crop smiling freelancer working on laptop at cafe table outdoors

Questions to Ask on A Virtual Campus Tour

Source: Study International

While the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for international students to attend campus tours overseas, the emergence of virtual campus tours has made it possible for them to still see what college and university campuses abroad are like.

It can be easy to visit a campus online and feel less engaged than you would if you were actually there in person. That is why Study International put together a list of topics to focus on during both online and offline campus tours.

  • Admissions: What should I know before beginning the application process?
  • Student Support: What services are available to students like me?
  • Programs/Courses: What makes my program at this institution different than at others?
  • Extracurricular Opportunities: What clubs can I join? Are there jobs available on campus?
  • Finances: How much does tuition cost? Are there any scholarships or bursaries I qualify for?
  • Accommodations: What is student life like when living in residence?
  • Career Prospects: Will a diploma/degree from this institution help my career after graduation?
man sitting on a green grass field

Relief for International Students As Canada Extends Work Permits Due to COVID-19

Beginning January 27, foreign nationals in Canada with an expired or soon-to-be-expired post-graduation work permit can apply for an 18-month extension

In a recent media release for the University of Toronto, author Yanan Wang interviewed Nana Sakyi, an international student from Ghana who recently completed a master’s degree in Canada. The article, dated January 27 2021, shed light on the apprehensions and nervousness of several International students like Sakyi, following a global pandemic that brought the world to a halt. 

In addition to health risks posed by the novel coronavirus, for international students the last several months were particularly uncertain because of the possibility that their work permits would run out before they find employment, putting their immigration status at risk.

Luckily, in an effort to ease the strain on international students who are graduating from post-secondary institutions amid the pandemic, the federal government recently announced a plan that will give them more time to find work. Foreign nationals in Canada with an expired or soon-to-be-expired post-graduation work permit can currently apply for an 18-month extension.

The policy seeks to help foreign nationals who are currently in Canada meet the requisite work hours to be eligible to apply for permanent residence.

“The work permit extension gives international graduates another year and a half to contribute to the Canadian workforce. That’s a huge benefit to Canada and the individual students who wish to take it up,” said Katherine Beaumont, senior director of global learning opportunities and international student success at U of T’s Centre for International Experience (CIE).

Beaumont added that the centre plans to make more international students aware of the new policy through alumni newsletters and the university’s career development resources. In response to a growing international student population and an increased need for guidance and advice on the documentation required to be an international student in Canada, U of T has increased the number of certificated international student immigration advisers based at CIE.  As a result, CIE has been able to increase immigration advising to students by a factor of four since the pandemic began – all while adding new ways to serve students, including online and phone appointments, webinars and drop-ins.

 “A lot of international students were very, very happy about this policy because this gives them the time to work towards starting the permanent residence process,” said Pooja Gupta, who earned her engineering master’s degree last year from U of T’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering and serves as president of the school’s International Students’ Council.

“Canada’s immigration policies are what gives the country an edge in terms of attracting talent.”

Source: University of Toronto

focused men with notebooks at table

Past International Students in Canada Now Eligible for New Open Work Permit

Source: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, international students who have recently graduated now face a difficult situation if they hold a post-graduation work permit (PGWP). For these new graduates to apply for permanent residence in Canada, they are required to work a certain number of hours to gain experience. However with lockdown measures in place throughout so many communities, this is difficult to accomplish before the deadline.

The Government of Canada has acted to help international students by giving current and former PGWP holders the chance to apply for an open work permit that will be valid for 18 months. This decision aims to assist overseas students who either held or still hold a PGWP by letting them continue their job search in these uncertain times. Foreign nationals will be able to apply from January 27 to July 27, 2021.

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marco Mendicino said, “Our message to international students and graduates is simple: we don’t just want you to study here, we want you to stay here.”

In 2019, an excess of 58,000 graduates applied to immigrate to Canada and the government seeks to increase this number further in the years to come. It values study abroad students as not just new contributors to the economy but skilled immigrants who, with their top-tier Canadian education and work experience, can help the nation return to strength post-pandemic.

Canada Requires Negative COVID Tests From Incoming Travellers

Source: Transport Canada

The Canadian government has stated that as of January 7, 2021, all travellers entering Canada over the age of five must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test before boarding their flight. This rule applies to anyone planning on entering the country, from international students to Canadian citizens.

Minister of Transport Marc Garneau said, “The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. We need to continue to be vigilant, and we need to continue to take action to reduce the risks of spreading the virus by air travel. This new interim order will help protect Canadians and air travellers.”

