

The College is exploring pathways to establish a satellite campus at Chitkara that will enable RRC to deliver the two-year Business Information Technology (BIT) program to students studying in India, beginning in the fall of 2019.

The proposed one-plus-one delivery model will also create new opportunities for students to complete their final year of studies here in Manitoba, and for RRC students to study overseas — part of the College’s student mobility strategy. Read More →

Mexican students make first trip to Manitoba as part of language and cultural training initiative

August 17, 2018

Thirty post-secondary students from Mexico visited Manitoba for the first time this summer, soaking in the local culture and sharpening their English skills with help from Red River College’s Language Training Centre.

The students were here as part of the Mexican government’s Proyecta 10,000 initiative, which sent 10,000 students to locations throughout Canada to explore culture and history while practicing their English.

The students visiting Winnipeg spent nearly a month attending the College’s LTC, where they mixed classroom study with off-site excursions to sites such as FortWhyte Alive, Shaw Park and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

While in town, they billeted at homestays with local families, who also exposed them to such Peg-specific traditions as kayaking along the Red River and visiting the Assiniboine Park Zoo.

In order to qualify for a spot with the sought-after Proyecta program, students had to have good grades, letters of reference, and high-level language skills — though the latter improved significantly as a result of their time in the city.

“I’m astounded with how much it grew,” LTC program facilitator Carleigh Friesen said (to the Winnipeg Free Press), of the students’ fluency, vocabulary and pronunciation.

This marks the sixth year RRC has hosted a summer institute — a two- to four-week language improvement program that’s usually attended by students from the College’s sister schools in China — and the first year that RRC hosted students from Mexico, though Friesen says she hopes it won’t be the last.

“The community really embraced them,” she said.

Learn more about RRC’s Summer Institutes.

RRC celebrates 30-year partnership with China’s Shenyang Institute of Engineering

September 19, 2017

Delegation from Shenyang Institute, at Notre Dame CampusWhat began as an English language training partnership 30 years ago has grown into an opportunity for students in Northern China’s industrial centre to harness advanced skills in three top industries.

This week, delegates from the Shenyang Institute of Engineering (SIE) are visiting Red River College to continue growing that relationship, and to tour the Exchange District Campus and the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute. The delegates were greeted at the Notre Dame Campus Monday morning by RRC President Paul Vogt.

The relationship between the two institutions began in 1987, when RRC and SIE exchanged staff and faculty to offer English language training in Northern China.

Since 2010, students in Shenyang have been able to enrol in joint degree programs for Electrical Engineering Technology, Power Engineering Technology, and Hospitality and Tourism Management. These students have the option of completing the three-year programs entirely in Shenyang — with curriculum provided by RRC — or they can complete their first two years of study in China and travel to Winnipeg for the final year.

The partnership has grown steadily since its early days, with more than 1,000 Chinese students now enrolled for the 2017/2018 academic year.

“It’s connections like this that put Red River College, and Winnipeg, on the map as a hub for the engineering and hospitality industries,” says Vogt. “The hands-on learning students receive is crucial to their success and we’re happy to be able share that with our partners in Shenyang.” Read More →

International students explore language learning at RRC Summer Institute

August 8, 2017

Summer Language Institute students, Canada Summer GamesMore than 30 international students attending Red River College’s Language Training Centre Summer Institute put their language training into practice — and got a taste of Manitoba’s passion for sport — at this week’s 2017 Canada Summer Games women’s volleyball match between Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

The students and instructors are in Winnipeg until Aug. 11, visiting from both the Shenyang Institute of Engineering in Liaoning, China, and the Shaanxi Polytechnic Institute in Shaanxi, China to enhance their English language skills.

“We are pleased to once again welcome international students and instructors to Red River College’s Summer Institute for the fifth year – most of whom are visiting Canada for the first time,” says RRC president Paul Vogt, himself a member of the 2017 Canada Summer Games Board of Directors.

“This program is essential to our continued work building relationships with educational institutions overseas and showcasing the bright future Red River College and the province of Manitoba can offer future international students.”

The focus of the Summer Institute is to balance fun and interactive classroom sessions at RRC with outings to some of the city’s most popular attractions, while helping students build confidence by using English in the classroom and in everyday situations. Since arriving in Winnipeg, students have visited RRC’s three campuses in Winnipeg, and enjoyed learning excursions to CF Polo Park, Assiniboine Park, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the Canada Summer Games, and Folklorama. Read More →

College partners with province on new training program for refugees

March 7, 2017

A new program at Red River College is providing essential language and construction skills training to newcomer refugees who have arrived in Manitoba over the last year.

Announced today, the new Pathway Program to Construction Skills is one of four pilot employment projects launched recently by the Manitoba government under the Refugee Employment Development Initiative (REDI) for newcomers.

“Red River College is proud to play such an important role in supporting Manitoba’s international, immigrant and refugee community,” says Red River College president Paul Vogt. “This new program is a first in Manitoba and it will not only help our newcomer refugees develop their language and literacy skills, it will also provide them access to trades training and jobs in sectors where our partners have a need for more trained workers.”

