ETSB pro­gram un­der mi­cro­scope

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Vic­to­ria Vanier Magog

An ar­ti­cle that ap­peared in the French lan­guage Mon­treal news­pa­per, La Presse, which fo­cussed on the ETSB’s In­ter­na­tional Stu­dent Pro­gram, has been at­tract­ing a lot of at­ten­tion. In the ar­ti­cle, it was re­ported that the di­rec­tor of the ETSB pro­gram, Eva Let­tner, took part in the Premier’s Trade Mis­sion to China, in Oc­to­ber, then went on to Ger­many, Spain and Croa­tia to con­tinue look­ing for stu­dents. The cost of that trip was said to be $8000, and Ms. Let­tner will head to Mex­ico and Brazil, this Fe­bru­ary, to re­cruit. Ms. Let­tner was quoted in the ar­ti­cle as say­ing that the rea­son be­hind the In­ter­na­tional Stu­dent Pro­gram is “to pro­mote 21st cen­tury com­pe­ten­cies… and to com­pen­sate for the loss of An­glo­phone stu­dents.”

It was also re­ported in the La Presse ar­ti­cle that the pro­gram would not be found on the Agenda of the Coun­cil of Com­mis­sion­ers meet­ings and that au­tho­riza­tion for the pro­gram came di­rectly from the ETSB Di­rec­tor Gen­eral.

About three hun­dred for­eign stu­dents have taken part in the ETSB pro­gram since it be­gan five years ago. Ac­cord­ing to ETSB spokesper­son Sharon Priest, stu­dents nor­mally stay be­tween six months to a year, but some do de­cide to con­tinue in the pro­gram for more than one year and Ms. Priest knows of one stu­dent, per­son­ally, who went on to fi­nally grad­u­ate from McGill. Another facet of the pro­gram has el­e­men­tary stu­dents com­ing in groups for a thirty day pe­riod.

In­ter­na­tional stu­dents, those that stay the school year, pay $19,000 each for the ex­pe­ri­ence. That cov­ers their school­ing, trans­porta­tion to and from school, and their room and board. “We have a full op­er­at­ing bud­get of close to $1 mil­lion for the pro­gram, but it is a ‘closed’ bud­get; it gen­er­ates its own prof­its and it is self-fi­nanc­ing. The prof­its of the pro­gram are then re-in­vested into the ETSB to sus­tain other pro­grams for our stu­dents,” ex­plained Ms. Priest.

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