Atlantic provinces want foreign students to stay

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In some parts of Canada, a concentration of too many foreign students can make many residents pray they leave, but Atlantic provinces that are de-populating would like to set up a program that encourages international students to stay and work, like the program in Nova Scotia.

While retention of skilled foreign students is about 60 percent in Atlantic Canada it is 90 per cent or higher in Ontario and Alberta.

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said the region-wide extension of Nova Scotia’s “Study and Stay” program will act as a compliment to the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Project announced in 2016 that connects immigrants and companies.

In Nova Scotia, Study and Stay provides targeted support and services for up to 50 international students during their final year of post-secondary studies.

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The program includes career mentoring and access to employment-related events and workshops, as well as a subsidy to help local employers offset the cost of hiring students for a work-term after they graduate.

Federal officials said the pilot program would be adapted to meet the specific needs of the other Atlantic provinces.

One of the primary reasons hundreds of foreign students, especially from India and China leave the Atlantic provinces and move to cities like Toronto and Vancouver is the presence of large ethnic diaspora, the multiculturalism of the big city is a huge factor when making a decision to set down roots.

If for example a foreign student with an average job in Atlantic Canada can get a similar job in Toronto, chances are he will pack his bags and move. The only compelling reason to make foreign students stay is connecting them to jobs related to their fields and pointing out the advantages of living in smaller communities where housing is more than affordable. – CINEWS

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