CultureWorks, Brescia, Amberson combine to play host to successful Fam Tour
“Fam Tours allow you to showcase your school or program directly to potential partners. Your partners will become more knowledgeable, confident and motivated to promote your business once they have experienced first hand your location, programs and most importantly, your staff.”
— StudentMarketing, a global market intelligence consultancy and a United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) affiliate member.
Now that we have the definition of a Fam Tour, let’s discuss how this worked recently for CultureWorks and two of its Canadian partners.
CultureWorks teamed up with Brescia University College, one of its London, Ont., partners; and Amberson High School of Toronto; to play host to 11 agents representing Nigeria, Latin America, Thailand, Vietnam, Brazil and Tunisia.
A Fam Tour packed with activities
The three-day Fam Tour began in Toronto on April 28, with Amberson playing host, and ended with CultureWorks and Brescia representatives taking over in London, completing the tour two days later.
To say it was a success would be an understatement, according to CultureWorks President and Founder Tina Bax.
“I am excited by the feedback we are getting from them!” Tina said. “So congratulations to the team that put it together because they obviously made some right decisions about what these agents wanted to see.”
In addition to a dinner boat cruise in Toronto, an Italian dinner in downtown London and a farm-to-table lunch with Brescia chef Tim D’Souza on the final day, there was work to be done and programs to be unveiled for the various guests.
Amberson rolled out an introduction to its online school with a live demonstration; CultureWorks made a Gateway presentation and interactive discussion with several students attending our ESL school; and Brescia discussed its Preliminary Year Program and showed off its beautiful site with a campus tour.
Agents were impressed by our ESL school and all it has to offer
The agents, to a person, left the schools impressed.
Diego Morales is a Colombian who works out of the Montreal office of Blue Studies International. He liked what he saw and heard.
“I have been here quite a few times. London is a welcoming city for students, I can see that,” Diego said.
“There are residences, food and activities that students coming from any part of the world would be enjoying it in London.”
Diego also said he enjoyed a demonstration of an online current events class CultureWorks calls The Daily Boomalang.
“I think the (Boomalang) is great. I haven’t seen that anywhere. That’s the first time that I see that you guys put the students through critical thinking which is a big part of learning English,” Diego said.
More Brazilian students may want to study English in Canada
Ivan Eduardo Tagliaferro, from Brazil, said he was very impressed with the Brescia campus and said he enjoyed the “amazing” interviews with the four CultureWorks students.
Ivan also said it’s easier to pitch Canada to the Brazilian students than the United States.
“I think it’s easier for us to be accepted at universities and schools in Canada,” he said. “Also, the exchange rate is much more favourable in Canada for us.”
And there might be another reason to expect more Brazilian students heading north to study English in Canada, Ivan said.
“We have had two hard years in Brazil, economically speaking, lots of corruption and lots of things. Many politicians are in jail right now, so that might help, and the exchange rate is stable for a while. So I think you will see more Brazilians in a couple of months ahead.”
The Fam Tour was a resounding success for all
Rhea Johnson, Associate Registrar for Recruitment and Admissions at Brescia, said the on-campus relationship with CultureWorks works extremely well.
“Really, we are both very much about students getting where they need to go and being able to get what they need in not a model that is a one-size-fits-all model, ” Rhea said.
“And really that’s about the Preliminary Year Program. It’s working with students to say you have unique needs. You don’t need that kind of box model. You need to pick and choose and so having that flexibility to work with partners that you trust to create a program that allows you do to that.”
Tina Bax summed up the event nicely.
“The thing I liked about the program is that it has been so interactive, that the agents have had a great response.
“So they have seen our programs in action, they’ve seen our online program demonstration, they have had a chance to interact with the students, they have been to a high school, a university and a language program where their students can work in Canada.
The final words go to Deb Leeming, CultureWorks Agent Relations guru and quarterback of the three-day Fam Tour.
“After we got on the bus, after Rhea’s great tour of Brescia, the agents all expressed their gratitude and appreciation,” Deb said.
“In particular, Ivan said that he had really debated between our tour and a Niagara tour and he truly felt he made the correct choice. I received an email from Kate (Obetta, from Nigeria) tonight and she said:
‘I am happy I chose the CultureWorks tour. It was worth every second I was there.’”
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