Introducing an international school into a community isn’t as simple as building a facility and opening the doors. It is a long road of planning, approvals and meetings, followed by replanning, more meetings and additional approvals. While there are many challenges on a project of this scale, they are far outweighed by the benefits.
An international school in a community like Kimberley, BC, provides many positive outcomes – economically, socially and culturally, both for the hosts and visitors.
The international education sector in Canada comprises over 700,000 students each year. These students represent a rapidly growing global market for international education. To Kimberley’s benefit, British Columbia is ranked as the most attractive destination in Canada which is also one of the highest ranked in the world.
Students who travel for education have obvious expenses like tuition and accommodation. However, that isn’t the only thing they invest in; they push their disposable funds into a community’s economy. For example, around Canada, every year, these 700,000 international students frequent restaurants, shop local and utilise tourist amenities to enrich their time here. While Purcell Collegiate will not accommodate hundreds of thousands of students each year, it will attract hundreds of learners who will, among other things, eat and shop in and around our town.
The presence of international students in Kimberley will provide important social opportunities for both international and local students as they have locally at School District 6 since 1981. A diverse student body encourages tolerance, acceptance and sparks an interest in the global community outside our city limits and national borders. As we slowly emerge from a worldwide pandemic that brought out the best and worst in the population, we cannot underestimate the significance of encouraging children to be more patient, tolerant and welcoming.
My final point, and perhaps the most important, is the cultural benefit of welcoming international students into our community. Introducing other cultures into the fabric of our place, either passively or directly, helps us understand different perspectives within the world in which we live. It dispels stereotypes, and enriches an already strong culture.
While the students who travel to Kimberley will receive a world-class education, acceptance into a welcoming community and an unforgettable, quintessentially Canadian experience, one could argue that our community will receive much more in return.
I encourage you to explore our website, and we welcome any questions you may have.