The rural Acadian Peninsula’s communities have seen a decline in population due to aging and people moving to other provinces. The decrease in population caused a significant labor shortage in the region. Over the past decade, the Peninsula went from welcoming a handful of newcomers every year to hundreds coming to the area.
Five years ago, the University of Moncton’s Shippagan campus had only 15 students from abroad; now there are 160 from 14 countries. The largest draw has been the business program, with over 40 international students as a part of the entrepreneurship club. According to the dean of studies, the increase in students from abroad is continuing.
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The businesses and stores in Shippagan are showing signs of the changing population as international students look for work. They are also going to Tracadie, Caraquet, and other close by communities to find job opportunities. French accents are heard now from French-speaking countries around the world, not just the Acadian Peninsula. Tim Horton’s, a coffee shop in town, has filled their openings with the many newcomers. The majority of the staff are international students, which correlates to the increase in students from abroad at the university.
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