Studying abroad is a life-enriching experience that opens doors to global opportunities and successful careers. It equips students with a broader worldview, much required to excel in today's highly competitive world. It is the very reason that even during the pandemic, students are optimistic about their goals and continue pursuing their dream by taking classes via virtual/hybrid medium or by flying to their dream destination.
To help international students fulfil their ambitions during the unprecedented times, several international governments and institutions redesigned their policies concerning the admission and post-study work opportunities for international students, considering students' best interests and safety.
Canada is among the top nations that took prompt action to ensure the safety and health of international students and access to post-study work rights. As per IDP Connects New Horizons research conducted in 55 countries, over 39 per cent of respondents chose Canada as their first choice. Canada offers unparalleled academic opportunities to international students at an affordable price. It is one of the most sought-after study destinations that offer excellent student life, a high standard of living, and a multicultural environment that is open, accepting, and conducive to growth. Today Canada leads the list of most desired study destinations and hosts over 5 million international students. New research published by IDP Connect found that more than one-third of students surveyed rate Canada as their first choice for post-secondary studies. Moreover, 69 per cent of respondents ranked Canada as their most preferred study destination. The New Horizons research, which surveyed over 3.5K students from 55 countries in early September 2021, highlighted Canada's popularity as a place to live, pursue higher education, and secure employment. Moreover, Canada is home to several world-renowned institutions, ranked among the top in the QS World University Rankings. Besides the high-quality education and scholarships, the country offers extensive internship and post-study work opportunities as well. The country, which has been popular for its STEM courses, was among the first few study nations to expand its academic and practical course offerings in line with the evolving demands of the market. Today the students preparing for Canada are applying for various in-demand programs such as Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Computer Science, Pharmacy, Business, Nursing and Midwifery, Human Resource Management, Architecture, and Dental Studies. With the acceleration of digitalization, the demand for skilled professionals in the field of AI and Data Science is rising. These domains of study are no longer limited to the IT sector. They have gained a significant role across consumer-centric sectors such as finance, healthcare, media, education, banking, and automobiles in recent times. Over the last two years, the AI courses concerning the health industry gained maximum applications in Canada. These programs even received a lot of private investment to help deserving students gather financial backing through grants and scholarships to pursue the same. This support from both private and government channels to promote learning of new-age technologies will go a long way in helping students in their career paths and transforming societies. The world's leading companies and conglomerates are on the lookout for such skilled fresh graduates. Despite the pandemic, Canada has low unemployment rates, which speaks volumes about the country's work opportunities offered to both national and international students. To be eligible to work after completing studies, students will have to apply for Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) within 180 days of completing their diploma/degree program. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Government of Canada announced that students taking online classes abroad up to August 31, 2022, will also be eligible to apply for PGWP. It allows students to remain in the country and work after completing their studies for up to 3 years. These three years act as a launchpad for students to venture into the career of their choice in a global arena, giving them a better footing in the highly competitive job market. What makes it one of the most desired study destinations is Canada's quality of life. Not to miss, it has consistently marked itself in the list of safest nations across the globe. International students can live as freely as Canadian citizens with almost the same rights as their own citizens. Besides, the country has the most robust health and education infrastructure in the world, which makes it a great place to study, work and live. As it has less population, so is the competition level in the country, which provides more post-study work opportunities. Now that the borders are also open, students can enjoy the true Canadian lifestyle while fulfilling their dream of international education. If students ever feel overwhelmed and need assistance during their study abroad process, it is always best to reach out to a destination expert to enlighten them with the right information. I wish all the aspiring students the very best in their future endeavors.