Work program will expand international students stay in Atlantic Canada

Work program will expand to help more international students stay in Atlantic Canada

Work program will expand international students stay in Atlantic Canada

Work program will expand international students stay in Atlantic Canada

Currently only in Nova Scotia, the Study and Stay Program helps international students find local work in their fields of study

Nova Scotia’s Study and Stay pilot program will be expanded to Canada’s other Atlantic provinces to help international students secure work in their fields of study and stay in the region after they graduate.

The announcement came out of a February 20 news conference that heard from Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, and the premiers of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick.

Study and Stay is a pilot program that is currently geared towards international students enrolled in community colleges and universities in Nova Scotia.

The program targeted a group of final-year international students with an established goal of helping 80 percent of them secure jobs related to their fields of study.

The success of the pilot program in Nova Scotia resulted in a decision by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to extend the program to New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador as a way to attract and retain international students who have completed their studies in these provinces.

Each Atlantic province will adapt the program to meet its unique labour market needs of each Atlantic province.

The Study and Stay pilot is designed to complement what’s known as the Atlantic Growth Strategy, a regional economic development program that aims to attract and retain skilled workers to Atlantic Canada in order to meet local labour market needs.

The Atlantic Growth Strategy also gave rise to the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program in 2017, which has helped employ 1,300 skilled workers and international students in the region.

Hussen said that the extension of the Study and Stay program to other Atlantic provinces is aligned with the Atlantic Immigration Pilot and the overall vision of growth in the region.

“Atlantic Canada has many high quality post-secondary institutions, so attracting and retaining international students is an important element to the immigration story of this region,” he said.

The key objectives of the program as a region-wide initiative will be to attract, recruit, and facilitate the integration and retention of international students into the workforce and local communities in Atlantic Canada.

Scott Brison, president of the federal Treasury Board, said the Atlantic Growth Strategy’s link with the region’s post-secondary institutions is key to Atlantic Canada’s economic development.

“By working with universities and colleges throughout Atlantic Canada to attract and retain students, and expanding the global reach of our products and services through various initiatives, we help local businesses thrive, leading to better, higher paying jobs for the middle class,” he said.

What the Study and Stay Program offers international students?

The Study and Stay program is designed to help international students transition from “students” to “professionals” by offering them employment-readiness events, workshops and career mentorship.

A key goal is to help international students to develop their language and soft skills and to build professional networks, allowing them to overcome obstacles, such as cultural, social and language barriers that may put them at a disadvantage in securing employment.

A 2016 study indicated that students graduating from post-secondary institutions in Atlantic Canada would welcome opportunities to stay and work in the region. However, many end up leaving because it’s hard to find work.

Countering this outmigration of international students is a priority of the Study and Stay initiative and any international students studying at an Atlantic Canada university or college can apply to participate in the expanded program.

One attractive feature of the program is the assistance provided to international students who are interested in pursuing permanent residency in Atlantic Canada through immigration programs such as Provincial Nominee Programs and the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, which currently has a pathway specifically catering to international graduates.

Posted in Atlantic Canada, British Columbia, Canada, Canada PNP, Immigration, Nova Scotia, Study Abroad, Visa and Immigration, Work Abroad | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Kiwis compares to the world’s happiest countries

How Kiwis compares to the world’s happiest countries

How Kiwis compares to the world's happiest countries

How Kiwis compares to the world’s happiest countries

Kiwis are happy because they don’t place too much emphasis on work, spend lots of time outside and aren’t overly concerned about “personal achievement” or status.

That’s the conclusion of Alissa and Tjerk, a Dutch couple on a part-professional, part-personal quest to visit 25 of the happiest countries in the world. They have selected the countries using multiple criteria: world happiness rankings, scientific research, word of mouth and their own “gut feelings”.

New Zealand, they note, comes in at number eight on the World Happiness Index and has been voted the third most beautiful country on earth and the greatest country of 2017.

“Happiness in New Zealand is leading a laid-back lifestyle in a modest way,” Alissa says. “We feel that Kiwis have a more genuine, laid-back approach than many Aussies we talked to. [Kiwis] don’t take things too seriously, figure new things out along the way and don’t seem to be bothered easily. They seem to care less about status; they assure us that working to live is more important than living to work.”

It helps, they contend, that Kiwis live in a “secluded paradise” and are “crazy about nature”, meaning they’re more likely to go for an endorphin-boosting hike, mountain bike ride or swim than blob out in front of Netflix.

The couple, who met while working at KPMG in Amsterdam, touched down in New Zealand in December after visiting Switzerland, Iceland, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Kenya, South Africa, Vietnam, Indonesia and Australia. They have since visited Sri Lanka and plan to head to Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador and the US.

Their aim, Alissa explains, is to “to gather personal stories behind the numbers and gather unique definitions of happiness”.

