International students from across the province gather to celebrate their evolution from students to professionals

July 5, 2018– Halifax, Nova Scotia—EduNova Cooperative Ltd.

Even snow in June won’t stop 47 graduating international students from across the province from coming together at Dalhousie University Club on July 5th, 2018 to celebrate having completed EduNova’s year-long Stay in Nova Scotia program. The new graduates will be joined by over 100 of their peers, program mentors, employers, and institution representatives who are coming together to celebrate the work that they have done to build careers in Nova Scotia. Unique to Atlantic Canada, Stay in Nova Scotia aims to increase student retention in the province post-graduation, offering support to international students as they evolve from their studies into the world of work.

Welcoming international students and assisting them to stay in Nova Scotia post-graduation is notable, as they have the potential to play a significant role in the province’s economic and social landscape. To increase international student retention, EduNova, in collaboration with post-secondary institutions and funding from the Province of Nova Scotia and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), launched the Stay in Nova Scotia pilot program in 2016. Since inception the program has supported 100 final-year international students from across the province to live, work, and stay in Nova Scotia post-graduation. 36 of the first cohort of students are working full-time in Nova Scotia one-year post graduation, while 19 students from the second cohort are already employed—within only a month of graduating.  Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Democratic Institutions and Member of Parliament for Halifax, said “EduNova’s Stay in Nova Scotia graduates are part of a unique pilot program enabling them to discover a bright future in this province. One-on-one employment support, networking events and dedicated mentors help build knowledge and confidence. These international students bring cutting-edge abilities and wisdom that will help Nova Scotia develop a skilled workforce and inject a new vibrancy into the region’s economy.”

To meet its ambitious goal of 80% retention one year after graduation, EduNova has dedicated resources to help these students become employees and entrepreneurs in Nova Scotia—and unofficial ambassadors for the province. The Stay in Nova Scotia program, EduNova believes, will have a material impact on Nova Scotia’s economy while ensuring success for international students as they transition from ‘class spaces’ to ‘workplaces.’

International education is significant to our province as it has the potential to address aging demographics, skilled labor shortages, sustainability of our rural communities and helping all Nova Scotians think and connect more globally. “This is a very exciting time for the 47 international students who are graduating from across the province and coming together to celebrate having completed EduNova’s Stay in Nova Scotia program,” said Labour and Advanced Education Minister Labi Kousoulis. “We want more young people to live and work in Nova Scotia after they graduate, which will help strengthen our province- Stay in Nova Scotia is helping us achieve that.”

This is what participants and members had to say about the program:

“I had my third meeting with my mentor today and it was really great. He came from Halifax to Truro just to meet me! I made some fantastic Indian food for him. We talked about my cover letter, resume and the area of my interest for my job search. He is really supporting and encouraging me in all the aspects. I really thank you for giving me such an amazing mentor, and I am very glad that I am in such an amazing program: Stay in Nova Scotia.” – Rakesh Menapati, Stay in Nova Scotia participant (Cohort 2), Dalhousie Graduate (Truro) in Agriculture

I was officially offered a year contract as a technician with the CERC.OCEAN team by the scientific director of MEOPAR (one of my top 10 companies)! I appreciate the networking skills learnt from the retreat, which has brought me here. I’ll be enjoying time spent with my mentor in the following months and will make the most out of it.” – Kitty Kam, Stay in Nova Scotia participant (Cohort 2), Dalhousie Graduate, Ocean Sciences

“It is always amazing to see what EduNova does to support the international students here! It was always something I have been dreaming about when I was a student. And I am so honoured to be a mentor and help recent graduates; this is another way to accomplish my dream!” – Ding Fan, (Stay in Nova Scotia Mentor), Start-up Visa Program Coordinator, Innovacorp