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Seneca College first to partner with Manulife Financial on travel insurance training

Toronto, November 21, 2013 – Seneca College is the first post-secondary institution in Canada to provide students with a competitive edge by integrating the Manulife Financial SmarterU Travel Insurance learning platform into its curriculum.

Seneca’s School of Tourism has partnered with Manulife Financial to offer this hands-on training to students in the following programs:

Offered through SmarterU, an online-training, interactive learning platform with a library of learning modules, the Manulife program will teach students about the features and benefits of travel insurance. Students will also be introduced to a full suite of travel insurance products along with processes, procedures and selling tips used successfully by travel agencies.

"Seneca is the first and only post-secondary partner selected by Manulife Financial to offer this program to its students," says Angela Zigras, Chair of Seneca’s School of Tourism. “We are delighted that after completing this program, our students will receive a Manulife Financial – Travel Insurance Certificate, making them highly desirable to employers.”

Robert Iafrate, Assistant Vice-President of Travel Insurance with Manulife’s Affinity Markets Division, says that being able to offer future travelers accurate and useful information on travel insurance is a crucial skill for today’s travel industry professionals.

“More and more of us are now travelling abroad, yet studies show that only half of Canadians buy travel or medical insurance when planning a vacation,” Iafrate notes. “Meanwhile, a hospital stay in a foreign country can easily escalate into the tens of thousands of dollars. Offering this important learning platform will enable Seneca students to have a well-rounded understanding of travel insurance that will make them more marketable to employers.”

Wallace Thompson, Vice-President of Sales and Relationship Management with Affinity Markets, adds that “this effort will help ensure that once these students are in the workplace, they are able to educate more Canadians about the benefits and importance of travel insurance products."

About Seneca
With campuses across the Greater Toronto Area, Seneca offers degrees, diplomas and certificates renowned for their quality and respected by employers. Combining the highest academic standards with practical, hands-on learning, expert teaching faculty and the latest technology ensures Seneca graduates are career-ready.

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About Manulife Financial
Manulife Financial is a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Clients look to Manulife for strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions. Our international network of employees, agents and distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management products and services to millions of clients. We also provide asset management services to institutional customers. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$574.6 billion (US$558.7 billion) as at September 30, 2013. The Company operates as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the United States.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘945’ on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at

For more information, please contact:

Kayla Lewis
Seneca College Media Relations
416-491-5050 ext. 77018

Jana Miller
Director of Media Relations, Manulife Financial