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.”

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.

New Pathway to Permanent Residency for International Graduates in Canada

Source: Government of Canada

Encouraging news was just announced for recent overseas students in Canada hoping to apply for permanent residency. Starting on May 6, 2021, those who possess the skills necessary to strengthen the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to apply for permanent status under a new stream.

Currently employed international graduates who have completed an eligible program at a Canadian post-secondary institution no earlier than January 2017 are welcome to apply. Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada will accept 40,000 applications through this stream. Otherwise, it is expected to remain open until November 5, 2021.

In an effort to promote the official languages of Canada, English & French, an additional stream with no limit cap was also announced for Francophone and bilingual graduates.

The Government of Canada is working to show that they value the contributions of foreign students. Not only do they impact the economy but they help shape the multicultural society that Canadians cherish. These new immigration streams will hopefully encourage international talent to make their stay in Canada a permanent one and drive the country forward for years to come.

puzzled gamer in illuminated room

The Pros & Cons of Studying Abroad

A recent post by Students Explore Australia looked at many of the benefits and drawbacks of the study abroad experience. For some, traveling to a new country can be something they have looked forward to for years. Others though might be hesitant to leave their friends and family before going to a part of the world they barely know.

For a brief taste of the article, here are a few points to be made for each side of the overseas education argument:

Pros

  • New outlooks and perspectives
  • Adventures and life experiences
  • Improved salary/career prospects

Cons

  • Homesickness
  • Tuition costs
  • Culture shock

To read the full post, we encourage you to check it out on the SEA website. It’s full of information and insight that will prove useful to any student considering studying abroad to further their education.

man in red crew neck sweatshirt photography

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.

young woman enjoying music using smartphone in garden

Manitoba to Attract International Students to Fill Skills Gap

Source: The PIE News

In a bid to prepare for future changes in the labour market, the Canadian province of Manitoba recently published their Skills, Talent and Knowledge strategy for post-secondary institutions. The government hopes to make sure that education and training programs suit the needs of industry while students in the province are able to work there after graduation.

The provincial government hopes to improve the reputation of Manitoba as a top-tier study abroad destination in Canada as well as among the prairie provinces. It is currently the fifth most popular Canadian province for overseas education. While more than 21,000 international students were at Manitoba institutions as of 2017, both Saskatchewan and Alberta recently put forth plans to increase their own numbers.

The federal government hopes that foreign learners discover these provinces so different Canadian communities can develop and benefit from all the things that students traveling from abroad have to offer. Current statistics show that students from other countries are most attracted to major Canadian cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. A rise in numbers in other parts of the country would offer more balanced population growth and a solution to potential talent shortages in the years to come.