Results have to be from either a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) or LAMP (loop-mediated isothermal amplification) test. The test also has to have been conducted no more than 72 hours before the flight. Upon entering Canada all entrants will still have to enter the required two-week quarantine, as outlined in the Canadian Quarantine Act.

According to Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, “These new measures do not replace any of the previous measures we have put in place to protect Canadians. All travellers must still quarantine for 14 days after they arrive unless explicitly exempt… If anyone doesn’t follow the quarantine requirements, they could face severe penalties.”

With international travel to Canada contributing to the rise of coronavirus cases and new, more contagious strains of the virus being discovered, it is hoped that these measures can help plank the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19 in Canada.

Post-Secondary Students in Canada Facing Financial Pressure

Source: Global News

As college and university students in Canada prepare for the end of the Fall semester, the financial impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is becoming more apparent. A recent Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) study found that 70% of students had either lost their jobs or were working reduced hours.

“Students are really feeling the pressure especially now and are worried about what’s to come next year, as well as what’s already built up and accumulated this year,” CFS Deputy Chairperson Nicole Brayiannis said.

The University of Saskatchewan has provided students with some of the financial assistance they need in this time of uncertainty. According to Patti McDougall, Vice-Provost of Teaching, Learning and Student Experience, the university has shared in excess of $1.3 million in funding to students in the middle of March 2020. This aid aims to help students afford expenses such as groceries and rent. McDougall stated that much of this funding went to international students who were unable to apply for government aid programs like the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB).

While the federal government continues to promote programs like the CESB, the CFS claims that by not investing in students through more direct means, they may be financially harming the country in the years to come. Brayiannis said, “If we don’t start to act now on issues that we’re already seeing building and exasperating at this moment, we’re not going to be able to fix ourselves long term.”

COVID-19 Guide for International Students Arriving in Canada

The federal government has released a guide for international students who are coming to Canada, and navigating travel restrictions. It’s called “COVID-19: Guide for International Students in Canada Arriving from Abroad.” The government outlines the roles and responsibilities of designated learning institutions (DLIs), provinces and territories and the government of Canada in supporting international students. The guide is aligned with health advice from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Any international student or their accompanying family members with symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to board their flight. If symptoms show up upon arrival in Canada, a health Canada officer will perform a screening and the person may not be allowed to enter, or transported to a hospital for a medical examination. International students are allowed to come to Canada to go to school at an institution that has a coronavirus readiness plan. The list of approved institutions are kept up-to-date on the Government of Canada website.

International students need a study permit or study permit approval, but this is not a travel authorization in and of itself. IRCC will communicate with students once the travel authorization has been granted. This authorization may be cancelled if there are any changes in circumstances at their school, or the province or territory.

In order to be given access to come to Canada, international students need to show border services officer that they are entering Canada for non-discretionary purposes, and that they are studying at one of the approved DLIs, among other requirements. International students may be refused entry if they do not meet these requirements.

Immediate family members may be allowed to accompany international students. This would include students’ spouses, dependent children, or their legal parent or guardian if they are a minor. Family members must also show border officers that they are travelling for a non-optional, non-discretionary reason, such as helping the student get established in Canada.

International students and their accompanying family members must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. They need to wear a mask or face covering during travel, including to their place of quarantine. Before coming to Canada students need to make a quarantine plan. Border officers will also consider this plan, when determining if the student can enter the country. While in quarantine, students should ensure that they have individual accommodations, and that they monitor themselves for symptoms. They should avoid public and shared spaces. They also need to arrange to have access to basic necessities like food and medicine. In addition to physical distancing, they need to avoid contact with people who are at higher risk for severe illness, such as older adults, and people with underlying medical conditions, or who are immunocompromised.

Places with shared living accommodations, such as hostels, are not acceptable for quarantine or isolation. International students living with other people, such as with a host family or homestay provider, will need to self-isolate from other members in the accommodation or home. This means having a separate bedroom and washroom if possible. It also means physical distancing from other household members and frequently disinfecting surfaces.

Minors must also undergo mandatory quarantine. Parents or guardians must ensure that appropriate arrangements have been made for their child before they leave for their home country. Also, international students are asked to confirm their eligibility for heath-care coverage and Canada. If they are not covered, they can get private insurance that includes COVID-19 coverage before departure.

