Canada Adds Seven More Countries to Student Direct Stream for Faster Study Permit Processing

Source: Government of Canada

Canada introduced their Student Direct Stream (SDS) in 2018 in order to process study permit applications from certain countries faster. At the time, international students from only China, India, Vietnam, and the Philippines were eligible. A year later Morocco, Pakistan, and Senegal were added to the list. Seven more countries were added to the list recently bringing the total to 14.

Students applying through the SDS are asked to provide extra information when they apply. This enables officers to better assess their application and process it faster than a non-SDS application.

In 2019, Canada issued 16,000 study permits to students from the newly eligible countries. In fact Brazil and Columbia were responsible for 10,000 and 4,400 respectively.

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marco Mendicino said, “By expanding the Student Direct Stream to a more diverse range of prospective students, we have great optimism that international education will recover, and indeed flourish, as Canada emerges from the pandemic.”

British Columbia Colleges and Universities Planning to Return to Campus as Guidelines Announced

Source: CBC News, the Government of British Columbia

As more Canadians get vaccinated to receive increased protection against the coronavirus, higher education institutions across the province of British Columbia are planning to welcome students, faculty, and staff back to their campuses for the Fall 2021 semester.

The provincial government is on track to remove the majority of their COVID-19 restrictions by early September. This means that schools will no longer need to have specific plans for how to handle potential COVID outbreaks. They will also be able to host students in residency without any limits on occupancy. Classes will be taught in person and masks will not be mandated as campuses all expect to return to what they were like before the pandemic.

This is wonderful news to those looking to regain a sense of normalcy after the last year and a half. However it is understandable that some individuals may be hesitant about physically returning to class. President of Camosun College Sherri Bell stated, “While some people may be a little nervous as well as excited, the health, safety and well-being of employees, students and campus visitors remains the priority.”

International Student Destinations in Ontario That Aren’t Toronto

Source: Study International

When asked what the most populated city in Canada is, most international students will correctly say Toronto. With a number of universities and college campuses located in the city it’s easy to see why they would also consider Toronto a top study abroad destination. However if a busy metropolis isn’t quite your style there are other places in the province of Ontario you might want to call home while you complete your overseas education.

Southwest of Toronto are the cities of Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge; collectively known as KWC. Home to institutions like Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo, students from around the world are choosing this area for the opportunity to earn a world-class education. Colleges in the region, like Conestoga College, are also witnessing a rise in foreign learners on their campuses as well.

Moving east across the province, Kingston is also hosting more study permit holders than in years past. The number of international students in the city is ten times what it was just three years ago. St. Lawrence College and Queen’s University both have growing international programs and deserve a look from potential future students.

Whether students are considering Kingston, the KWC region or other cities like St. Catherine’s or Sudbury, it is important to know about emerging study abroad destinations. More options becoming available increases the likelihood of students finding an environment that they feel comfortable in. With so many top-tier institutions found around the province, Ontario is showing that they have more places than just Toronto where students can call home.

Scholarships and Financial Aid at Canadian Colleges and Universities

Source: Times Higher Education

One of the most frequent questions we receive in our inbox is “How do I get a scholarship so I can study in Canada?” Studying abroad is costly and for many aspiring international students, every bit of help they can get to make their experience more affordable is welcome. Canada is typically more affordable than other destination countries when it comes to the cost of an overseas education. However with tuition, international and local travel, plus the cost of living, the grand total is nothing to take lightly.

While Canada Campus Visits does not award scholarships to students, we are happy to point you in the direction of those that can. The Government of Canada offers scholarships to both Canadians and non-Canadians while higher learning institutions have their own ways of providing financial aid to future and current students. By browsing our Virtual Campus Visits page, you can find scholarship information from each of the colleges and universities listed.

If you want a detailed walk-through of all the potential costs and possible ways to get help paying for your Canadian education, we suggest you check out this Times Higher Education article. It addresses topics ranging from the cost of higher learning in different provinces to unexpected costs that may run into.

Overseas Students Want International Experience When They Study Abroad

Source: IDP Connect

In spite of the obstacles that the coronavirus pandemic has thrown in the way of international students, their desire to study abroad remains strong. A survey of 6,000 students planning to travel internationally to further their studies has provided new insight on what their plans are going forward.

