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DAWSON CREEK, B.C. โ€” Northern Lights College (NLC) is planning on welcoming more Kenyan students after signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with four Kenyan counties.

On November 21st, delegates from Murang’a County, Usain Gishu County and the Canadian High Commission in Nairobi visited NLC’s campuses in Fort St. John and Dawson Creek.

While in Dawson Creek, an MOU was signed by Murang’a County delegates and NLC delegates.

All of the delegates had a chance to talk to the students and community members in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John.

NLC delegates, Kenyan Delegates and Kenyan/NLC students in the Atrium at the NLC campus in Fort St. John. (Shailynn Foster)

Professor Joseph Kiarie Mwaura, the minister of finance and economic planning for the Murang’a County Government in Kenya, said he and his team were happy to be on the campus and to have signed an MOU with the institution.

Mwaura hopes the MOU will lead to further collaborations with the college, including exchange initiatives and ensuring the university in Murang’a County has good quality programs.

He also spoke with some students, who he said seemed very happy with their program.

“They’re learning a lot, and we hope that in the near future, once they acquire their skills and degrees, they shall bring those skills back home so they can help our country grow,” Mwaura explained.

Representatives from NLC will be visiting Kenya next year to tour Murang’a County’s university and provide input to potentially improve the institution’s curriculum.

Earlier this year, NLC signed an MOU with the Kenyan county of Usain Gishu, allowing students from that county to attend the college with full support from the government.

The MOU allowed 22 students from the county to go to college in Canada โ€” 11 in Fort St. John and 11 in Dawson Creek.

Sharon Kipkoria is a Kenyan student who arrived in Canada in September and said she likes the city but is not a big fan of the cold weather.

“I’m sure I’d get used to it,” Kipkoria said.

Kipkoria added that the community and her accommodations at the campus in Fort St. John are treating her well.

Kipkoria is taking land and water resource management courses but wants to switch to practical nursing.

“I just heard from some people that nursing has got a lot of money, so I decided to shift. Also, it is one of my dreams, that I wanted to become a nurse,” she explained.

Kipkoria said she would like to thank everyone involved in giving her the opportunity to study in Canada.

Scott Clerk, acting vice president of student services & community relations with NLC, said they expect more Kenyan students in the next year.

“The community has really warmly received the students. Most of them have been able to find part-time jobs, are getting involved on campus, and are really contributing to our campus community,” Clerk said.

Shamalla, the president of the Pan African Association in Fort St. John and a psychology teacher at NLC, said it’s been great to see the community continue to grow.

Being an international student herself, Shamalla said she sees the value in hosting international students.

“It definitely pays back to have new community members. I think it’ll be good for the students at the college to be able to interact with students from other places and for them as well to learn Canadian culture and to be able to mix and teach each other positive things.”

Shamalla encourages international students to volunteer and get involved in the community because it made a big difference for her.

“They’ve come to the best community. I mean, that’s why I’m here. Fort St. John is very friendly, very inclusive, so I believe they will have a wonderful time here.”

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Shailynn Foster

Shailynn Foster is a news reporter for energeticcity.ca. Shailynn has been writing since she was 7 years old, but only recently started her journey as a journalist. Shailynn was born and raised in Fort St. John and she watches way too much YouTube, Netflix and Disney+ during the week while playing DND on the weekends.