Montréal hosts ICEF’s largest ever Canada-based event

This year the first of the ICEF North America Workshops took place at the Hotel Bonaventure Montréal.  Held May 10–12, the number of participants increased once again, growing 4% overall and becoming the largest ever ICEF event in Canada.

A total of 755 participants took part in the workshop, including 292 North American educators from 206 institutions, 90 exhibitors from 47 organisations, 310 international student recruitment agents from 55 countries around the world, and 63 guest speakers, government officials and other industry experts. Mike Downey from Texas A & M University – English Language Institute (USA) said of the workshop, “All in all, this was one of the best, professionally-run events I’ve attended. Kudos all around”.

Higher education was the most represented education sector at the workshop, making up 41% of the total number of educators. Other major sectors represented were secondary / boarding / high schools (31%) and language schools (24%). This diversity, and also the range of the educators in each of these sectors, was appreciated by agents. Antonio Cisneros, an agent from LAE International Studies (Mexico) said “I think that ICEF Workshops help agents and institutions to meet in one place, which makes things much easier for us. A lot of agreements have come out of my meetings here. ICEF Montréal is an excellent workshop for agents to meet many institutions”.

ICEF events are renowned for providing highly professional, quality agents. The agents at the Montréal Workshop were very diverse, the largest numbers coming from China (9%), India (8%), Mexico (7%) and Russia and Ukraine (each with 6%). Marc Greve from Hansa Language Centre of Toronto (Canada) said “ICEF Montréal was an incredible event. I met agents from every corner of the globe. It was a convenient way to reconnect with old contacts and build new relationships”.

This year 22 market intelligence seminars were presented at the Montreal Workshop. CIC opened the event with an informative session titled: “Update on Canada’s International Student Programme”. Speakers provided information on visa processing and programme changes over the past year, and welcomed questions from the audience. Other topics included country-specific market updates, technology in recruitment, and two presentations by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) on study in Canada.

For the second time in Montreal, ICEF and event-partner Languages Canada, organised the “Séminaire sur le recrutement d’étudiants internationaux” for francophone institutions to learn more about international education and international student recruitment. The presenters shared their experiences with workshop participants, as well as 18 representatives from French school boards, cegeps, universities, and provincial associations. The Séminaire encouraged exchanges between participants and addressed various questions about marketing, recruitment and the internationalisation of French educational institutions.

In addition to formal networking, participants also enjoyed a number of receptions and FAM tours. These events allowed attendees to develop their working relationships on an informal level, and in the case of FAM tours, gave agents first-hand experience of different schools and regions. In total there were 22 FAM tours to a variety of campuses and cities in Canada and the US.

The ICEF Montreal Workshop received wide support from within the education industry. Major supporters included the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD Canada), Languages Canada, CAPS-I, CBIE, CAIS, BCCIE, Alberta Education, MCIE, EduNova and EduNB. These associations, along with DFATD formed the very popular Canada Pavilion. Supporters from the USA included: American International Recruitment Council (AIRC), Community Colleges for International Development, English USA, Study California, Study Georgia, Study Wisconsin, Study Texas and Study Mississippi. Tanya Gand from BCCIE commented that “It was a great event and the quality of the meetings was excellent!”

For an overview of the Montreal Workshop, please watch our video postcard:

For more information regarding these workshops, agent training or any other ICEF event please contact Korinne Algie or Stan Bobrov at

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