Want to study abroad in Canada? Here are the problems students are facing now – India Today

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With the chaos caused by the Delta variant, students who had chosen Canada for undergraduate and graduate studies faced massive problems from the word go. Most countries had closed borders initially in 2020 allowing students to make it to their universities in January or February of 2021.
The students who planned to go to Canadian universities for the next semester starting in May 2021 got stuck here in India. However, unlike the USA which opened a window for their international students to be able to fly to the USA directly, Canada did not.
Canada closed its borders to India by banning direct flights from India to Canada. It is not impossible to reach campus but to reach Canada students have to now take third country routes and go via countries like Maldives, Oman, Qatar, Mexico, East European countries like Serbia etc. UAE has just opened up.
Students who were planning to study in Canada are facing a variety of problems caused by this.
Sadly, students were paying the full fees and were having to study online. There was a great sense of frustration and betrayal amongst them.
The sense of uncertainty of when finally they will make it to the campus was stressful. Canada has been extending the flight ban every month to the exasperation of the students and parents alike.
Children attending the COOP programmes in the various universities had to let go of their job offers for the summer semester. This was because they could not get their SIN (social security number) without being there in person.
The frustration didn’t end here. The mandatory medical examination which is valid for one year also expired for many, which had to be retaken for the visa to remain valid.
There was no clear information from IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) regarding the process of updating the new medical test on the portal.
The updating process was delayed by almost 3 to 4 weeks and students had to wait and keep checking the portal for updates.
There is no channel of communication with IRCC to resolve this issue. However the students have been travelling in groups together and have been reaching safely.
After all these problems which are Covid related, once the children have reached the universities they are very happy and are busy settling down.

According to Canada, Indians initially entered Canada with fake RTPCR reports. Lack of trust in the Indian system forced them to mandate that Indian students would have to take the RTPCR test in another country to enter Canada.
At present, the Indian RTPCR test results are not being recognised by them. Also amongst all the vaccines available in India, Covishield is being recognised and Covaxin is not.
Students with Covaxin have to do the mandatory quarantine once they reach there.
Another problem is the rise in cost for travelling to Canada.
The tickets and hotel stay is now costing almost 2 to 2.5 lakhs as compared to Rs. 60,000/- for the direct flight. This is because of the long routes and multiple flight changes.
Students and parents are spending sleepless nights for their children to reach the universities safely after changing multiple flights.
Ananya, a student of University of Toronto had a harrowing experience trying to reach Toronto (as per Collegify data). She had to first fly to Maldives and stay there for a day to get her RTPCR test done. She then had to transit via Istanbul and Athens, to finally fly to Toronto.
Similarly, Aryan had to fly to Muscat to take the RTPCR and then transit through Doha and Montreal to finally reach Toronto due to the lack of availability of airline tickets.

For the 2021 admissions, the visas are delayed due to the heavy backlog. The visas are being issued but for some it may take up to even end September and October to get them.
Parents cannot accompany their child as their travel comes under non- essential travel.
However, the number of new admissions has not changed significantly. Though the admissions for 2020 saw many deferrals, the number of students still wanting to go to Canada has NOT reduced.
Over the last few years, Canada has emerged as a preferred choice for quality undergraduate and graduate education.
For Indian students, Canada promised some very attractive advantages, Permanent Residency (PR) being the main one.
A welcoming country with minimal racism and affinity towards skilled educated people to help catapult their economy, it soon became a favoured choice for students.
Other advantages are the lower cost factor, proximity to the USA and the COOP programme that Canadian universities offer, where the students get to work and earn along with their studies.
Covid related issues have caused problems in Australia, Singapore etc too.
– Article by Adarsh Khandelwal, CEO & CoFounder, Collegify
Read: How is US student visa approval hitting a record high in India?
Read: 10 US universities you can apply to with top courses and subjects on offer

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