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Inside LaSalle College Vancouver - Thinking about arts, media or design? Think about LaSalle

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

Vancouver never falls short when providing students with institutions to choose from for their education, and this month, we had the opportunity to get a closer look at one of the best options: LaSalle College Vancouver!

Being part of a global education network, LaSalle College Vancouver (LCV) is one of the best colleges in Canada for Applied Arts, Bakery, Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Audio and Film, Video Game Design and much more, and they for sure excel in every one of them!

#RandomFact: LCV was named the top school for Game Design by the Princeton Review! And is one of only four schools in the country to offer a Bachelor in Fashion Design.

We have always heard great feedback from international students about this college, but we didn’t completely understand why until now. If you are looking for a college that not only provides excellent quality education, as good as public institutions in fact, but also has a deep care for its community and its students, then you have found the right place!

How so? You may ask. Well, LCV understands how to support its students in every possible aspect you can imagine. It is one of the colleges that offer the most support for international students; they have mentorships programs, career related workshops (you know, to teach you how to prepare your resume or how to prepare for an interview, for example), free counselling sessions so that students can talk with someone about their mental health among many other things (student lounge with pool table anyone?🎱😉)

But, you know what? Why don’t we let you hear it directly from LCV instead? They are, after all, the best ones to describe who they are and what they do!

Meet Mihee Haring, director of Sales at LCV, who kindly received the Thrivve team and explained who they are and what they do. Here are some of the things we learned from her:

Please tell us about LCV. What’s your take on education, and what kind of programs do you offer?

We, LaSalle College Vancouver, are an applied design, media and arts college where creativity, community and skills development are central to how we offer our more than 35 programs.

Our goal is to be part of a student’s journey in achieving their career goals. We do this by offering programs relevant to the job market taught by faculty with close connections to relevant industries. When you visit our campus, you will experience creativity instantly. Student work is displayed throughout the campus, you can see what our students are creating in the fashion and textile lab, and you may get a glimpse of what is happening in the various art and media studios we have. Our college is known for its sense of community which is so important for international students. You may be surprised but most of our college staff, from the receptionist to the faculty, know our students by name. Our small class sizes, clubs and events help make students feel at home as well.

We are all on one and the same campus which has many benefits. The word ‘applied’ refers to how we design and teach our programs. For us, it is all about your skills development and getting you job ready. In almost all our programs you will spend half of your time in classes and half of your time in a lab, studio or kitchen. We believe you need to apply what you learn!

We understand that you haven’t been here that long, as you acquired what once was the Art Institute of Vancouver. Despite this relatively recent change, could you tell us what impact you think LaSalle has had on the local industry?

What many students don’t know is that we are part of the LCI Education network, one of the largest higher education networks globally (23 campuses across the world). Our main campuses in Canada are LaSalle College Montreal and Vancouver. Montreal is where it all began over 60 years ago! The origin is a very interesting story about the founder Jean Paul Morin. He was a local entrepreneur in the 1950s whose ambition was to offer education to help people gain access to the job market. At present, LaSalle College Montreal is the largest bilingual higher education institute in North America. Our Vancouver campus joined the network over five years ago and we have benefited greatly from our global network, academic resources and a flow of creativity in our programs and culture. We kept the best of the Art Institute of Vancouver, updated our programs, attracted the best local professionals and are ensuring we are firmly connected to all relevant local industries in the greater Vancouver area.

We heard you are moving to a new campus 🔥 can you tell us a little bit about it? Why are you opening this new space, and what can we expect from it?

This is super exciting for all of us here right now and our future students! We had a ground-breaking ceremony in the summer of 2021 with the Vancouver mayor, Kennedy Stewart, present. We needed a space which could house bigger studios and labs and overall more capacity to host our students. Our new campus will comprise over 100,00 square feet spread over 7 stories. We were lucky the development of our new space could happen right next to our current campus, so it’s quite exciting for everyone to see this project being developed right in front of us!.

The mayor put in simple and clear words: our new campus in the Renfrew station area (the Kaslo neighbourhood), will bring renewed energy and activities to this part of Vancouver. Check out the videos and virtual tours on our website. It’s hard not to be impressed! The building will have access to outdoor space, rooms for physical activity, healthy food options and a meditation area. In addition, the building’s design is guided through both Fitwel and Rick Hansen Gold certifications, making it a health-first building that is accessible to people of differing abilities. Envision state-of-the-art Culinary kitchens, several maker spaces, a gaming lounge, and even a suspended theatre that will serve as a multi-purpose space. Languages Across Borders (LAB) Vancouver and LaSalle College Vancouver High School will also call this new building home.

As you know, Thrivve magazine focuses on international students, and we would love to ask you more about your international community. Could you please tell us the percentage of international students at LaSalle and where do they come from?

We have about 60 to 70 % international students at any given time. Per program, the origin of our students can vary. We have a great mix of domestic and international students in our Fashion, Interior and Graphic Design programs. We probably have a bit more Canadian students in our Game Programming and Design programs as we are locally well known for our award-winning programs in this area. Our Associate of Arts has a lot of appeal to international students wanting a firm academic foundation or wanting to add academic skills to their applied education but, overall, we have students from every corner of the world! Making our community a really exciting and interesting place to be at all times.

Any particular program you offer that is popular amongst internationals?

We are an applied college, but what many don’t know is that we offer quite a few bachelor’s degree programs as well. These are all interesting for our international students as a bachelor’s degree gives you a leg up in the job market plus the eligibility to apply for a PGWP. We currently also have a very attractive bursary for our Associate of Arts degree program. It is likely the most efficiently structured associate degree in BC for international students.

One of the most difficult decisions students must make is choosing the right school. Could you tell us some benefits for people who select LaSalle as their college of choice? What extra support do you offer to international students?

Okay, this is easy to answer! Aside from expert faculty, strong programs and our applied approach to education, it is definitely our community that stands out. From the moment you select our college to after your graduation, you will feel part of something bigger. Our admissions process includes an interview, this is not to make you pass or fail, but for us to figure out together with you if we are a great fit. That’s just the first step. When you start here as a student, you will be in a cohort in most programs. This means you study with your cohort until graduation, working on projects as in real-life. Collaborating with students from other programs, as in real-life. Working on projects at all days and hours of the week, like a professional in real-life. Our student services, career services, IT staff, equipment room team and of course your teachers all have one purpose only: to support you on your journey and help you get ready for your career.

Plenty of our international students are concerned they might have fewer opportunities than local Canadian students. What are your thoughts on this? Opportunities such as employment, government grants, scholarships and so on.

Canada has grown to become the number one destination for international students. And this is for obvious reasons: the government welcomes international students and workers to join the labour force. There are many pathways into residency for international students and skilled workers. I understand the concerns but as a student, I would research the opportunities, and the job market in the province you are considering and select a program based on your background, interest and Canadian employment demand. At LaSalle College Vancouver we have several scholarships international students can apply for once accepted into a program (Talent, Entrance, Leadership scholarships for example).

Last but not least, is there a message you would like to give to international students? Any important announcements?

We understand there are many options to select from in a country you may know little about. Check out our Instagram account to get a real sense of what our students and alumni are doing. Browse our website, and if you are interested, schedule an interview with one of our advisors. LaSalle College Vancouver has many diploma and degree programs in art, media and design as well as culinary arts. We are here to help you select and prepare.

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