For the 10th consecutive year, the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) has partnered with the Canadian government to award its students with study abroad exchanges.
Six BTVI students will be headed to Canada during the 2019-2020 academic year on Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP) scholarships.
Heading to Fanshawe College for two semesters this fall will be information technology (IT) students Miguel Lamour and Levonia Braynen.
Electronic engineering students Shanado Moss and Joshua Glinton, and Edwinique Culmer whose focus is human resources management, will be attending College of the Rockies on a one-semester exchange in the fall.
IT management student O’Neil A. Charlton will also be spending a semester at Fanshawe College; he will be the only recipient heading off in spring 2020.
Glinton, who graduated from Anatol Rodgers High in 2017, said he had a desire to attend college from he was in high school.
“I was trying to get a scholarship from then. When my friends went off, I felt depressed,” he confessed.
“When I came to BTVI, I stopped fretting. But even when Ms. Bethel came into our class to tell us about the ELAP scholarship and I wanted to approach her, I had doubts, but the opportunity came to me. I waited for this opportunity. I wanted this opportunity for so long, so I appreciate this and really thank God,” he said.
Braynen was also excited about the opportunity.
“When I was nominated, I figured, ‘Out of all the people they could have picked, they nominated me.’ I believe it will open doors for me. I was like, ‘Go me,’” she said.
BTVI Dean of Student Affairs Racquel Bethel told the students she knows the rewards of student exchanges.
“As a teen, I went on a study exchange to Europe. Exposure is what it sometimes takes to get you outside of the box and change your world,” she said.
Bethel, who has played a key role in the partnership since its inception, said the study relationship speaks volumes.
“It’s almost like validation to have international schools recognize us in addition to the Canadian government recognizing us. It’s amazing. It speaks to the product and the partnerships we maintain. This is a crowning moment,” she said.
Dr. Robert W. Robertson, BTVI president, encouraged the students to represent themselves and The Bahamas well.
“We’re proud of you. You’ve earned it and it’s your skills that got you here. This has been an open and competitive process, so you’re the best of the best,” he said.
Dr. Robertson, who is a Canadian citizen, gave the students insight on what Canada has to offer and what to expect regarding the weather. He encouraged them to enjoy the experience, but to remain focused.
The scholarships, granted by the Canadian government, provide Latin America and Caribbean students with short-term exchange opportunities at the undergraduate and graduate levels. A condition of the exchange requires students to return to BTVI to complete their studies following the experience.