18 August Success Canada promotes Canada’s Excellence in Education
Surachit “Art” Chanovan is the Managing Director of Success Canada.org, an educational office designed to offer advice and counseling about Canadian education services to Thai students, parents, and local school counselors. Its roots date back to the Canadian Education Centre (CEC), which Art ran. It was located in the Boonmitr Building on Silom, which then also housed the Canadian embassy. Art has continued to represent Canadian educational institutions in Thailand with integrity and dedication through consultation and seminars to help raise awareness of Canadian education, not only with the general public but also with education agents’. He organizes Canadian education fairs/forums twice a year in March and October and works in alliance with colleagues in other Southeast countries such as Vietnam and Indonesia to help promote Canadian education.
Formed on Feb. 1, 2010, with the blessing of then Canadian Ambassador Ron Hoffman and then Trade Commissioner Greg Goldhawk (who went on to be Canada’s Ambassador to Mongolia), Success Canada has maintained the support and a strong collaboration with the embassy to the present day. This October will be the nineteenth event organized by Success Canada.org since its establishment eight years ago. Success Canada.org also acts as representative of Canadian educational institutions in Thailand in order to help promote awareness and assist them in recruiting students in Thailand with school visits, agent visits, accommodation, transportation requirements, etc.
Success Canada.org is a one-stop consulting service for the Thai public focusing on all aspects of studying in Canada, including help in organizing travel plans to get there. It regularly does outreach presentations and showcase events in both Bangkok and upcountry at international and local schools, colleges and universities. The organization’s normal and mobile website (www.successcanada.org) is in Thai to help educate the Thai public about all the aspects of Canadian education with links to supporting Canadian institutions’ websites. The LINE address (SuccessCanada) is very popular and full of information— “It has a huge database. it’s just like reading a magazine and our Q&A is very popular,” Art says.
It has been eight years since Success Canada.org was formed and it has grown and kept promoting Canadian education and its various promotional activities have paid off as the market is growing and the brand is now well-established in the Thai market. Art says Success Canada.org and the market for Canadian education will grow stronger in the next five years because Canada is listed as one of the top five countries in the world as the best place to live, because of its safety, diverse environment, quality and highly-acclaimed academic programs (among the lowest in total costs of study – tuition & living costs), its multicultural society and friendly people, its neutral English accent and a chance to learn French, the opportunity to work while studying on-and-off campus after graduation for three years. There are so much more than just these seven reasons to choose Canada as a study destination, but key factors include the four seasons (in summer it can be just like Thailand), the one and only native English-speaking country where Thais won’t find any discrimination. Thais can also blend in easily in Canada, just as if they were walking in Siam Paragon or Central World as testified to by many Thai students who experienced Canada for the first time and have craved to go back for another visit. Due to the lack of Canadian tourism offices in the region, Success Canada strives to help Thais understand Canada better.
Comments based on evaluation forms on the education fair Success Canada staged last October show that most participants rated the fair very good to excellent in almost all categories including overall experience and organization. Art was very appreciative of all the Canadian representatives from thirteen institutions (high schools, colleges, and universities) who participated in this bi-annual forum, the 15th major event organized successfully by Success Canada.
There was much positive feedback from visitors and participants who anonymously filled out the evaluation forms. These comments, included, “Very impressed! I did not think it was going to be this good. Fantastic atmosphere considering the circumstances, well done, Art!” Another: “Good size, steady inflow of visitors. Most visitors were serious. Good conversations. We are pleased with the format and turnout of the fair. The conversations that we had were engaging and the supporting agent did a great job”. One more: “Conducive for speaking and interacting with families. Excellent job. Keep up the good work, Art.” Yet another: “Good and comfortable venue. Well organized and the facilities provided were excellent! Thank you for hosting this despite the passing of the king and this difficult time for the Thai people. The fair was conducted correctly and with the right decorum.” One last one: “The fair was very well organized and professionally arranged, the fair was much better than I expected. Will look forward to a conversion rate. I found that many students were looking for master’s programs. It probably helpful for visitors if more universities participate. Very positive.”
Art summed up his feelings by saying, “A heartfelt thank you to all the participants at the recent successful BKK SCF fair held during a most difficult time with the recent passing of our most revered and beloved H.M. the King Rama IX who did so much for our nation of 65 million people. Thanks for being dressed for the occasion, some even wore popular black ribbons. This was probably the one and only Canadian education fair in the world where everyone attending the fair wore black and that would be a once-in-a-lifetime occasion.
“We have seen an increase in the number of inquiries in the last few years and have been invited to a lot of local recruitment activities. Though some have said Thailand is becoming an aging society and the number of students is diminishing, Thai parents see their children’s future education as an investment and many have worries about the state of Thailand’s public education system. The Thai market has many players from various countries, all trying to entice Thai students to study abroad, and they will keep coming, but the only place to be, as I have always said to parents when they are pondering which particular country is best to further their child’s education: ‘It’s “Canada, 100%’”.
There’s no doubt that Khun Art and Success Canada have proved to be a successful conduit between the Thai people and the fine education services that Canada has to offer.