Over 7,000 turn out for US, Canada college fair

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

People get info about Barry University, of Florida at the College Fair at Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port of Spain on Saturday. – Angelo Marcelle

Over 7,000 students have registered to see what opportunities US and Canadian universities have to offer and many of them turned up at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Saturday.

After a two-year hiatus owing to the covid19 pandemic, the College Fair was oversubscribed as representatives of 18 US universities and 30 Canadian universities marketed their programmes.

A total of 7,200 registered to attend and more people showed up without pre-registration.

Simone Sant-Ghuran and her daughter Zara Ghuran were among those who attended the fair. Zara is in lower six at St Joseph’s Convent, Port of Spain.

Simone said, “The line-up was bit long, but after that, it moved pretty quickly. They could have given us an orientation outside about what to expect when the kids came inside.

She said, “Zara wants to study computer programming or business. She is open to UWI but she had her mind set on a campus away.”

College Fair “was a bit overwhelming because of the long line, but the process to register was very easy,” Zara said.

Morgan State univeristy of Baltimore, Maryland was among the 18 US universities at the College Fair at Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port of Spain on Saturday. – ANGELO MARCELLE

She liked how inclusive everything was and the wide range of universities present.

Of the universities, Zara liked Hult International Business School, for their locations and free master’s programme with early admissions.

Asked why she would choose a foreign university over UWI or University of TT, Zara said, “I want that international experience and to discover things on my own without my parents.”

Prashant Maharaj, 29, is another prospective student. He wants to study medicine.

“UWI is more on the theoretical side, doesn’t have a lot of practical experience. I was a UWI student before so that’s why I wouldn’t really go down that path.”

Lorcan Chan Pak, 17, is currently doing the advanced placement exams at International School. He said, “It’s like CAPE but the American system.”

He came to get a view of the top schools to attend, with the hopes to enter a science, engineering or medical programme.

On Saturday he spoke with representatives of Toronto, Waterloo, Western and Tampa universities, as he sifted through his options.

Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy Megan Kelly said it was 19th time College Fair was held in Port of Spain. She said there was a wide cross-section of US state representation and she was showing her daughters some of the premier universities like St John’s, Morgan State and Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Senior Trade Commissioner from the Canadian High Commission Nancy Bernard said 30 Canadian colleges were represented at the College Fair. The event concludes on Sunday.

Bernard said, “Canadian institutions find great opportunities with TT students. There is always great interest with Canadian education.” Some programmes allow students to work during their studies and live in Canada after graduation, she explained.

Mya Leacock, a representative of the University of Guelph has a Tobagonian parent who attended Guelph in the 1980’s. She visits Tobago annually.

Leacock said, “We have a lot of Trinidadians at the university. Guelph has the No 1 vet school in Canada and No 5 in the world. It’s a great place to be. We’re ranked No 1 for food in Canada, and I’m trying to get students to come and have the same great experience I did.”

For international students the cost to attend Guelph ranges from $150,000 to $200,000 per year but scholarships and bursaries are available.