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Canada Named Top Study Abroad Destination for Second Year in a Row

Source: Educations.com

A new survey of 2,700 international students names Canada as the best country for studying abroad for the second consecutive year. While other countries like Australia, the United Kingdom, and the USA are typically thought of as leading places to earn an international education, overseas learners chose Canada once again.

Students cited the multicultural population and tolerant society as reasons that made Canada so appealing. The Canadian government has made diversity a priority and people around the world have taken notice. Nature was also a selling point for some students. Yes, winters can be cold but the beauty of the Northern Lights in Alberta, Niagara Falls in Ontario or views of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans are hard to ignore. Especially if you enjoy posting on social media.

Canadian colleges and universities have reputations as leaders in areas like STEM, Business, and Animation to name a few. With lower tuition costs than in other top countries, Canadian institutions have set themselves apart in the eyes of overseas students and will continue to welcome them for years to come.

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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

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.