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New blog designed to attract more int’l students

by Archives January 15, 2008

International students will get a chance to write about their lives as Concordia students with the launch of a new, uncensored blog. The blog is intended to beckon students who are looking for a prospective university.
Four international students have been asked to write regularly on either a bi-weekly or monthly basis, relating their experience as international students.
Even though it will be hosted on the university servers, writers will not be subject to stringent rules or guidelines – possibly in order to give space to the bloggers to write honestly from their own point of view. Elie Chivi, president of Concordia International Students Association, said he was assured by the university that their texts would not be edited. “It was definitely a collaborative project. They wanted t know what we wanted to talk about . . . they don’t want it to be another PR tool.”
And though it promises not to be a promotional tool, it seems to be a creative way for Concordia to attract more international students. Presently, there are 4,443 international students enrolled at Concordia. This is a 36.3 per cent increase from the 3,260 enrolments it had in 2004 when the university stated it was aiming to increase “our enrolment of international students by 10 to 20 per cent over the next five years,” according to its website.
If that is reached, it could become a greater source of income for cash-strapped Concordia as international students pay between $11,000 and $14,000 for 30 credits a year, not including room and board as well as other expenses. Concordia’s administration also attempted to raise the fees by 10 per cent in the fall, but decided to delay the decision until winter when faced with protests organized by the Concordia Student Union at the Board of Governor’s meeting in October.
Not only was the blog intended for prospective students abroad, but it is also for international students already here so they have something to relate to regularly while studying at Concordia.
However, one blogger thought that organizers should keep it as fresh as possible. “Originally, we were each required to write an entry per week,” explained Desiree Enderer, a journalism student from Germany. “But we told them that, over time, it would get boring, we wouldn’t have anything to say.” With that in mind, it was agreed that the bloggers would share the spotlight and take turns writing when they feel they have interesting experiences to share.
“Students go through positive and negative experiences . . . It’s going to be a very honest blog. Some of us are probably going to write at three in the morning while trying to finish our papers,” added Chivi.
Bloggers will also be given the incentive of $50 a month and expect to start writing by the end of January.
According to Monica Lafon, another journalism student invited to be a blogger, they are in the midst of brainstorming a name for the blog.
Perhaps reflective of her and Enderer’s training to write simply and concisely, their proposal at the moment is “blogging at Concordia.”

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