Kashmiri youth is rich in talent, but the unavailability of proper counseling and lack of facilities have been hampering their progress. Moreover, the political unrest in the valley has badly affected the education sector of the valley.
However, for the last few years, the students of the valley have proved that they have got enough potential to compete at international level if only proper guidance is provided to the students so they can move far ahead in their lives and careers.
Being a certified Canadian immigration consultant based in Canada for more than a decade now, I am associated with many prominent educational institutions in Canada. I have seen international students coming from all over the world to pursue their studies in Canada, but for the students of the valley, Canada is still a remote country, far away from their reach.
Instead of doing proper research and exploring the opportunities offered by educational institutions in foreign countries like Canada, they end up enrolling themselves in private colleges in various parts of India and subcontinent by paying hefty amounts in donations and tuition fees. In most cases, they struggle to find proper jobs because of their unrecognized degrees and credentials.
While choosing a foreign country for studies, one needs to be sure whether the choice will favor it to achieve his/her goal.
I will always recommend Canada as the best place to further your studies due to many reasons. Canada has become increasingly popular among international students due to its excellent education system.
According to the Times’ 2019 World University rankings, Canada has world’s top-ranked universities. The University of Toronto, McGill University, and the University of British Columbia placed in the top 50 schools in the world.
The research by Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) shows that international students choose Canada due to the country’s strong quality of education, and its reputation as a multicultural and tolerant society. Canada offers international students one of the world’s most competitive packages. It allows them to work while they study, obtain a post-graduation open work permit and lays a direct path to permanent citizenship.
Canada attracts over 400,000 international students to pursue their education each year. Canada’s international student population has grown six-fold over the past 20 years. In the last decade alone, it has tripled. Currently, around 550,000 international students are pursuing their careers in different fields in Canada. With over 100 universities, 200 colleges and technical institutes, featuring virtually every program imaginable, Canada offers a wide range of courses to study that includes Computer Science & IT, Media & Journalism, Arts & Design, Healthcare & Dental, Legal, Agricultural Science & Forestry, Business & Finance, etc.
One of the biggest concerns for international students while studying abroad is their prospect of employment after completing their studies. 95% of the students stay in Canada after completion of their studies. However, the international students need to make sure whether they are allowed to stay in the country legally. The international graduates can work in Canada for one year after completion of the one-year study program or for three years after completion of their two-year study program. Additionally 90% of graduates from Canadian institutions find a job within 6 months.
Canadian government research estimates that international students contribute some $22 billion annually to the country’s economy and help to sustain over 170,000 jobs. Improving one’s job prospects is one of the key motivations behind most international students’ decision to study in Canada.
Worth to mention, there are many financial institutions and banks in Kashmir offering educational loans to students for pursuing their studies abroad. Moreover, many government and private organizations and educational institutions offer some scholarship programs to international students who are keen to study overseas and require financial support. International students can also support themselves by working on campus while studying in the first six months and off-campus after six months of their studies. The students can also work full time during summer vacations.
The Canadian government has made it easy for international students to immigrate after they graduate. International students can apply for a Post Graduation Work Permit, which allows them to stay in Canada and start working right after completion of their studies. Besides, many international graduates become eligible to apply for permanent residency after gaining one year of Canadian work experience.
International students have to meet the immigration program requirements to get their study permits approved. They need to demonstrate that they have enough funds to support their stay and studies in Canada. The students have to reasonably convince the visa officer that they have enough funds to cover their tuition fee and living expenses in Canada. If the student’s spouse and dependent children are also accompanying, he/she has to have adequate funds to take care of them as well. If the immigration officer is not satisfied with the financial requirements of the applicant, then there is every apprehension that the visa application will get refused.
The cost of studying in Canada is very affordable as compared to many countries. The tuition fees for international students vary across provinces and programs.
In most of the provinces, the cost to cover tuition and living expenses is likely between 15 to 20 lacs of Indian rupees annually. However, this cost range is an average only and will vary according to the institution and program in which the student is enrolled, the location he is placed at, and the living expenses of the student.
Another factor is the intended study in Canada. The selected course should reflect the overall educational goals of the student. It has to be a reasonable choice with respect to the student’s current education, for example, if the student has been studying commerce in his/her home country and wishes to study fine arts in Canada, there is evidently a great divide between these two subjects.
The student should demonstrate why he/she wants to study fine arts and why he/she chooses Canada to do so. On the other hand, if the student is studying Commerce in his/her home country and wishes to obtain masters in commerce from Canada or a masters in business administration, Canada would be a reasonable choice.
The student should be able to justify the argument that Canada offers a better education than the student’s home country, and it is a reasonable wish to further the education in Canada.
There are other factors the international students need to be aware of while preparing themselves for further studies in Canada.
The author is a Canadian based senior immigration consultant and a member in good standing with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC).
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.