Our Humble Beginnings
First Choice International Placement Inc. was incorporated in 1992 as a small home-based business. Located in the municipality of North Vancouver, we primarily arranged homestay accommodation and coordinated the transportation arrangements for incoming groups of international students involved in short-term academic and cultural exchanges. Within a few short years, however, we were frequently sub-contracted to arrange homestay and airport transportation for students attending several private ESL schools located in downtown Vancouver.
Commercial Office Expansion
In 2004 First Choice International Placement Inc. moved from a home-based business into commercial office space in the Lower Lonsdale area of North Vancouver. The move to 255 1st Street West provided us with significant opportunity to increase access to our growing network of schools and allowed us to significantly expand the number of staff employed to better address the requirements of our expanding services. It further demonstrated that we were becoming an industry leader in addressing the non-academic needs of international students.
A Growing Network of Valued Agents
A key shift occurred in 2005 when we began to establish formal agreements with those agents who were directly responsible for recruiting international students abroad. Recognizing the value of consistency in the support their clients receive, international agents increasingly elected to utilize First Choice International Placement Inc. to ensure that, no matter where their clients elect to attend school, they were assured that they would receive superior quality homestay and airport transportation services.
Monitored Guardianship Services
To address the needs of a growing number of minor-aged students who come to the Metro-Vancouver area each year to study at public secondary schools and public post-secondary colleges and universities, we introduced our Monitored Custodial Guardianship Service in 2006. A representative of First Choice International Placement Inc. serves as a student's Custodial Guardian and, supported by a network of Student Monitors, we ensure that the students under our care get the most from their international learning exchange.
Second Office Opened in Burnaby
In 2013 First Choice International Placement Inc. opened a second office located at 3855 Henning Drive in Burnaby, British Columbia. This expansion has provided us with greater opportunities to better serve students located with the municipalities of Burnaby, Coquitlam, New Westminster, and East Vancouver. Conveniently located near the Gilmore Skytrain Station, students in these municipalities are now able to meet with our staff as needed.
Relocation of Our North Vancouver Office
After spending eleven years at our original commercial office location in North Vancouver, First Choice International Placement Inc. moved to a newer, more modern facility in May 2015. Located at 83 Chesterfield Avenue in North Vancouver, the office was within easy walking distance to the Lonsdale Quay and Seabus Terminal and within 15 minutes of downtown Vancouver.
Expansion of Operations & Merging of Offices
In the Spring of 2019 a decision was made by First Choice International Placement Inc. to bring all of our operations back into one building given the continued growth of our services, the increased need to have staff work in collaboration with one another, and our increased utilization of technology. A new facility was secured in April which is located at 233 West 1st Street, Suite 310 in North Vancouver. The office features a welcoming and contemporary reception area, a state-of-the-art board room, flex offices for student meetings, and ample workspaces to accommodate all of our full-time and part-time staff. This location is readily accessible to all of our students throughout the metro-Vancouver area due to its close proximity to the Seabus Terminal.
The Future is Promising
Each year we continue to expand our operations to better serve international students attending various public secondary schools, public post-secondary colleges and universities, and private post-secondary institutions and ESL schools throughout the Metro Vancouver area. Through our network of international agents abroad, our expanding base of quality homestay families, and our highly skilled Placement Consultants, Student Monitors, and other support staff, First Choice International Placement Inc. continues to provide exceptional services to over 1,000 students, visitors and tour group members arriving each year. Our future truly looks bright.