Growing and diversifying international students population every year: interview to Virginia Woodball, Blyth Academy

At the ETN Focus 2018  in Milan  we exchanged a few words with Virginia Woodall. Blyth Academy, the italian students and the recruitment strategies are among the topics covered.

Let’s read the full interview.

Hi Virginia, it’s a pleasure to have you here. Can you give us a description of the Blyth Academy?

Hello, as you said I work at Blyth Academy where I am the admissions manager. Blyth Academy was founded 41 years ago by Sam Blyth to bring to life his vision of global education for students and encouraging students to become global citizens and experiencing education all around the world.

So in the last 40 years Blyth Academy has grown from a travelling program through Europe to include 14 high schools locations across Ontario with more added every year as well as international locations for high schools in Florence Italy, Washington DC, and Doha, Qatar.

We have a variety of different programs within each of these schools, from our full-time program, saturday classes, summer classe sas well as a very robust online program  with over 100 credit available and we also have very popular international summer program with Canadian  and international students alike traveling the world both during the summer on that program and with our global high schools.

What are the most popular programmes among Italian students at Blyth Academy?

Our most popular programmes for Italian students is at Blyth Academy in Florence, Italy. It’s very popular for local Italian students as well as international families and Canadian students. There’s an opportunity to attend during the day as a full time day school if you live in Florence or the surrounding area; we also have a residence with both 5 and 7 day boarding opportunities for students outside of the Florence area.

At this school students have the opportunity to study both the Canadian curriculum or the option to pursue the Cambridge curriculum to complete their IGCSE’s and their AS and A level exams earning either the British certifications or Canadian diploma that will allow them to apply to universities and colleges internationally.

We do see more and more Italian students looking at coming to study at our school in Canada and combining either the education with their local italian curriculum or combining it with Blyth Academy in Florence.

Why do you think Canada is an attractive destination for Italian students?

In Canada we see a very diverse population both of Canadian students from a nationality prospective as well as our international students that integrate to form a very dynamic and inclusive student body. Our Blyth Academy locations in Canada have a very small class size, a maximum of 12 students so offer an average of 8 or 9 students in a class which is especially attractive to our international students because it provides a lot of attention from the teacher to accommodatetheir learning style and really include them in the class and the learning opportunities.

In terms of studying in Canada as a destination and a location, there’s a unique culture in Canada that’s different from other North American locations and even within the different cities in Canada where we have 14 different Blyth Academy locations you find very unique cultures and environments to explore and get to know North American and Canadian culture.

How has your international recruitment strategy changed over the years?

We attract international students through our website and social media as well as by attending agents fairs and recruiting events and connecting with our agents network to maintain and grow and diversify our international students population every year.

What’s your opinion about ETN Focus?

I am really been enjoying this ETN Focus here in Milan. It’s been a wonderful experience  getting to see the city and getting to connect with so many different Italian organizations and agencies all in one place and learn a lot about the Italian school curriculum and how we can adapt to that and accommodate Italian students at our schools in Canada as well as transitioning to our Blyth Academy location in Florence.

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