Understanding the NSISP

NSISP Mission Statement
The Nova Scotia International Student Program is a joint venture comprised of the seven English Language School Boards in Nova Scotia and the Department of Education. The NSISP Operations Committee has established a mission statement to guide its actions and direct their common vision. The Homestay Coordinator plays an important role in achieving this vision and being successful as a program.

The NSISP is committed to creating global citizens by promoting the growth of intercultural understanding and increased international educational opportunities for Nova Scotian students and students from around the world.

Belief Statements

  • We believe internationalization is a process that prepares the school and community for successful participation in an increasingly interdependent world.
  • We believe the interaction between Nova Scotian students and international students will allow both to grow and develop skills for effective living and working in diverse
  • We believe the best way to foster the growth of intercultural understanding is to fully integrate international students into schools and communities and provide them with a
    true Nova Scotian experience.
  • We believe diversity is key to our program and that a balance of students is needed to maintain that diversity in any school or community.
  • We believe a quality homestay program operated by local school boards is pivotal for the success of our program.
  • We believe the Nova Scotia International Student Program enriches schools and communities both culturally and financially.
  • We believe support must be provided for Nova Scotia International Student Program students in schools and homestays.
  • We believe the relationships developed through the program will pay long-term dividends for our province.
  • We believe to create growth we must re-invest in our program.

Philosophy of the NSISP and Relationship with the Department of Education
The province of Nova Scotia has an international student program like no other in the country or perhaps the world. In most other areas, individual schools or regional centres promote an international student program alone. In Nova Scotia, seven English language regional centers and one french school board work together to promote education in Nova Scotia through the International Student Program.

The Nova Scotia Department of Education (DoE) is a major contributor to the NSISP. The DoE has a representative on the Management Committee. The support of the DoE is important to the NSISP and gives Nova Scotia a great deal of credibility internationally

NSISP Staff Structure:
Explanation of Roles
Each regional centre is organized in a similar manner with similar positions, though job descriptions may vary. The ISP administrators of each school board are the representatives of the Operations Committee. The structure of the NSISP is as follows:

  • Board of Representatives—members of senior administration from each of the regional centres and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. The Board of Representatives provides additional oversight and support to the NSISP.
  • Executive Director—manages and guides the vision of the NSISP. The duties include managing the financial and marketing direction of the NSISP while keeping the best interests of the program at the forefront.
  • Assistant Executive Director—manages the staff and operations of the NSISP Central Office and is responsible for all ancillary programs and marketing materials of the NSISP.
  • Operations Committee—consists of one member of each of the seven school boards. The Operation Committee oversees the day-to-day operations of the NSISP within the school boards.
  • Department of Education Representative—provides support to the Operations Committee. This representative is also responsible for approving incoming exchange companies operating within Nova Scotia.
  • Marketing and Communications Officer—communicates all official information to stakeholders, provides marketing materials to the NSISP, and supports all levels of the NSISP.
  • Program Officer—accepts and processes incoming student applications and assigns students to school boards based on the NSISP formula. Student requests are met as often as possible.
  • Finance Officer—processes all financial matters of the NSISP including student payments and payments to school boards.
  • Assistant Program Officer— supports the Program Officer with the day-to-day processing of student applications. The Assistant Program Officer also oversees short-term programs and education immersion programs.
  • Executive Assistant—handles all issues regarding student medical insurance, sends and receives reports, and collects and mails transcripts, progress reports, and all paperwork after a student has been accepted into the program.

Regional Centres ISP Staff Structure:

  • Director—assumes the legal guardianship of each student and directs the focus of the program.
  • Program Manager—works to manage the Homestay Coordinators, communicates with agents, and supports the Director.
  • Project Manager—organizes other projects under the International Student Program.
  • Administrative Assistant—supports the employees of the school board by managing the database, compiling reports, responding to and generating correspondence, etc.
  • Homestay Coordinators—supports students, families, schools, and the program and helps to ensure the program runs smoothly and successfully in the local community.
  • EAL staff—teachers and tutors provide EAL support to the international students in their area.

International Agents
The Nova Scotia International Student Program has signed contracts with agents from around the world to recruit students. The role of these agents is to attract students wishing to study abroad and encourage them to consider a program best suited for them.

International students have many options when wanting to improve their English. For English language studies, the top destinations are the United States, England, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, in that order. They can choose to attend a private school, public school, or a specialized English Training program. They can choose programs with a boarding/residential option or a homestay option. Agents help families pick the program best suited for the student.

Agents assist students in selecting the NSISP, help them complete their application, obtain their student visa, book their airline tickets, and make their payment to the NSISP; following arrival they are a line of communication between the natural family and the program for academic purposes or if there are areas of concern.

Marketing and recruiting trips of the NSISP continue to improve student numbers by attracting new agents, renewing professional relationships with existing agents, and attending student recruitment fairs.

During the year, agents will visit Nova Scotia to see our schools and learn more about the program in general. It is important to take time to spend with them if asked. They are the direct link to interested students abroad.

The economic impact of the NSISP on Each Regional Centre
The cultural impact international students make on a family, school, and community cannot be easily measured and is great. The diversity the international students bring to schools and communities is the main reason for the program. The goal is for Nova Scotia students to meet students from around the world. The benefits do not end there though.

These students, and their visiting families, make a tremendous economic impact on Nova Scotia and its communities—large and small. Through tuition, homestay fees, and spending money, our communities, local businesses, and schools feel a financial impact from the international students studying in Nova Scotia. It is estimated the activities of the NSISP add $15-20 million to the Nova Scotia economy each year.

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