The four-month program will help participants develop essential language skills, safety training and basic construction skills training in the areas of drywalling, masonry and flattop roofing. After completing the program, students will participate in a month-long, paid work placement to further refine their skills and gain essential on-the-job experience.

“As we’ve seen in recent months, there’s a growing need to provide support for refugees in a variety of ways, including direct employment and labour market programming,” says Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart. “We commend Red River College for its vision in developing this important program, which will link newcomers with employment opportunities and allow them to develop the skills needed to succeed in the workforce.” Read More →

Eyes on the future: College unveils new mission, vision and values statements

June 16, 2016

Open Cafe meeting

Classes may be winding down for the summer, but Red River College sits poised to enter a new era of post-secondary excellence, armed with an updated set of initiatives to guide its strategic direction and future growth for the next five years.

Following months of consultations with internal and external stakeholders — including a series of Open Café meetings (shown above) with staff and faculty from all campuses — the College has adopted newly-revised mission, vision and values statements, casting an aspirational eye towards sustainability, service to community, and global recognition.

Redrafted in tandem with RRC’s new Academic and Research Plan and pending five-year Strategic Plan (due this August), the new statements provide a roadmap for the College to follow, and a set of guidelines for all staff as they put policies into practice — both inside and outside the classroom.

“We don’t expect people to memorize them word for word, but hopefully to get to know them and understand what we are as an institution, and where we’re trying to go, so they can be part of the change,” says Cindee Laverge, vice-president, Student Services and Planning at RRC.

“It’s a way for people to help us achieve our strategic direction: through the mission and vision, to understand on a day-to-day basis what’s important to us, and through our values to understand how we work and play.” Read More →

RRC pilots new International Educator program for staff

September 23, 2015

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In response to the ever-increasing demand for international education, Red River College has launched a new pilot program to provide staff with the tools and intercultural skills required to teach students from around the world.

“We’re truly a global college now,” says Eddy Lau, acting director of International Education at RRC. “We’re attracting more international learners every year, and our classrooms continue to become more diverse. As the College evolves, we have a responsibility to make sure our staff are prepared and have the right tools to facilitate learning for our international students.”

Launched over the summer, RRC’s new International Educator Certificate program helps instructors and staff develop their skills through a blend of workshops, practicums and online modules.

“We didn’t want to merely develop a seminar to help educators who are teaching international students,” says project manager Claudius Soodeen. “We wanted to create a program that would over time become a model in post-secondary education across Canada.” Read More →

Become a volunteer ambassador for RRC’s International Student Airport Pickup program

July 14, 2015

455054067Would you like to meet someone new, from another country and culture? Are you proud of where you study or work? If so, then please help us welcome new international students to Red River College! We’re looking for ambassadors to serve as a friendly, welcoming face when our international students first arrive in Winnipeg.

RRC first piloted an Airport Pickup Service for international students during the fall semester of study in 2013. The service is made possible by volunteers from RRC’s staff, faculty and student communities.

Since the program’s inception, we’ve been able to welcome many international students as soon as they arrived in Winnipeg, but in order to continue this service, RRC’s International Education office needs your help.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the time commitment? Do I just complete the student pickup and drop-off?

The time commitment is usually two hours. You’re simply expected to pick up the student from the airport and bring them to the location where they’re staying. If you would like to take them for a tour (or go shopping, etc.), you can do so, but it is not the expectation of this initiative.

Can I specify a time I’m available?

Your availability is a key factor when matching up our arriving students and our volunteers, so you’re more than welcome to identify times when you are not available. Since the students arrive on various dates and times, we’re not able to specify the time until the request for pickup comes in. Our pickup service will be offered from 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. only.

International Education will handle the coordination and scheduling of all pickups. In addition, your parking at the airport will be reimbursed.

If you would like to volunteer, or have any questions, please email international@rrc.ca.

College signs new agreement with partner institute in China

June 19, 2015

Shenyang agreement 2015For the next 20 years, Red River College will be able to offer joint diplomas with the Shenyang Institute of Engineering (SIE) in China, one of RRC’s oldest international post-secondary partners.

As part of the new agreement, signed earlier this week, RRC and SIE will offer joint diplomas in Electrical Engineering Technology, Power Engineering Technology, and Hospitality and Tourism Management, giving students and instructors from both institutions the opportunity to participate in exchanges and study abroad.

“We have enjoyed a mutually beneficial partnership with the Shenyang Institute of Engineering for more than 27 years,” says David Rew (shown, seated), interim president at RRC. “This new agreement will allow us to continue to offer high quality education to our students, and to grow our international education program here in Manitoba.”

The College’s work in international education began in 1987, when the partnership with SIE was first struck. Following that, the College continued to expand its mandate and in 1994 opened the Department of International Education — welcoming a Malaysian student as RRC’s first official international learner.

“As a leader in applied learning, RRC is in a very strong position to work with institutions like the Shenyang Institute of Engineering, to develop these joint programs and expand our abilities to continue to attract international students,” said Eddy Lau (shown above, at left), RRC’s acting director of International Education.

“We continue to recruit more international students each year, and our international students continue to enrich the global learning environment we have cultivated at the College.”

This year, RRC has over 800 international students participating in studies and joint programs. On average, the College has seen a 27 per cent increase in international student enrolment from year to year.