UBC Reports | Vol. 48 | No. 13 | Nov.
The International Perils of Ada Christopher, Student Recruiter
Glamour Job is Gruelling Work
By Michelle Cook
None of Ada Christophers colleagues wants to travel
Its not that Christopher and the other members of UBCs
International Student Initiative (ISI) dont make a great
team. Its just that wherever Christopher goes, unusual
things seem to happen.
They call me the leading indicator of natural disasters,
Christopher laughs as she lists the calamities shes
experienced while crisscrossing the globe to talk about UBC
with potential students. These include a hurricane in Puerto
Rico, earthquakes in Mexico and India and, on a recent trip
to Japan, the biggest typhoon to hit Tokyo since the Second
As the universitys co-ordinator of International Student
Recruitment and Advising, handling unexpected occurrences
- natural or otherwise - are all in a days work for
Christopher and the rest of UBCs international recruiting
On the road, Christopher visits up to five schools a day
and often attends education fairs in the evenings and weekends.
You can see thousands of students and talk non-stop
for nine hours a day and youre exhausted, and then you
have to get up and do it all again the next day, Christopher
Christopher is a counselling psychologist by training (she
has an MA from UBC), but it was her interests in travel, different
cultures and intercultural communications that led her into
the field of student recruiting. She joined ISI as UBCs
first international student recruiter in 1999.
From September to November of this year, the ISI team, along
with others from faculties and Enrolment Services, will spend
the equivalent of 410 days on the road on 46 separate recruitment
trips to other parts of Canada, 20 U.S. states, and 26 countries.
Advising students is also an integral part of Christophers
job. She answers many of the hundreds of e-mail inquiries
that pour into the ISI office ranging from how to fill out
application forms to how to get involved in campus activities.