DECLARATION and DISCLAIMER: The following is my personal opinion. I am not any way qualified to give education and/or migration advice to anyone, and thus any content from me shall be construed as a sharing of personal opinion, not advice. I do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information provided by me. Under no circumstances will I or anyone related to this content be responsible for any loss or damage resulting from any reliance on the information or other content posted or linked by me.
This post will cover some odds-and-ends relevant to the issue of migrating via Student Visa. See links to previous posts on this series at the footnotes.
1. Popular sources of information on Canadian university rankings
Those interested in pursuing education in Canadian universities can check out the various popular sources of information on Canadian university rankings.
The Maclean's university ranking website is a well-known and popular source of information for Canadian high-school students heading to universities here. However, its university ranking is not without controversy. That said, it also publishes university rankings done by others, seen from a Canadian perspective. Thus, it is a useful website to read consolidated information related to Canadian universities. E.g. The 2013 Shanghai Jiao Tong University ［上海交通大学］ (China) annual Academic Ranking of World Universities is reported by Maclean's here.
[15-Aug-2013 Maclean's report of SJTU's Annual Ranking of World Universities]
The Globe and Mail (a well-established newspaper in Canada that was ever unsuccessfully sued by one old-man in a little red dot) reports on Education in Canada. E.g. 23-Oct-2012 Canadian University Report 2013: Student satisfaction survey results.
Of course, one can hardly forget the world-famous Time's World University Rankings.
2. Consider the option to transfer university
My understanding from speaking with the locals is that the 1st year of undergraduate studies here is usually a broad-based education (i.e. course credits from various fields). In order to sign up for these courses from such a wide variety of fields, it is not uncommon that one ends up having to do extra courses/certifications prior to entering the university in order to meet the course pre-requisites.
I have met students from China who do some preparatory courses (e.g. 1 year of studies) at, e.g. SFU, in order to gain admission to undergraduate courses in their target universities.
- For a guide on your transfer options in B.C., Canada, check out www.bctransferguide.ca
- As mentioned previously in Part 1, to search on your post-secondary education options in B.C., Canada, check out www.educationplanner.ca
- Finally, to understand more about post-secondary admissions and transfers in B.C., Canada, check out bccat.ca (BC Council on Admissions & Transfers). The BCCAT runs both Education Planner and BC Transfer Guide websites.
Please check out the weather and economy of the region/city where you plan to study before making a decision. You don't have to travel to Canada to do so, but at least do some online research (e.g. Google, Wikipedia, region's tourist information, etc). In a country as big as Canada, it can be "too hot" in one city and "too much snow" in another on the same day. Understanding of the local economy will also help the potential students to consider what skills they may need (i.e. training, certification, and/or preparation) to help them clinch part-time work near their schools.
Note: When looking for a job B.C., Canada, employers will typically ask for "2 Canadian work reference". Therefore, it is important to have regular (e.g. once weekly) part-time work and/or volunteer assignments while studying so that one can get one's managers' and/or volunteer co-ordinators' references* to support one's job application after graduation. *That is, get their names, contact numbers (cell/mobile and work number), and their consent/agreement to be your reference.
In B.C., you will need certain certifications even for the "blue collar" jobs. E.g. Waiters need "Food Safe Level 1 Certification" and perhaps also "Serving It Right" (for premises that serves alcohol). E.g. Even volunteers at summer camps may need a current CPR Level C Certification from an approved B.C. authority.
Good luck on your student/migration journey!