Top MBA Programs in Canada

In our most recent blog post we discussed Canada as the emerging destination for MBA programs. As more and more international students are looking towards Canadian universities for their MBA programs, here is a list of top Canadian Business Schools that offer excellent programs and opportunities for a Masters In Business Administration. These universities in Canada also rank among the most preferable destinations for international students due to their flexibility of the subjects and quality of education.

University of Toronto – Rotman School of Management

Ranked as 65th globally by the Financial Times, Rotman School of Management has a variety of MBA courses on offer. As you move forward in your career, an MBA from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management gives you the knowledge, agility and confidence you need to transform your future. Master business fundamentals and fulfill your potential with Canada’s leading MBA program.

Western University – Ivey Business School

Ivey’s one-year MBA Program covers all the fundamentals and is grounded in a real world, practical learning experience featuring the case method approach. This transformational experience is at the core of Ivey’s leadership development culture.

York University – Schulich School of Business

Ranked as the top university by Forbes and CNN expansion this institute provides a MBA with flexibility. The Schulich School of Business is the business school of York University located in Toronto. The institution provides undergraduate and graduate degree and diploma programs in business administration, finance, accounting, business analytics, public administration and international business as well as a number of PhD and executive programs. Schulich’s degree programs balance quantitative and much sought after management and leadership skills. All programs combine classroom learning with case work and real world projects presented from multiple stakeholder perspectives.

University of British Columbia – Sauder School of Business

The 16-month, full-time program at UBC Sauder’s Robert H. Lee Graduate School is an opportunity for high-achieving, ambitious professionals to take their career to the next level. Seeking new opportunities? Want to take the lead in your field? Nurturing an entrepreneurial idea? This MBA program will stimulate your mind, give you fresh perspectives, and help you realize your personal and professional potential.

McGill University – Desautels Faculty of Management

Founded in 1906, the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University is ranked as one of the world’s top international business schools. The Faculty’s innovative programs and historic reputation for excellence continue to attract the finest students and the most prominent professors from around the globe to its downtown campus located in the vibrant metropolis of Montreal.

HEC Montreal

HEC Montreal is ranked as one of the top universities in Canada in an MBA. This university provides state-of-the-art facilities for students who are willing to pursue a career in business.

University of Ottawa – Telfer School of Management

The University of Ottawa is also one of the top universities for pursuing a MBA. They also have joint degree courses which help in building additional skills and also excel in business. The one of only 2 business schools in Canada and one of only 80 business schools in the world to have achieved the triple crown of accreditations. Named the highest value MBA program in Ontario by Canadian Business Magazine in 2016.

Canada Emerges As the Preferred Destination for International MBA Programs

Institutions offering MBA programs in Canada have witnessed a surge in applications as international students look beyond the United States for their MBA. Asian and Latin-American students have shown a preference for alternatives. 50% of those surveyed stated Canada as their choice, up from 38% last year.

“We’re seeing candidates who would have historically checked out Ivy League colleges within the U.S. up to now,” mentioned Teresa Pires, Affiliate Director of recruitment and admissions for the MBA program of Queen’s University’s Smith School of Business in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. “As a result of it could be tougher to remain within the U.S., securing everlasting residency, job safety, they only really feel prefer it’s a safer guess right here.”

Reports suggests U.S.-based MBA programmes had already witnessed a 14% drop in foreign students before the pandemic. Some of the factors like high cost of tuition and changing immigration policies together caused this depreciation. Now, many aspirants have deferred their MBA admissions by a year rather than attend classes completely or partially online due to the pandemic. Students favour Canada for its guaranteed work permit that allows them to work for any Canadian employer, as against the highly restrictive work permits of the U.S.

Joseph Milner, Vice Dean of MBA packages on the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, mentioned its home functions elevated this 12 months, partly due to Canadian college students’ willingness to remain nearer to home. He additionally mentioned abroad functions for its 2021 admissions cycle have been surging as many potential college students favour the nation’s assured work allow in contrast with the U.S. scholar visa system. They allow permits worldwide graduates to work for any Canadian employer with out the requirement of a job provide on the time of making use of.

“During the last three to four years, U.S. immigration coverage has made Canada a spot individuals need to come,” Mr. Milner mentioned.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Sheridan’s Open Innovation Challenge Rethinks Education

Participants across Canada are invited to engage in an open innovation challenge focused on reimagining learning and education in a time of unrelenting disruption.

