“I really believe the work the College of New Caledonia (CNC) and the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) is doing has really enhanced the multiculturalism of our city,” says Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall.
“What we’re seeing now is that international students are becoming more involved in the community, including what city government and non-profit organizations are doing.”
Mayor Hall, who is currently serving his third term, says the city’s downtown core has directly benefitted from the presence of international students with the development of a new, 205 single unit student housing building.
The building “is really important for our city as it has increased residential opportunities downtown and got students studying at CNC and UNBC to live and move downtown,” says Mayor Hall.
“Several international students are also staying in the city after finishing their education or finding meaningful work within the community while in school,” he concludes.
One such student is Christopher Morgan, who came to UNBC to study systematic conservation planning in collaboration with the Tsay Keh Dene First Nation.
“My Masters was a chance to marry several of my interests into a single project: conservation, planning, mapping, and Indigenous studies. The goal of my work was to identify areas of the Nation’s territory with the highest ecological value, which in turn helped the Nation make decisions on where to conserve land for its natural value and where to allow industry,” says Chris.
Mayor Hall says he is encouraged that the city will see an increase in international students at both the K-12 and post-secondary level this fall as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue to loosen.