After leaving KPMG two-and-a-half years ago, Alissa trained in positive psychology and now has her own consultancy in Amsterdam. She helps individuals to set and achieve their goals and small businesses to establish positive work cultures and environments. Tjerk has a background in HR.

The pair had always planned to travel the world together but wanted to do so with purpose.

“We were trying to find out what we are looking for,” Alissa says. “What are we in quest of? In Europe, so many people, especially the younger generation, find happiness a continual challenge. It just worries me. I want to inspire them to look for their own interpretation.”

In New Zealand, the couple headed straight to the South Island, where they’d been told the happiest people in the country reside. It took them a while though to find any true blue New Zealanders.

“After a few days, we met a bunch of lovely and inspiring people, but not any true Kiwis. So we adjusted our approach and started our conversation with the question “Are you a Kiwi?” After a few more shots we got lucky. Yet we’ve come to the conclusion that… immigrants also contribute to and define happiness in New Zealand. The integration of many overseas people might be a result of the relaxed and friendly culture or vice versa. We don’t really care, we just love it!”

That work-life balance in New Zealand is weighted toward life is key to Kiwis’ happiness, they say. As is our lack of focus on “status or power”.

“[Kiwis] are not in a continuous comparison battle and aren’t overly focused on personal achievements.”

Mikael, a Canadian now living in New Zealand, proved a living embodiment of this theory when he told them “People still have enough time to do the things they like – be outdoors, enjoy and be proud of whatever it is they’re doing. You don’t need to be a banker or consultant to be considered successful.”

However, the couple found that that living in “paradise” has a dark side.

New Zealand’s remoteness makes the cost of living and travelling overseas high, which they see as “the biggest happiness challengers” to Kiwis.

And while living in a country with such a low population density means New Zealanders have plenty of space and are “free to be whom they are”, those who don’t actively seek out social interaction – particularly in smaller communities – can feel lonely and isolated.

Alissa and Tjerk wonder whether Kiwis’ generally humble nature makes us come across as less happy than we really are. Or perhaps we don’t realise how good we’ve got it.

“The Kiwis we met are all very friendly and polite, but some seem to speak less easily about their pursuit of happiness. They are modest… No bragging, no finger pointing… Yet the pitfall is that they may not even be aware of everything New Zealand is offering because they have nothing to compare it to. Or they are too shy to frequently talk about it… Luckily they have a bunch of happy immigrants who can provide some insights and do the happiness bragging for them!”

New Zealanders’ understanding of what it means to lead a happy life seems to fall somewhere in between Europeans’ and those in Latin America and South Africa, the couple says.

“In most of the Western countries, there is a hunger for more and better. People are not easily satisfied… Whereas in countries such as South Africa, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, people seem to be automatically living in the moment. They don’t even really know how they do it. It’s just inherent to who they are.”

Every Nica they encountered gave them the same piece of advice, they say: “Don’t think too much. You don’t want to hurt your head”.

Despite a history of political and civil unrest that made it one of the least visited countries in Central America for a long time, Nicaragua came in at number seven on the Happy Planet Index 2017 list of the happiest countries in the world, moving up more places than any other nation.

Travelling from the colourful Spanish colonial city of Granada to the surf mecca of Costa Dulce via the twin volcanic peaks of Isla de Ometepe, Alissa and Tjerk found the locals to be “a strong and resilient people who place great value on family and family life”. And food.

While about a third of the population lives in poverty and many others don’t have a lot, Alissa says people tend to focus on – and be grateful for – what they do have.

As Dennis, a taxi driver in the south of the country told them, “you don’t need to do anything else but live day by day. You don’t know what tomorrow will bring. If I want to have a nice dinner today, I will. Tomorrow, I will start again.”

While Nordic and Western European countries with famously high standards of living often rate highly in world happiness rankings, Alissa has found that their inhabitants tend to be only “moderately content”.

From afar, the Swiss, for example, appear to have highly covetable lifestyles. For the most part, they have well-paid jobs, live in safe communities, have access to excellent social services and escape to chocolate-box-perfect villages and pristine alpine resorts at weekends.

Strolling the clean, serene streets of Lucerne though, where the tranquility seemed to trickle down from the mountains, Alissa wondered if it was all too good to be true – if it was perhaps a nation of Stepford-esque husbands and wives, striving to maintain an image of perfection.

A local banker, Joel, seemed to confirm this, telling them people are constantly trying to outdo each other.

“In Switzerland, many people dress up in suits with big fancy watches trying to impress the rest. A few years ago, I was always looking for something new, something different and constantly trying to impress others,” he said.

Alex, whom they met in a trendy concept store in West Zurich, told them “people feel connected to an extremely proud of their country and want everything to stay perfect”. However, he acknowledged that they do need a release at times, saying this is why the Frau Gerolds Garten – a shabby chic dining and entertainment precinct surrounded by old factory buildings and noisy trains –  has become so popular.

