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Where students get ready for success

Bow Valley College has a long history of providing ambitious learners with great diploma and certificate programs. Everyone is welcome at its downtown Calgary campus — especially those with their hearts set on thriving in the future-focused sectors of business or technology.

Bow Valley College’s focus on entrepreneurship is paired with a committed faculty, providing students a dynamic group of educators to not just gain knowledge from, but inspiration too.

“We discuss different teaching styles and programmes of study before passing the information through to higher levels of authority. Our findings then go to the industry to ensure our content is up to date. We also bring in subject matter experts to guide us through our curriculum.”

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With such rigour comes the need for support — Bow Valley College offers plenty of that as well. Hence, its ability to attract students from both near and far — like April Gaye Acoba from the Philippines.

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Warm welcomes all around

Acoba was just a child when she first discovered the power of business. Her parents, who owned a string of trucks and jitneys, had taught her the arts of bookkeeping, transacting with customers, and always making a profit. “They taught me to be business-minded in everything I did,” she says.

It should come as no surprise that her decision to study abroad was a calculated one as well. Acoba knew that the right program in the right place could change her life. She spent the next couple of months researching the best locations to support her interest in business.

It wasn’t long until Acoba stumbled upon Bow Valley College. Impressed by its history, she quickly signed up. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic forced her to spend her first few semesters studying offshore. Thankfully, Bow Valley College has the resources to cater to the needs of its students — no matter where they are.

“There were many cultural programmes set in place to make sure we felt like we belonged to the community,” Acoba says. “At the same time, we were able to learn more about other cultures.

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When travel restrictions were lifted, she was overjoyed to gain these cultural perspectives in person.

This is what a regular day would look like for Acoba, who is so close to graduation, yet still feels every bit connected to the community she knows and loves

“We really pay attention to international students — not just to make sure they have their schooling in place, but the whole student experience as well. Regardless of where our students come from, we want them to feel comfortable here as part of the big Bow Valley College family.”

A day in the life of a Bow Valley College student

A day in the life of a Bow Valley College student


After a long day, there’s nothing Acoba enjoys more than a quick snooze on the bus ride home — simply because she can. “It’s different here,” she says. “In the Philippines, I would advise girls against dozing off in public transport, but there’s a sense of safety here that helps you feel safe.

9:00 p.m. - Heading home

When Acoba makes it home, she freshens up for some home-cooked Filipino food — prepared by her host family, of course, who just so happens to be from the Philippines as well.

Once satisfied, she heads to her room to start her daily study session, which can last until the wee hours of the morning. Thankfully, Acoba has opted for a blended learning approach, which lets her sleep in and study entirely online on alternate days.

10:30 p.m. - Fuelling the body and mind

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Acoba’s second class of the day is usually on intermediate financial accounting — a course which examines the complexities of current accounting principles and standards for both public and private corporate financial presentation, with a focus on liabilities and equities.

12:30 p.m. - Class #2

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Back on campus, Acoba heads to her third and final class of the day: auditing. Through these lessons, she gains exposure to various auditing concepts and other assurance services. It teaches her the nature and amount of audit evidence needed to render an opinion on the fairness of an organisation's financial statements.

6:00 p.m. - Class #3

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Free periods are a treat to Acoba. “Back in the Philippines, we would have up to eight classes a day. Here, we have so much more free time to do things we enjoy,” she says. “I personally enjoy the library the most.”

Off-campus, Acoba enjoys rallying her friends for tasty excursions around town. She runs a food blog on Instagram that requires frequent updates anyway. “We love trying amazing restaurants,” she says.

2:00 p.m. - Break

Once the online session ends, Acoba heads to campus. Since she lives in the deep south of Calgary, she hops on a bus to make it to campus for her second class of the day.

11:30 a.m. - Head to campus

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As a Diploma in Business Administration student at a future-focused college, Acoba’s first lesson of the day typically revolves around business analytics. These lessons entail exploring descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics while compiling database analytics, including querying databases.

10.00 a.m. – Class #1

Acoba considers herself a hard worker, meaning she burns the midnight oil just as often as she rises at the crack of dawn. The latter is common. By waking up as early as possible, she has just the right amount of time to grab some coffee and breakfast from Tim Hortons and get ready for her first class – which she usually logs in to from home.

7 a.m. – Wake up!

Vibrant training, successful graduates

Acoba’s convocation ceremony is coming up, but that isn’t the only thing she’s looking forward to. The student has already landed a full-time job as an accounting technician with a Calgary-based tech company called Vog App Developers.

“Connections are easy to come about in Canada,” she says. “I’m proud to say I got this job by asking my friends, professors, and classmates to keep me updated on openings and referrals around town. And now, I’m several steps closer to becoming a permanent resident in Canada.”

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A scenic home-away-from-home

When international students like Acoba come to downtown Calgary, it isn’t long until they feel it’s hard to leave. The neighbourhood of East Village — just short steps east from where Bow Valley College’s main campus is located — is trendy, vibrant, and energised enough to captivate any young, ambitious learner.

Accessibility is a plus too. The college is within walking distance of several independent restaurants, coffee shops and businesses, and a major grocery store. Those in need of a little inspiration will be happy to know that the internationally recognised, award-winning Central Library and the historic Glenbow Museum are just a few steps away from campus too.

Of course, there are spaces galore for tranquillity as well — think lush parks, postcard-like bridges, towering mountains, expansive rivers and rolling cycling paths. What more could a busy student need?

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The student experience of a lifetime awaits at Bow Valley College.

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