Canadian Bureau for International Education launches website for international students

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During the recent International Education Week, the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) launched a new website called iStudent Canada, on Nov. 18 during its annual conference in Vancouver.

“We realized that there wasn’t anything dynamic at the national level for international students,” says Jennifer Humphries, vice-president of CBIE. The organization wanted to provide an “all-encompassing, student-level, student-driven” resource.

The purpose of the site is twofold. First, it provides a central resource for both students inbound to Canada or domestic students going abroad.

The site provides information on educational options and the application process including study permit details. It also offers resources on funding opportunities such as a scholarships search engine, and practical advice on common issues like health and safety, and dealing with culture shock.

But Humphries explains the site is also meant to enable students to interact. The site features blog posts, webinars from CBIE, full social media integration, as well as videos and photos.

She adds that CIBE has recruited a team of a dozen people studying — or had studied — at institutions in Canada and internationally to contribute blog posts and respond to questions in forums.

“We find that students want fresh advice from people who have been in the same boat as them instead of authority figures,” she says.

In terms of future plans, CBIE hopes to make the website, which is currently only available in English and French, multilingual. And, aside from adding more webinars, Humphries says it really depends on the students.

“We want to be driven by what the demand is and what the students ask for,” she says.


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