Wednesday, December 13th, 2006
With another year about to end and campus life set to slow down for the holidays, we at Higher-Edge thought it might be a fitting time to reflect on some of the more memorable experiences of the past 12 months.
For international education, 2006 was another exciting year. Highlights included an aggressive campaign by the U.S. government and American universities deter- mined to turn the corner on the country’s post-9/11 slump, and continued growth in demand for tertiary education around the world.
The year was an exciting one for us at Higher-Edge as well. Here’s just a sampling of some of our favorite and not-so-favorite things from the past year…enjoy!
From Mel Broitman, Managing Director of Higher-Edge’s Asia head office:
Best watering-hole: “360” bar at Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai. The bar is located well out into the sea. Go at sunset for a spectacular experience.
Most overpriced hotel: A tie. All 5-star hotels in Russia.
From Dani Zaretsky, Chief Ideas Officer:
Top walk: Circling the Kremlin for the first time on a sunny, cold, crisp November Saturday.
Top drive: One of several beautiful routes from Medellin Airport, Columbia, about one hour drive from the city proper. Winding, verdant, hilly.
Worst drive: From Ibadan to Warri, Nigeria, when you feel the water level rise above seat level while driving. Top Conferences: NAFSA Montreal—especially forits fabulous Nobel Laureate guests; ICEF Berlin—for its energy and networking.
Speaking of travel, Toronto Office Manager Lisa Roosen-Runge says she’s still reeling from a 2005 fracas at the old Hongqiao airport in Shanghai. Police had to be brought in to defuse a situation involving pas- sengers angry over a 3.5-hour delay.
Their problem: it wasn’t long enough.
“It turns out that the policy is that if the delay is over 4 hours, the airline is to give a discount of 30%, so the passengers were trying to drag out the delay over 4 hours to receive a discount,” Ms. Roosen-Runge says.
“The pilots felt their shift was too long, so they were dragging the dispute out at their end also!”
Working with students involves unique rewards and challenges. The students themselves all have their unique characteristics—almost paralyzing shyness, for example, as Asha Shankar, a counsellor working for Higher-Edge in Hyderabad, India, witnessed with one student.
“The day he submitted his visa application, I just hoped that he would not be called for the personal inter- view because he looked petrified in the photograph he enclosed and to get him to talk was almost impossible,” Ms. Shankar remembers.
It turned out, however, that the Canadian Embassy called him in for an interview.
“ I told him they called him as they wanted to talk to him and give him the visa in person, and all he needed to do was talk,” she says.
“In the end, he got his visa because he talked.”
Note: Overseas, Overwhelmed is taking a break for the holidays. Our next issue is slated to come out Jan. 10, 2007.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Higher-Edge!