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Media Release
Release Date: May 23, 2017

The entire Camosun International (CI) team has become WorldHost certified after completing the course work and attending two full days of training. The goal of this department-wide training is to help enhance international students’ experience at Camosun, from the first point of contact and through their studies.

A customer service training launched in the mid-1980s to prepare for Expo 86, WorldHost is specific to British Columbia and widely used throughout the service industries. The CI department recognized that many international students have challenges adjusting to life in Canada and the service provided by the office has an exceptional impact on the student experience.

CI provides centralized services for the college’s 1,600 international students. While it may be unusual for a public sector administrative unit to train their staff in customer service skills, CI leadership saw that admissions officers, advisors, and recruiters could benefit from refreshing their skills.

“When we switch out ‘customer’ for ‘student,’ everything becomes relevant to higher education administrators and student service providers,” said Jody Isaac, a certified WorldHost facilitator and Camosun instructor. She worked with the department to customize the training content to the needs of the team and of students.

“This training contextualizes the area in which we live,” said Diana Shields, Associate Director of Camosun International. “When you live somewhere, you may not remember what it’s like to be a first-timer. Through the exercises in the training, the staff could remember or reimagine that experience.” 

The WorldHost-certified Camosun International team.

Department administrators organized the training as an opportunity to improve customer service skills and build interpersonal relationships among team members. “We evaluated how the department serves the recent growth in international students,” said Shields. “It was also a chance to get the whole staff group together to talk about who we are as a department and how we work together to serve students.”

WorldHost is a standardized training recognized within BC’s tourism and travel industries. While the department chose to do the training as a team, it can also be done on an individual basis, meaning that future staff in the rapidly expanding department will complete the training as well.

CI is believed to be the first WorldHost-recognized public post-secondary service office in Canada. CI’s senior administrators hope that the staff’s commitment to providing an exceptional student experience will help international students feel welcomed and supported. As well, CI hopes that the focus on providing the best possible service to international students will increase student success, retention, and satisfaction.

For more information about WorldHost certifications, visit worldhosttraining.com 

Contact

Christiaan Bernard
Director, Camosun International
Camosun College
bernardc@camosun.ca
250-216-6543

Last updated: May 23, 2017 1:41 pm

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