CollegeWhen twin brothers Meti and Massi Basiri left their home in Iran in 2011 to study at Conestoga College, they were some of the only international students in their programs, and two of just a few hundred on the entire campus.

Now, students from abroad make up more than half of the nearly 20,000 full-time students at the college and the brothers have played a big role in bringing many of those students to this region.

In 2015, the twins — along with their older brother and University of Waterloo grad Martin — founded Apply Board, a platform that uses artificial intelligence to help international students complete applications for approximately 1,200 post-secondary institutions in North America.

Conestoga was their first partner.

“Certainly Conestoga College has done an amazing job with their quick expansion, adapting to the demand, and exploring new programs and opportunities,” said Massi. “Especially when it comes to accommodating student needs, Conestoga College is always quick and agile.”

The number of international students at the college in the last five years has spiked from 1,400 in 2015 to 10,949 this year — or about 56 per cent of the school’s nearly 20,000 full-time students.

The company’s growth has mirrored Conestoga’s in recent years. Only about 60 students used Apply Board to submit their application to Conestoga during the company’s first year. Last year, about 700 students attended the college through Apply Board and Massi expects they’ll hit 1,000 this year.

More than 80,000 students from 130 countries have used Apply Board to successfully apply to study in North America over the past four years.

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