Canada ‘welcomes’ Indian students with no jobs, high food & accommodation costs

(Representative photo: AFP)

In recent times, a viral video originating from Kitchener, Ontario, has shed light on a concerning issue faced by international students in Canada. The footage showed long queues of Indian students and graduates at a part-time job fair, highlighting the escalating unemployment problem among this group. While this incident gained significant attention on social media, similar reports of job scarcity are emerging from various parts of the country. This serves as a wake-up call to the education system and Canadian colleges, which often downplay the employment challenges faced by international students, particularly those from India.

Sumit Baliyan, a student at a college in Hamilton, Ontario, expressed the distressing reality faced by international students in Canada. Balancing high tuition fees, which are over five times what local Canadian students pay, with the requirement to invest a minimum of $10,000 in a Guaranteed Investment Certificate, puts immense financial strain on these students. The promises of abundant job opportunities made by college representatives are often far from the truth, leaving international Indian students struggling to cover their expenses and support their families back home.

Baliyan, who arrived in Canada earlier this year, emphasized that the scarcity of jobs, combined with skyrocketing housing and food costs, has exacerbated the situation. Students find themselves caught in a vicious cycle as landlords arbitrarily increase rents, sometimes threatening eviction if the inflated amounts are not paid. The cost of accommodation has become exorbitant, with overcrowded residences charging steep prices, leaving some students with no choice but to turn to food banks for sustenance.

Critics frequently call into local talk radio shows, blaming the government for its failure to regulate post-secondary education and provide affordable accommodation options to international students. Despite the enormous contribution of international students to the Canadian economy, estimated at $25 billion annually, their concerns and well-being seem to be overlooked.

Canada’s current push to curb inflation through a mild recession coincides with a surge in the number of international students, further exacerbating the unemployment issue. The once-inspiring stories shared by Indian students about their experiences in Canada are now increasingly overshadowed by tales of hardship and disillusionment. The reality on the ground is far from what was promised, leaving students like Baliyan disillusioned and struggling to make ends meet.

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