“It’s not Swiss. It’s loud, dirty and full of crazy people. It’s a truly inspiring and amazing place.”

As in many Western countries, the focus for many in Switzerland is on achieving career goals and financial prosperity in the name of building a secure future.

“Happiness seems to be more about a sense of contentment in Europe and making sure nothing bad happens. People are looking for more basic comforts like safety and security. In Nicaragua, on the other hand, there’s more focus on reaching higher levels of happiness: personal, communal, spiritual.”

Despite the soaring popularity of mindfulness apps, yoga and self-help books in the West, Alissa said many of us still struggle to live, and find contentment, in the present. We are constantly wanting and striving for more.

Wherever they have wandered, however, the couple have found that – outside of their basic needs – people are essentially looking for the same things: quality time with family and friends, good health and a sense of security.

Almost everyone, they say, also wants to feel part of something greater than themselves, whether that be their local community or the world at large.

Posted in New Zealand, Tourist Visa, Visa and Immigration | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Work and travel abroad with International Experience Canada

Work and travel abroad with International Experience Canada

Work and travel abroad with International Experience Canada

Work and travel abroad with International Experience Canada

Work and travel abroad with International Experience Canada

Explore the world, imagine the possibilities

Are you looking for your next adventure? Want to work and travel in some of the most beautiful locations in the world?


  • Taking your lunch break at the best ramen noodle house in Tokyo
  • Going on an early morning jog along the Emperor’s Canal in Amsterdam
  • Backpacking through the luscious rainforests of Costa Rica
  • Unwinding on the beaches of Australia after work

“It may be those who do most, dream most.” Stephen Leacock

International Experience Canada (IEC) gives you the opportunity to do just that. Our agreements with foreign countries and territories make it easier for you to get work permits with our partners. Work abroad to help fund the trip of a lifetime. Gain new skills, learn new languages, experience different cultures and explore places that you never thought you could.

Work in Canada:

Find out if you need a work permit

You may need a permit depending on the type of work you will do in Canada

Get a work permit

Find out if you can apply and how to apply to work in Canada as a temporary worker, business person, and student

Extend your work permit

Work permit extensions for temporary workers or live-in caregivers, open work permits for those waiting on a permanent resident application

Travel and work in Canada as a youth

Find out if you can apply for the International Experience Canada program, how to become a candidate and what to do after you’re in the pool

Hire a foreign worker

Find out how to hire temporary workers, live-in caregivers, international students, permanent workers and interns

Prepare to work

Find a job, explore other career opportunities and learn about language training for the workplace

Working Holiday Visa in Canada 2018

What is the IEC Working Holiday Visa in Canada program?

It provides temporary work permits to young people from over 30 countries, so they can legally live and get a job in Canada. The permits are valid for either 12 or 24 months, depending on your country of citizenship.

Candidates must first create a profile, which notifies Canadian authorities of their desire to receive a working holiday visa in Canada. Successful candidates will receive an invitation to formally complete their application for a work permit, however this success is subject to eligibility and availability.

How to get a working holiday visa in Canada

Draws take place at “regular intervals”, where candidates are selected at random to receive an invitation to apply for a work permit until all places are filled for the year. This means you can create a profile and become a candidate at your leisure, anytime after the opening date for your country.

However, your best bet is to become a candidate early for a working holiday visa in Canada. This will expose you to a greater number of these draws.

You’ll be asked to enter one or more ‘pools’ as determined by country and work permit category. ‘Australia: Working Holiday’ and ‘Ireland: Young Professionals’ are examples of pools.

IRCC has committed to giving at least five days notice before each country’s and category’s final rounds of invitations, which will mark the closure of that pool for the season.

Here’s how to become a candidate, and receive an invitation to apply for an IEC working holiday visa in Canada.


Canada is the world’s second-largest country by total area and the fourth-largest country by land area. It consists of ten provinces and three territories. Canada is home to vibrant and culturally rich cities, along with incredible natural wonders.

In Western Canada, the cities of Vancouver, Victoria, and Calgary are the major tourist destinations. In Central Canada, Niagara Falls, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec City are the most popular destinations. Travelers can explore the beauty and unique culture of Canada’s Maritime Provinces in the east. Whitehorse and Yellowknife are the major tourist destinations in Northern Canada.

The Provincial Parks and National Parks across Canada are extremely beautiful locations for the eyes of a traveler.

Attractions Canada website, showcases the Top Tourist Attractions, Things To Do and The Best Places for Sightseeing in each province and Territories of Canada.

Posted in British Columbia, Business / Investor Visa, Canada, Canada PNP, Dependent Visa, Express Entry, Immigration, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Study Abroad, Tourist Visa, Visa and Immigration, Work Abroad | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment