LONGERENONG College’s international student intake has increased to five.
It was announced last year that the college would start accepting overseas students from 2019.
Head of campus John Goldsmith said he was thrilled to see a boost in interest from international students.
“These students come from a wide range of backgrounds, and they will be able to bring their experience and culture here,” he said.
The college had its first international enrollment in August, with a Scottish national signing on to study. The new international students come from South Africa, Canada and England.
“Four of the five have been given their confirmation of enrollment, so that means they’ve met all the criteria and can now apply for a student visa,” Mr Goldsmith said.
“They have also been working here on working holiday visas, most of them in the agriculture industry.
“The two students from England virtually had no agriculture background before they came to Australia, but they have worked on range of agriculture properties during their working holidays.”
He said the college had changed its focus from attracting students from Asian countries such as China and India.
“We surprisingly haven’t had any interest from those countries, so we’re now re-focusing our efforts,” he said.
“We’re now looking at attracting these working holiday people, and using vehicles like Twitter and special Facebook groups to gain interest.”
He said the students had chosen to study at the college for a number of reasons.
“Certainly once they became aware of Longerenong and the opportunity of studying here, they decided it was a good idea. Ultimately they also want to stay in Australia because they enjoy living here,” he said.
All the students will enroll in the Certificate IV in Agriculture for their first year. They will then go on to study the Advanced Diploma of Agribusiness Management in their second year.
The college has five agents contracted on its behalf to find prospective international students.
“Because of the business they are in, they have students inquiring with them on a regular basis. Interestingly, these first five have all come directly to us and haven’t gone through an agency,” he said.
The college’s website recently underwent an update to include pages specifically for international students. Mr Goldsmith said it had been well received.
“There is a whole lot of information on there that can be accessed from anywhere around the world,” he said.
The college’s first international students will start in February.
Longerenong College will hold an information day on Friday, December 7 from 10am. It will include farm tours and information on courses.