- International students face barriers and hurdles coming to Canada for their upcoming Fall classes.
- Visa application, flight booking, vaccine, and quarantine are the top concerns.
- Institutions are offering blended learning to accommodate students who still cannot enter Canada.
International students expected to return to Canada for the Fall intake come across several hurdles and barriers. This is due to the new COVID-19 health protocols, as well as additional requirements and expenses.
Being an international student already means paying more fees than domestic students in Canada. So aside from tuition and accommodations, incoming international students need to shell out extra money to stay in quarantine facilities. Zohra Shahabuddin, a Pakistani student enrolling at Simon Fraser University, said she needs to prepare an additional $2,000 for her mandatory quarantine stay.
Aside from that, student visa applications are a challenge because of the nearing Fall semester. Based on the Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) update, they are still accepting study permit applications and may be processed by August 6, 2021. However, there is no guarantee of getting a final decision before the Fall term begins. In the first four months of 2021, almost 100,000 study permits were issued.
In addition, there are fewer flights into Canada, making it difficult for international students. There is also the lack of accepted vaccinations in their countries of origin, an additional hurdle due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
As more institutions in Canada require fully vaccinated students, they scramble to figure out when and how to get that second shot and wait for 14 days before landing in the country. According to IRCC spokesperson Nancy Caron, to be considered fully vaccinated individuals, students must have received both shots or a combination of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca vaccines or one dose of Johnson & Johnson at least 14 days before entering Canada.
To help international students navigate through the hurdles, some universities are offering blended learning this upcoming Fall semester. This way, students can still push through with their studies and follow their dream careers.
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