As of the 2016 census figure, Stats Canada confirms that 21.9% of Canadians are immigrants and this is expected to increase to over 30% by 2036.
My work as an educator and program coordinator increasingly introduces me to international students who, upon graduation, often want to work and make Canada home.
While international education is a tough and expensive row to hoe, I see success stories every year with individuals who are tireless in their pursuit of immigration facts while they network, follow up, prove their value, seek help and muster support.
Many of the success stories come from international students who already have accreditations and work experience from their home country. Education in Canada is their bridge to a new world.
Stats Can suggests that earning levels for Canadian educated immigrants do not exceed those of foreign educated immigrants. While true, the purpose of a Canadian education is much more than achieving higher earnings. A Canadian education ideally helps international students learn to integrate into Canadian culture and the education opens windows of time for students to work in Canada, upon graduation.
The Santos family came to Canada with the intent to contribute, build a better life and stay. Both wife and husband came to Canada with degrees from Brazil. He got a job as a window cleaner to pay the bills while she went to school for a two-year business marketing diploma. Their plan was that once she was employed and they had landed immigrant status he could go to school at domestic rates to secure a better job.
They both have not only worked hard, they have worked smart. Ms. Santos distinguished herself as a student, learned the facts about how to position herself for immigration, communicated her goals and networked starting day one and garnered supporters.
Ms. Santos graduated in June of 2018 and while her placement did not turn into a job she kept knocking on and opening doors and connecting back with a few of her professors, who were in her corner calling opportunities and confirming to them that she was the “real deal”. Ms. Santos did secure a job in her field and the Santos family plans are moving forward.
"St. Lawrence College is a very special place for me. It is where I learned about Canadian culture, workplace etiquette, and marketing skills from highly qualified professors. The faculty is always willing to go beyond to support everyone and they have a great interest in the students' success. I was hired for my dream job right after I graduated and this achievement would not have been possible without every little thing I learned in the last two years through my St. Lawrence College experience.” - Ms. Santos
While education can be a bridge to a new world, that bridge must be supported for students to safely cross.
Pam is an educator, coordinator and entrepreneur who combines social responsibility, ethics and business for the betterment of learners and the community. Pam loves working with students and often creates challenges to engage higher level learning. Students say that she has the ability to inspire the underdog and terrify the lazy; and to give a hug or push, whichever is needed. She is always eager to take students, curriculum, links to industry and process to the next level.