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Winter Open House 2019: ‘a hugely positive atmosphere’

4,500+ visitors get an introduction to life at Concordia
February 18, 2019
By Sarah Buck

Current students in Concordia's School of Irish Studies represent their program at Winter Open House. | Photo courtesy of the Irish Studies Student Association at Concordia Current students in Concordia's School of Irish Studies represent their program at Winter Open House.

For people planning on starting university in September, now is a crucial point, with many future students already fielding multiple offers of admission.

“That’s why Winter Open House is such an important event,” says Concordia's director of student recruitment Matthew Stiegemeyer. “We’ve already started sending out offers for the fall, and this year we noticed that more and more questions are centred on what it’s actually like to attend Concordia. Open House is our opportunity to answer that question.”

More than 4,500 visitors turned up on campus to take part on Saturday, February 16.

“We were very pleased with the number of people in attendance,” Stiegemeyer says. “And the whole event went incredibly smoothly — a testament to the years of experience and knowledge that our professors, staff and faithful student volunteers bring to Open House.”

Hop on the bus

Demand for a charter bus to the event was great enough that organizers added a second bus from the Ottawa/Gatineau area. In all, 83 people, including visitors from the Quebec City area, registered to catch a ride to Montreal for Winter Open House.

“We gave our visitors a warm welcome during the trip and, once they arrived in Montreal, we helped them get their day started at the Welcome Centre before heading over to the main venues,” says recruitment manager Savvy Papayiannis.

“It’s part of our commitment to going beyond. We’ve already heard back from parents thanking us. They really appreciated the option of not having to drive themselves to Montreal, especially for Winter Open House.”

Debut of the Grad Corner

For the first time as part of Open House, prospective master’s and PhD students (plus those interested in graduate diploma and certificate options) had their own dedicated space to explore graduate studies at Concordia.

“The Grad Corner was a hugely positive atmosphere,” says Paula Wood-Adams, dean of Graduate Studies. “Our efforts really paid off because we got the chance to give our future students the information they need to move ahead with pursuing graduate studies at Concordia, all in one stop.”

The work of GradProSkills ambassadors was especially key in showcasing the services and support available to grad students, adds Wood-Adams.

Left: Two future students from Halifax, Lilly (left) and Sophie. Student recruitment manager John Beaton (right) connects with future students on Instagram. | Photos by Arwen Fleming and Diane Gu

Reaching out via social media

Recruiters put out a call for questions in advance of Open House and published a schedule of live videos on Facebook and Instagram designed to provide answers in real time. The response was overwhelming, says Stiegemeyer.

“We recognize that not everyone can make it to Montreal for Open House — and we know that more and more future students are opting to communicate with recruiters via Instagram especially,” he says. “We were ready to accommodate them.”

More than 4,000 people viewed recruitment videos on Instagram alone and hundreds of future students had their questions asked and answered online during the event.

Concordia’s next Open House is on Saturday, October 19, 2019.

The deadline to apply for fall undergraduate admission to Concordia is March 1.

Future students can apply on the spot with guidance from advisors at the Welcome Centre (1400 De Maisonneuve W.) on the Sir George Williams Campus as part of an application clinic running February 20 to March 1, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.


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