February 09, 2024

Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver Conducts the 2nd Filipino International Students’ Convention To Help Filipino Students Settle in British Columbia

Consul General Arlene T. Magno (middle), together with Ms. Bella Balisi Bevilacqua, President of the UPAABC (leftmost) and Mr. Stephen Andrada, Board Director of UPAABC and moderator of the Convention (2L), join the Resource Speakers (with certificates of appreciation), for a photo opportunity at the end of the day.

03 February 2024 – The Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver partnered with the University of the Philippines Alumni Association in British Columbia (UPAABC) to successfully host the 2nd Filipino International Students Convention at the Creekside Community Centre on 03 February 2024.  Close to a hundred participants attended the Convention who unanimously conveyed their appreciation for the event and the well curated topics and their able speakers.

LEFT PHOTO: Consul General Arlene T. Magno delivers her opening and welcome remarks. RIGHT PHOTO: Mr. Randall Martin, Executive Director of the BC Council for International Education, addresses the participants during the convention in his keynote message.

Consul General Arlene Magno, in her opening remarks, cited the complementary policies of internationalizing education of both countries as having led to the exponential rise in the number of Filipino students coming to Canada. From less than 2,000 Filipino international students in 2015, there are now reportedly close to, if not more than, 30,000 Filipinos currently enrolled in schools throughout the country.  The Convention is a small effort by the Consulate to reach out to Filipino students and help address their settlement concerns, which she hoped the participants would take full advantage of.

The keynote speaker, Mr. Randall Martin, Executive Director of the BC Council for International Education, confirmed that about 8,000 of the Filipino student population in Canada were in British Columbia, making the Philippines a top source country for international students in the province.  He touched briefly on the recent federal announcement concerning international students and informed the audience that the provincial government is studying the matter and that the changes are ultimately intended to improve the system.

Consul General Arlene T. Magno together with the participants, PCG Vancouver team, UPAABC board members and volunteers, resource speakers, and the co-presenting sponsors at the convention.

This year’s convention covered topics on ‘settlement, employment and integration supports’ by Ms. Letty Young, Settlement Practitioner at SUCCESS, ‘parent support services’ by Ms. Bella Cenezero, Registered Social Worker/Education, Support and Volunteer Programs Manager of the Parent Support Services Society of BC, ‘investments, credit and taxation’ by Mr. Bert Parungao of the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants – Vancouver, ‘property acquisition and tenancy rights’ by Mr. Wayman Cheng, Mobile Mortgage Advisor of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and ‘labour market integration through mentorship’ by Ms. Divya Hariharan, Program Manager of Provincial Initiatives of the Immigrant Employment Council of BC.  Mr. Stephen Andrada, UPAABC Board Director, moderated the sessions and open forum.  At the end of the convention, participants were asked to accomplish a feedback survey, after which they were handed certificates of attendance.  END

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