As a trailblazing postsecondary institution and well-connected community and industry partner, Sheridan College is facilitating the Reimagine Learning and Education in our Communities Challenge to reach and amplify underrepresented voices, spark inclusive dialogue, embrace – not hide from – the forces of disruption prevalent in industry and society, and cultivate meaningful solutions.

The challenge is inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which emphasize the interrelated impacts of changes within society, the economy and the environment, and the transformative power of education. Individuals and teams will be called on to contribute ideas via a range of mediums, grounded in the question: How might we collaborate with our communities to reimagine learning and education so that no one is left behind and all youth and adults can realize their full potential?

By building the challenge using a human-centred design approach that puts people at the centre of the process, “we’re ensuring that participants’ ideas and subsequent solutions aren’t prescriptive, but instead, are reflective of the very people we hope they impact,” says challenge co-organizer John Helliker, Dean of Innovation at Sheridan.

The Inspiration Stage of the challenge will run from November 18, 2020 to January 2021 and will focus on hearing ideas, stories and experiences from as many people as possible, regardless of their level of education, identity, location and circumstances. The second and third stages – Ideation and Iteration respectively – will require teams of participants to begin working on solutions to issues that emerged in the first stage. Mentors from community organizations and academia will provide guidance to teams throughout.

The challenge is being generously supported by sponsors TD Insurance, The Personal Insurance Company, Merit Security and Cyber Air Systems Inc. It is being hosted on the internationally recognized platform Agorize. A final event in May 2021 will feature presentations from pre-selected finalists. Exceptionally innovative and impactful solutions will be recognized by a panel of esteemed judges and the audience. Throughout the challenge, more than $60,000 in cash prizes are available to be won.

Learn more about the Open Innovation Challenge and get involved at: challenge.sheridancollege.ca

About Sheridan College

Founded in 1967, Sheridan has grown from a local college of 400 students to one of Ontario’s leading post-secondary institutions, educating approximately 23,000 full-time and 20,000 continuing and part-time studies students every year, on three campuses in Brampton, Mississauga and Oakville. An award-winning institution, Sheridan attracts students from across Canada and around the world.  Sheridan’s 190,000 alumni play a critical role in shaping the future of our society in the fields of arts, business, community service, health, technology, and the skilled trades.  In January 2020, Sheridan was listed among the top 100 in the Forbes Magazine’s list of Canada’s Best Employers.

For further information contact: Keiko Kataoka, Manager, Communications and Public Relations [email protected], 905-815-4080

Canada Leads in Recruiting Foreign Students

“A degree from a Canadian university has worldwide recognition and opens many doors for international students after graduation, whether they choose to stay and work in Canada or pursue opportunities elsewhere in the world”

An expert on international graduate’s career outcomes in Asia believes Canada will stay a top destination for foreign students should it focus on employability.

Louise Nicol, director of the Asia Careers Group also suggested “With robust data on international graduate outcomes, Canada would be the first nation to put employability at the heart of their National Inbound International Student Recruitment campaign and lead the pack in terms of evidencing the return on investment of a Canadian degree.”

Nicol further adds, this will differentiate and maintain Canada’s growth in the international higher education sector during and following the global pandemic. She also referred to a recent article she authored on the shifting dynamics of foreign students in University World News.

The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada estimates that in recent years, international education has been Canada’s fourth-largest export sector, with international students contributing between $15 billion and $26 billion to the Canadian economy from tuition fees (which are considerably higher than domestic student fees), accommodation, and other local expenses.

In 2018, India surpassed China as the single largest source of international students in Canada. Over a 10-year period, the number of Indian students skyrocketed from roughly 5,000 in 2008-09 to 172,00 in 2018. In addition to India, several Southeast Asian countries – Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam – have been identified by Canada as very promising new markets for international students.

Overall, Canada’s international student population has grown six-fold over the past 20 years. In the last decade alone, it has tripled.

International employability is already a key part of Canada’s foreign student recruitment strategy said Cindy McIntyre, Assistant Director of International Relations at Universities Canada.

“A degree from a Canadian university has world-wide recognition and opens many doors for international students after graduation, whether they choose to stay and work in Canada or pursue opportunities elsewhere in the world,” said McIntyre.

“International students make excellent candidates for permanent residency, as they are usually proficient in at least one official language, have Canadian educational qualifications, and possess in-demand skills that can help address Canada’s labour market needs.

“Given these advantages, it is not surprising that 53,700 international students became permanent residents of Canada in 2018,” she said.

Source: Asian Pacific Post