Most of the respondents still intend to study abroad as expected with the majority of them aspiring to gain international experience during their studies. Just 10% of students said that they were willing to complete courses that lacked an on-campus aspect. However if an online course eventually offered an in-person component, 43% would be interested in it.

Being able to travel internationally to experience a new country is such an important factor to future overseas students that 39% of them would choose a higher learning institution in a different country if their original destination was not ready to resume classes in-person. 30% would even decline a scholarship if it meant they would be on campus earlier somewhere else.

With COVID-19 still looming, 55% of students claimed they were happy to get vaccinated before the start of a semester abroad and only 6% hope to delay their plans until vaccinations are not mandatory for international travel.

When asked about their perceptions of popular study abroad destinations, the students surveyed mainly cited Canada as their destination of choice due to government policies that welcome immigrants and international students.

The study makes clear that students still have an appetite to study abroad but courses from overseas institutions that they complete from their home country are not what they are looking for. They want the experience of living and working in a new country, like Canada, that has a history of embracing newcomers. Vaccine hesitancy is a factor to some with a number of students wanting more information on any potential risks. International students largely do not mind getting vaccinated though as long as it keeps them safe and lets them travel sooner.

Study Abroad Decisions Being Shaped by International Vaccine Rollouts

Source: ICEF

As COVID-19 vaccines are administered around the world, the urge to study abroad has returned to aspiring international students. Research shows that 19% of students hoped to begin their studies sooner than anticipated because of vaccines. Most students would even be willing to quarantine in their host country if it meant an end to them studying online from home.

56% of prospective overseas students surveyed also said that the way governments approached the coronavirus pandemic would impact where they chose to study abroad. This is expected to bode well for Canada as vaccination programs gain momentum across the provinces and territories. While the number of vaccines in the country struggled to meet demand in the early stages, current data indicates Canada is on the right track again. It is the hope of many colleges and universities that students from overseas see this improvement as well.

Institutions Increase Financial Aid to Attract International Students After Pandemic

Source: ICEF Monitor, International Language Academy of Canada

A current trend among higher education institutions is to make tuition more affordable for the international students that they are so eager to bring to their campuses. One example of a Canadian institution trying to entice overseas students is the International Language Academy of Canada (ILAC).

Students enrolled in ILAC’s KISS virtual classes are able to earn KISS dollars for every Canadian dollar it costs. KISS dollars can then be used to offset the cost of future ILAC courses in Vancouver or Toronto.

ILAC also announced a partnership with Air Canada that will reduce the cost of international travel for students with a study permit. Once enrolled at ILAC or one of their partner institutions, students will be able to get 15% off the cost of their Air Canada flight.

Both deals from ILAC are available until the end of 2021 and additional details can be found on their website.

One on One Webinar: A Year Into COVID

The third session in our One on One webinar series featured a round-table discussion with representatives from higher education institutions across Canada:

After a year of lockdown measures and travel restrictions, the conversation revolved around how institutions in different parts of Canada have adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic and what their outlook is for the future. Moderated by Canada Campus Visits President Husain F. Neemuchwala, points mentioned include:

  • Challenges institutions should expect to face as students return
  • Changes that educators have made to maintain the student experience
  • Steps that must be taken before institutions re-open and students are back on campus

We and our partners, Agents.CARE and the Canada India Education Council, thank all of the attendees who made this webinar a success. Canada Campus Visits is proud to play a role in facilitating such engaging and insightful discussions.

Canadian Universities Return to In-Person Learning in September

Source: Study International

As COVID-19 vaccines are being administered to Canadians across the country, a sense of normalcy is beginning to return. Universities, colleges, and other designated learning institutions now have the confidence to plan for Fall and Winter semesters that involve students on campus.

Institutions in different provinces must follow their own public safety guidelines before welcoming students back to classes at pre-pandemic levels. As a result of this, the re-opening of campuses is happening faster in some parts of Canada and more gradually in others.

While McGill University and the University of British Columbia expect the upcoming Fall semester to feature in-person classes, hybrid classroom models are being proposed elsewhere. Both the University of Windsor and the University of Ottawa will use online and regular classes when they welcome students again.

We encourage you to read the original article to see what more institutions intend to do later this year. If there are specific universities or colleges you are interested in, be sure to visit their websites for the most accurate information.