The Destination: BU video challenge was bigger and better than ever for the 2023-24 academic year, as two international students earned $500 prizes for sharing their voyages to Brandon University with a worldwide audience.
Now in its third year, the Destination: BU received a record 10 qualified entries as international students shared short, social-media style videos of their trips from home to Brandon, generating more than 3,300 views and 7,000 online votes (people could vote once per device), tripling the vote total from the previous year’s competition.
“Each international student at Brandon University has their own remarkable story to tell,” said David Rowland, BU’s Director of International Activities. “Through these videos we’re able to learn more about our students, their lives back home, and the lengths that they go to as they pursue a top-notch education here at BU. We’re thrilled to have these students here, adding to our university community, and we’re delighted that they’ve chosen to share this small snapshot of their journeys with us.”
Junaid Halimat, a first-year Pre-Nursing student, received the award for the largest share of the voting, generating 2,385 votes for her video about her trip from Nigeria to Brandon. Bien Van Berkel, a third-year Business Administration major, received the judges’ award for best video, as she shared her trip from the Netherlands to Canada. Both receive $500 to contribute to their education costs.
“We’re thrilled to have these students here, adding to our university community, and we’re delighted that they’ve chosen to share this small snapshot of their journeys with us.”David Rowland, BU Director of International Activities
Halimat has proved that she knows how to aim for a goal and reach it. She had her eyes on the prize before the latest edition of the contest was even announced.
“I knew I was going to enter the contest,” she said. “The winners from the last couple of years were my friends, so I knew I was going to make a video and I got them to vote for me.”
This is Van Berkel’s first time entering the competition, making sure she had enough footage to create a video after seeing other entries in the past. She showed that she’s able to excel in this field the same we she does on the pitch for the Bobcats women’s soccer team.
“A lot of people are curious about what the journey is like, so it’s nice to be able to show them,” she said.
International students bring significant experience, diversity and knowledge to Brandon University, with a presence that grows each year. This year, more than 500 international students are studying at BU, making up more than 16 per cent of the student population.
“BU is a destination of choice for many international students, who come to Canada for the outstanding education that we offer and find that right here at a university that is welcoming and provides unmatched value,” Rowland said. “They may not know much about Brandon when they first start researching Canadian universities, but once they get here they find a supportive community that many of them choose to call home well after graduation.”
Learn more about the Destination: BU video challenge and watch the videos by visiting BrandonU.ca/international-activities/destination-bu-video-challenge.
If you are a prospective student ready to start your own journey to BU, please email Ms. Iris Wang in the Office of International Activities at WangI@BrandonU.ca.
- Brandon University
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