Universities in Ontario to Welcome Back Students for Fall 2021 Semester

Source: Ontario’s Universities

Through a statement released by the Presidents and Principals of Ontario’s universities, we are learning more about which institutions intend to offer in-person learning during the upcoming Fall 2021 semester. Twenty universities across the Canadian province of Ontario were highlighted in the message, including:

Each institution listed will be working in collaboration with regional and provincial public health units to make sure they are operating in strict accordance with up-to-date medical guidelines. They will also partner with different levels of government so vaccination programs can be expanded to campuses for students, staff, and faculty.

Higher learning institutions returning to on-campus learning will no doubt approach the return of students differently. Plans may vary between institutions and it is important that students know that the situation is subject to change depending on COVID-19 infection rates.

The cautious approach universities have taken to this point and adherence to the advice of experts leaves us feeling confident in their ability to succeed though. The time to study abroad again is almost here and Canada Campus Visits can’t wait to help you begin your journey!

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.

people looking at laptop computer

International Students Discuss Studying Abroad During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The thought of studying abroad during a global pandemic may seem daunting to many. However international students in countries around the world are managing as best they can while they pursue their higher education overseas. In the above video, THE Student asked five overseas students about their university experiences in the age of COVID-19.

The students highlighted a rage of topics from what the visa application process was like to advice on making friends in online lectures. They also shared their most important tips for anyone who is thinking about their own study abroad experience in the future.

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.