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Canada's a good place to study

Wednesday, March 05, 2014    

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Dear Mr Brown:

Firstly, I must congratulate you on the assistance that you provide to Jamaicans in Jamaica and in Canada. I have a question regarding my daughter who intends to do her post-graduate certificate in project management. She is 34 years old and was admitted to Centennial College. Is this a good school? What is its ranking? She has a gap of four years after her graduation from high school. Do you think the visa officer would have an issue with this gap? Do you think her age will also be an issue? She is interested in becoming a permanent resident after she graduates. Kindly advise me of the best approach as I am concerned that she is not interested in studying in the US as I would have preferred.

— MP

Dear MP:

Please be advised that gaps in education or work experience are not necessarily reasons to refuse an application for a study permit. A visa officer will have to be satisfied that the intended field of study in Canada is logical and flows from a coherent goal. Your daughter should demonstrate that a lot of planning has been done regarding her education.

The age factor is not necessarily material either, as long as your daughter can demonstrate that she is prepared and able to study. For example, does the investment of studying in Canada make sense as opposed to studying locally when you factor the expense?

Ranking of schools in Canada

With regard to the school and its ranking, Canada has one of the best public education systems in the world, with availability and access to all. However, publicly funded educational institutions, including Centennial, are not officially ranked. I can assure you that the colleges and universities are all well-funded and have good faculty and facilities. However, some of the main factors that one has to consider would be location and the culture of school.

In response to your question, I must give a disclaimer that I represent Centennial (as well as many other Canadian schools) in the Caribbean and many African countries. However, I can assure you that the school has an excellent academic reputation. It is a school that provides a comfortable environment for foreign students. It is the most culturally diverse school in Toronto, with over 5,000 international students.

The programme your daughter intends to pursue is a good one as it has an option for internship, which leads to employment. It should be noted that employment after studies can lead to permanent residence in Canada.

Should your daughter wish to have assistance, an assessment can be sought based on her background.

For further information visit jamaica2canada.com.

Antonn Brown, BA, (Hons), LLB, MSc, RCIC, is an immigration counsel, education agent and managing director of JAMAICA2CANADA.COM — a Canadian immigration & education firm in Kingston. Send questions/comments to jamaica2canada@gmail.com

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