According to our students: Saba from Iran

Saba and her friend Ayda are both Braemar College students from Iran

What were your first impressions when you arrived in Toronto?

My first impressions of North America concerned the subway line. I never thought that Canada’s largest city would only have two subway lines!!!!

What has been the best thing about studying at Braemar?

In my view, one of the most important points in education is the teacher! Braemar has many young teachers. Students tend to be more active and have lots of energy if the teachers are young. It can be more comfortable because they can understand the student’s age. They can communicate better and I think Braemar has young and active teachers and that makes it more interesting!

How does studying in Canada differ from Iran?

The most striking difference between these two countries is the diversity of the people in Canada. There are many people who come from various countries, and students can make international friendships. In addition, students will become familiar with different cultures and backgrounds.

Partnership with the Toronto Police Department

On Monday March 25th Sarah, our Guidance Counsellor & Pathways Coordinator, attended the International Schools Partnership Information Session at the Toronto Police College.

Toronto Police Constable Xiaobo Li, in charge of the Community Partnerships & Engagement Unit, organized the first information session to establish a formal partnership with international schools in Toronto.

The officers stated that there are 500,000 international students in Canada (and the number is growing)!

The goal for the partnership is to ensure international students feel safe, enjoy their schooling here, understand the differences in law and help achieve their goal of success.

The officers discussed promoting safety awareness (so that student don’t fall victim to person and property offences like robbery, theft and fraud) through community outreach programs.  

We are excited to establish this partnership with the Toronto Police!

From our Canada Pathway Workshop in HCMC with our partners Ryerson University, ILAC, and ILAC International College, in March, 2019

Many thanks to Derek Ho from Ryerson, and Hannah Dang from ILAC, and all the agents who participated and helped make the event such a success. Thanks also to Richard Wang from Braemar College. Vivian Ho, who covers the Vietnamese market for Braemar College, deserves an especially big thank you for all her excellent work in preparation! Any questions about this event should be directed to Vivian herself, who can be reached at 

Introducing HK, the homestay coordinator of Braemar College

HK, Homestay Coordinator of Braemar College

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is being a part of the student experience from admissions all the way through to graduation. It is rewarding to play an integral part of our students’ experience in Canada by supporting them in their initial transition in Canada and helping students overcome any challenges they encounter as a result of living with a host family in a new country.  Being away from home can be challenging for anybody and it can be difficult to adjust to unfamiliar surroundings, different food, and a new language. For international students who go abroad at a young age, it can be even more challenging. Homestay can help provide a safe and caring environment where students can adjust to life in a home away from home.

What are the most important considerations when making homestay placements?

When matching a student to a homestay family, careful consideration is given to the individual student’s background, age, gender, and preferences. We want to ensure that each student has a successful and meaningful experience at Braemar College, and ensuring that the student is happy and comfortable in their accommodation arrangements is the first step.

What are the key features you look for when adding homestay families to the network?

Our students’ safety, happiness and wellbeing is at the core of what we consider when adding homestay families to our networks. Each homestay family that has been added to our network is carefully vetted in the application process. A homestay coordinator visits each home to ensure that the living conditions meet our standards.

What, according to the students, are the best parts about staying with a homestay family?

Our students love the fact that when they arrive in Canada, they are not alone in navigating their new city. They are warmly welcomed by their host family and have the opportunity to live and learn from them. Students enjoy experiencing first-hand different cultures and the diversity that Toronto has to offer. They are able to experience new cultures, traditions, and foods.

What are the advantages of homestay over residential accommodation?

Homestay has a lot of advantages compared to boarding at a school. The primary advantage is that you are fully immersed in local culture. Depending on the level of involvement that you choose to have with your host family, a homestay can present an opportunity to experience the realities of daily life in the new country. Additionally, you can have access to local knowledge on events, attractions, or local sites that you would never have known of. Your homestay family may provide you with tips on where to visit and give you advice on surviving in your new environment. If the timing is right, you also get to experience local traditions and holidays such as Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving or other holidays that your host family may celebrate, depending on their own background, culture and religion.

Another important advantage is that you can improve your English through complete immersion. You have more exposure to authentic daily English compared to boarding where exposure tends to be primarily with other ESL students.

From the parents’ points of view, it is one of the safest forms of accommodation for students. Knowing that their children will be fed regularly with a balanced diet and will be taken care of by a host family gives the parents a peace of mind.

HK speaks English, German, and Korean, and can be reached at

Introducing one of our recruiters, Nikolay Semylit

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Nikolay covers Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Turkey for Braemar College. We caught up with him on his busy schedule to ask him a few questions. 

Do you have any hobbies?

Actually, my hobbies are mainly sports (which I am confident is vital for everyone nowadays) and literature. I love to purchase local books from the distant places I visit during educational fairs and get the perspective of the mostly unknown writers that describe their cultural background. This helps me understand the story of their people and their place in relation to global historical processes.

What do you like most about recruiting for Braemar College?

Mostly I like the idea of helping young students who are looking for an excellent education in Canada. I function like a bridge between them and Braemar – a school I trust and believe in. I am confident in the future of those who join us as they move on forward.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The most challenging part is being simultaneously in two or more places!

What advice would you have  for students interested in studying at Braemar College?

I would say that those looking for an education that enables them to enter top universities in North America and around the globe have come to the right place. Braemar gives an outstanding level of academic preparation, a broad skillset development, and provides the student with all the tools needed for a successful future.

Nikolay speaks English and Russian and can be reached at