Study and Stay Program helps guide international students from student to professional

01 May 2019

AnasAnas Nanees (’19) came to Mount Allison from Zuwara, a small town in Libya. He was drawn to the University’s reputation, small community, and the uniqueness of the aviation program. Set to graduate in May with a Bachelor of Science in Aviation, Nanees has helped prepare himself for the next step by taking part in the Atlantic Canada Study & Stay™ Program through New Brunswick’s Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training, and Labour (PETL). Fourth-year students Kindy Houinato (Benin, West Africa) and Kana Tagawa (Osaka, Japan) were also accepted into the program.

KanaThe Study & Stay Program is an international student attraction and retention program that was piloted in Nova Scotia three years ago through EduNova. Last spring it was rolled out in New Brunswick. The initiative is open to international students entering their final year of study in community colleges and universities in the province. The program currently has 54 participants across New Brunswick.

“Mainly I wanted to join the program to discover paths for staying in New Brunswick after graduation,” says Nanees. “But I have come to appreciate the job connections and the workshops and the mentoring was a big bonus for me.”

Through the program, international students receive enhanced support to ensure they gain the education, tools, and community connections they need to graduate and launch a successful career and fulfilling life in the province.

Atlantic Canada Study and Stay™ focuses on:

  • Cultural and social adaptation
  • Professional communication
  • Career and labour market support
  • Networking and professional connections
  • Access to immigration resources and support
  • Mentorship

“This program demonstrates the region’s commitment to inclusive growth where newcomers are welcomed, celebrated, and supported,” says program manager Kathie Ouellete. “We want to help them transition from student to professional.”

Houinato will graduate in May with an honours in economics with a major in environmental science and minor in math.

“The StudyKindy & Stay program offers something that every international student about to graduate needs — access to detailed information about what the province you want to immigrate to has to offer and how you can go about settling,” says Houinato.

The program began in the fall with a retreat for all of the students, which set the stage for the program, including expectations and training schedules. There was a webinar held every month on areas such as cover letters, networking, and the job search. Communication was maintained throughout the year through the program’s Facebook page and one-on-one phone calls and campus visits. A mandatory graduation ceremony completes the program.

Ouellete says success depends on what the students put into the program.

“If they implement everything they have learned their odds are much higher for seeing success,” she says.

Nanees says one of the biggest benefits of the program is knowing you are not alone.

“I have learned that there are other international students like me that are just as lost and have the same questions I have, which makes the process easier,” he says.

Nanees has no concrete plans for after graduation, other than “changing the world.” Houinato has secured employment in New Brunswick and plans to pursue a master’s degree in economics or mathematical finance in the future.

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