International Graduates Leaving Canada

Racism, inability to find work, lack of connections among reasons for departure

Photo: Austin Everett
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By Soubhik Chakrabarti

Discrimination in the workplace and racial profiling by employers could be the reason international students don’t stay in Canada, according to a recent study.

Conducted by Statistics Canada, the study found that only one-third of international students who studied in Canadian college and university programs remained in the country after graduating. 

The study said that difficulty finding jobs in Canada could be the reason foreign students leave so quickly after their education is complete and that discrimination from employers and language issues could be contributing factors impacting student employment.

 

Disconnect between grads and employers

Third-year math and geography student from India, Avjeet Dhaliwal (pictured), said that she has experienced discrimination in the work place. Dhaliwal said that if she is unsuccessful finding a career in her chosen field she may leave the country. 

“If I’m getting a really good job I wouldn’t have any problem staying in Canada. If not, I’ll go back,” Dhaliwal said. 

The study’s co-author, Marc Frenette said that Integration and a lack of connection with locals could be a factor that is hindering foreigners in their job search.

“They don’t have the same kind of network as people born in Canada might have,” Frenette said.

Khushwant Singh, a second-year international student from India in the Langara computer science program said that it took him three months to find a job in Canada

“It’s quite difficult,” Singh said.

International students intend to leave

According to Frenette, however, trouble finding work may not be the only factor in the trend.

“It’s possible that they aren’t getting a job,” Frenette said. “But it’s also fully possible that they intended to go back to their home country or some other country.”

While some students may intend on leaving, a 2017 survey conducted by the Canadian Bureau for International Education found that over half of international students surveyed expressed a desire to immigrate to Canada following graduation.

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