Celebrating 40 years of international excellence & innovation
Since 1983, TRU has been a home for students, faculty and staff from around the world, whether for weeks, years and sometimes even for decades. TRU World’s legacy has been founded on building a diverse, innovative and community-minded environment for students from all perspectives and backgrounds. This legacy has been curated and guided by students, faculty and staff and we took our 40th anniversary to reflect on our past, present and our future together.
Our history through milestones
RIn the fall of 1983, TRU’s connection to the world was formalized in a department created to coordinate the international activities for the institution in House 8, with Charles Mossop as the first coordinator for international education and Joan Wright as the first secretary. This centralization of international activities at TRU signaled the growing importance of the institution’s connection to the world as noted by then Vice-President Academic and soon-to-be President Jim Wright.
These students joined us from Mexico and Hong Kong, with stays varying in length. Some continue to other academic programs. Some returned to their home countries with a connection to TRU. These programs marked TRU’s initial commitment to flexible, accessible, impactful educational programs that build global language and intercultural competencies.
TRU’s approach to international education was founded on a holistic approach, meeting our students and partners where they are with the program that fits their needs, no matter their academic journey. Students from Mexico primarily joined us for our ESL programs. In contrast, the students from Hong Kong entered our academic programs for university transfers after our ESL programs. The students from Libya came to us as contract students in college prep leading to pre-engineering and then engineering. Some of these Libyan students entered diploma programs elsewhere, one began attending UBC in engineering, and others returned to Libya in government positions.
This memorandum of agreement was signed between Nagasaki Wesleyan Junior College, later Nagasaki Wesleyan University, in Isahaya City, Japan and Cariboo College to promote cultural understanding and student exchanges. Cariboo College students were offered the unique opportunity for a year of study in Japanese language, arts and culture, combined with field trips that give students a good insight into old and modern Japan. While Nagasaki Wesleyan students were offered ESL programs, content courses and field trips in Kamloops, B.C.
In the broader sister-city relationship, Cariboo College’s International Office joined the City of Kamloops in signing a partnership with Kyoto Bunkyo Junior College. Each year their students attended TRU for a Language and Culture Immersion Program. Vera Wojna, then Associate Director for the International Department, noted that this partnership “remains a tangible illustration of the wide-ranging influence of international education on individuals, and institution and a community.”
It has continued to grow, with over 150 showcase participants in 40 performances and 20 events over three days. IDays began as the opportunity to showcase our international student community to domestic students and the wider community. IDays has since evolved to include a broader interpretation of the international experience but remains an opportunity for the campus to connect around shared and unique cultural experiences. Despite small beginnings, the energy that emanated from the first IDays in the rotunda of the CAC was palpable. Happening every couple of years, IDays was founded on the excitement and energy of our international students and international student advisors and eventually became an annual occurrence.
Join us for iDays 2023
In 2003, we partnered with two institutions that enriched the academic journeys of many students. Tianjin University of Technology (TUT) was one of these universities. Since signing, 1793 students have graduated with a joint TUT/TRU Bachelor of Business Administration. Shanghai Institute of Technology (SIT) was the other. In 20 years, we have had 895 students graduate with an SIT/TRU Bachelor of Business Administration.Our first students from Israel, Martinique, Netherlands, Philippines, United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe joined us on campus
TRU’s Study Abroad Centre was established in 2004. International exchanges have long been essential to TRU’s internationalization, with four students on exchanges in 1992. This grew over the years to reach 170 Canadian students on exchange or in a field school in 2010. Since the impacts of the pandemic, we are slowly returning to our international mobility, with 25 students on exchange in 2022 and 35 so far in 2023.Our first students from Egypt, Iceland, Myanmar and Vietnam joined us on campus
Built in 2005 based on feng shui principles, the International Building highlighted the strong impact of international students on campus and became an anchor for all of the International Office’s student services and training, in addition to the Gaglardi School of Business and Economics and astronomical observatory. The international office became TRU World in the same year.Our first students from Armenia, Greece, Italy, Uzbekistan and Qatar joined us on campus
This award recognized our exemplary and innovative international student services that continue to support our students throughout their TRU journey.Our first students from Austria, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Spain and Syria joined us on campus
TRU’s Global Competency Credential formally recognizes the significance of having intercultural skills and international experience for students.Our first students from Cambodia, Cuba, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ireland, Kuwait, Nicaragua, Sudan and Uruguay joined us on campus
In receiving this award from the BC Council for International Education (BCCIE) IDays commitment to storytelling and celebration was re-confirmed as an event to find a sense of connection and celebrate our students.Our first students from Belize, Namibia and Oman joined us on campus
As a lifelong champion of the value of internationalization, Charles Mossop established TRU as a leading destination for students worldwide. Through the creation of international development projects, expansion of field schools, proactive recruitment and specialized, culturally sensitive support, his work was honoured for the foundation and vision it laid for TRU World today.Our first students from Albania, Equatorial Guinea and Liberia joined us on campus
As the world stood still, our International Training Centre adapted to continue meeting the needs of our summer Language and Culture Programs, bringing these classes online to serve over 50 students in the first summer!Our first students from Dominican Republic, Iraq, Lesotho and Portugal joined us on campus
Celebrate with us this year
How to give
As we celebrate our 40th anniversary, international learners continue contributing greatly to our local community. They are often high achievers committed to volunteerism and academic excellence. Right now, there is a real need for new awards and scholarships to support our growing international community and recognize their academic success and achievements.
40 for 40
With a $40 donation, you can contribute to our International Student Relief Fund which provides emergency funding for international students and join us in supporting our community in making their academic dreams a success.Donate now
Friends of the 40th
Support our students through various international student awards and scholarships by joining our Friends of the 40th with a one-time gift of $4,000 anytime in 2023.Donate Now