This time of the year is what I often term as bitter sweet! As much as I am excited for my students who are about to start their college/university lives, there is a tiny sense of sadness when it is time to say goodbye. Recently, I said goodbye to our student intern, Darian, who will be commencing his studies at Humber College this September. After working with Darian for a year, both as an intern and as a student, I had the distinct privilege of getting to know this remarkable young man, who has a passion for the field of business.
For those that are going abroad, the months leading up to their departure can be a bit of a 'crazy' period, with all the steps that need to be taken before their arrival. From the time Darian accepted his unconditional offer from Humber College, the remaining months consisted of sorting out his finances in preparation for his tuition deposits and study permit application, applying for housing and registering for classes.
Many of these steps took place simultaneously, especially when it came to confirming the offer and applying for housing. The latter being quite tedious, given that there is no guarantee that you will be offered a room in residence. For most international students, living on campus, at least for the first year, is preferred. This is especially comforting for parents. In Darian's case, he will be living on campus and was lucky enough to be in the same space with a few of his friends, who will also be joining him at Humber.
Like any immigration visa and/or permit application, the study permit application process requires quite a bit of paper work from both the institution, students, parents/guardians and/or sponsors. Therefore, it is important that students have their school offers and finances in order before applying. In Darian's case, he was able to apply six months in advance for his study permit for Canada, given that all the above were in order.
However, Darian's case, while ideal, doesn't totally represent the order of steps others may go through. For example, some students many not finalise their finances less than a month prior to the start date of their program, others may require a medical as part of their study permit and/visa process, while others may have to travel to another country to obtain their visa and/or permit. Depending on the destination country, persons with conditional offers are required to await receipt of final exam scores before receiving a final offer. This results in rushed applications for housing, study permit/visa and the payment of tuition deposits. It is important to know the latest date that you can arrive to register for classes and start your program. It is also important to note deadlines for housing, tuition payments etc. and it is critical to always have a PLAN B!
The next couple of weeks will continue to involve farewell conversations similar to the one I had with Darian. The bitter sweet emotions will linger until the last student is safely on their way.
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