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International students build life in Canada with post-degree diploma programs

Langara's post-degree diploma programs can lead to Canadian permanent residency

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Reported by Kim Lau

Many international students enrol in Langara’s post-degree programs as a stepping stone to obtain their permanent residency in Canada, according to one post-degree program instructor at the college.

Upon graduation, the government of Canada offers a work permit of up to three years for international students. For many, this offers a way to build a permanent life in Canada for themselves and their families.

Jason Madar, post-degree computer science instructor at Langara, said international students often will even move their families out here while they are still studying.

“They basically uproot themselves from their home country and come here, so I think this is an attractive offering for students who are international students, and of course it’s great for Canada because we have these talents we want to retain,” Madar said.

Hands-on learning

Kunal Dandona, a web and mobile app design and development post-degree diploma student from India, said that he chose to study in Canada for better hands-on experience.

“In India, the studies are more on theoretical knowledge. They give you books which will give you knowledge, but they won’t give you the tests like what happens in the industry,” Dandona said. “In Canada, it is more practical knowledge.”

“They basically uproot themselves from their home country and come here, so I think this is an attractive offering for students who are international students, and of course it’s great for Canada because we have these talents we want to retain.”

-Jason Madar, Langara post-degree computer science instructor

The current academic year saw the largest registration of international students, totalling 832 of the overall 867 students enrolled in post-degree programs. Domestic students made up only four per cent of enrolment in post-degree programs, according to a Langara report. Overall, Langara currently has 4,922 international students registered.

Brad Van Dam, director of Langara’s international education operations, said that international students do not displace domestic students.

“The provincial government allocates the number of spaces for domestic students each year according to the college’s budget and it has nothing to do with the international student intake,” Van Dam said.

According to a recent study by the Canadian Bureau for International Education, 60 per cent of international students in Canada intend to apply for permanent residency after their studies.

An accepting country

Harmanpreet Kaur, a web and mobile app design and development post-degree diploma student from India, said that a key factor in her decision to study in Canada was how accepting the country is of immigrants.

“I looked at Canada and it really has a very diverse culture and there are people from all over the world and they are very comfortable here. That’s why I picked Canada,” Kaur said. “I love it here. I do have a three years of work permit, and I’m going to see if I want to stay here permanently or not.”

Tyler Higgs, an instructor for the web and mobile app design and development post-degree diploma at Langara College, said that international students who want to move here are highly driven.

“They want to work here and change their whole life,” Higgs said.

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