Monthly Archives: November 2012

Alberta, the Place to Study in Canada

While considering the place where you want to study in Canada, have you ever considered Alberta?  Alberta is located in Western Canada, sandwiched between beautiful British Columbia and the wheat fields of Saskatchewan.

Alberta is known as Canada’s energy province because it has most of Canada’s fossil fuels.  Alberta has 60% of Canada’s conventional crude oil reserves, 85% of its natural gas and 63% of the country’s coal.  To top it all off, it has all of Canada’s heavy oil and oil sands reserves.  So if energy is what you want to study, there is no better province in Canada to study at then Alberta.  Related areas where one can study are applied technology, energy management, information technology, earth sciences, etc.; they are all available as options for studying in Alberta, Canada.

Not only does Alberta have the edge on fossil fuels but its strong economic foundation is also based on agriculture, tourism and forestry.  Many people from different nations come to work in Alberta so it has a strong international flavour.  Some Albertan companies have branches throughout the world and Alberta’s graduates have credentials that are recognised throughout the world.

Alberta boasts of several top-notch universities, among them the University of Alberta which makes one of the top 100 universities in the world, and over forty research centres.  In addition there are numerous colleges and technical schools where you can study.  The post-secondary institutions cater to the economic and employment needs of the province which means a high quality of diverse programs where students can study a wide range of disciplines, especially engineering, telecommunications, the sciences and medicine.  Alberta also has some of the finest art centres with the Banff School of Fine Arts and the University of Alberta boasts a world class theatre with their Windspear Centre.

If you are planning on studying in Canada, studying in Alberta has additional incentives in that the province and the major cities, Edmonton and Calgary recruit many international graduates from Alberta’s universities and colleges into the workforce.  With Canada’s work incentives for qualifying international students, and Alberta’s additional incentives then Alberta is the province in Canada where an international student wants to study.

So when considering a place to study in Canada, you will want to consider Alberta.  It has many quality institutions where you can study.  Its universities have a high number of students, like Grant MacEwan which has the highest number of international students in the province studying within its walls.  The possibilities of working in Canada, in the province of Alberta are exceptionally high what with its strong economy, its low unemployment rate and its work incentives to lure international students to stay and work in the province.

If you want to learn more about Alberta and its study options, then call your Canadian international student recruitment representative in Pakistan for more information.

Hinglish, or English, What shall it be?

No language remains static, every language evolves and that goes for English too.  As much as native English speakers would like to keep the English language status quo; that may not be possible.  We talk about a Standard English, but which standard?  Whose Standard English will dominate the world?

If we ask Indians, they might prefer Hinglish to become the next Standard English spoken worldwide.  This will certainly increase the frustration level of an native English speaker who has to deal with an offshore outsourced Help Desk.  But “no botheration”, we can all take classes in the new English hybrid, Hinglish.

Like most Asian, Indians aspire to have their children learn English at school.  They spend thousands of rupees to give their children an English medium education.  But the English that these children speak is often unintelligible to the native English speaker in any part of the world.  Although India’s English classes follow the British English variety, the English spoken would be equally unrecognised on London streets.

English is the lingua franca of India as not everyone in India speaks Hindi, their official language. Hindi is a 20th century construct of the central government and there are certain regions where different groups do not speak the national language, in fact some even refuse, preferring their own vernacular language.  Even the Bollywood version of the Hindi language is spoken by no more than 40% of the population.

So what is Hinglish?  What does the Hinglish language sound like?  Here are a few examples:

Hinglish Phrases

My head is paining.

My head is paining” translated into English means “I have a headache”.

Mother serious” translated into English means “Mother is very ill”.

Please revert regarding the same “translated into English means “Please reply”.


But it is the pronunciation that will throw any native English speaker.  Children are often taught by teachers that have not heard a native speaker and do not know how to pronounce English sounds.  So a zipper becomes a jipper, the becomes da and what is vhat.  It leaves the English speaker dumbfounded as to what is actually being said.

Word confusion

Thinking in Hindi or the local vernacular while speaking the English language puts Hinglish in a language class of its own kind.  For example an Indian might say to you, “He is drinking a cigarette” rather than “He is smoking a cigarette.”

Code Switching

But the best of Hinglish is mixing English and Hindi together to make meaningful messages only to those who speak both languages.  It takes someone who scored high in his English classes to manage sentences of this high calibre.  But if you speak only English or only Hindi, then you are out of luck.  You will never know what is being said.

For example:

Dial kiya gaya number abhi vyast hai.  The number you’ve dialled is currently busy.

When you consider the number of Indians who speak Hinglish vs. English, perhaps those native English speakers who want to preserve a certain “Standard English” should rethink.   Should it be Hinglish or English?  Or maybe we should consider Pinglish?

Watch next week for the place that Pinglish holds in the hybrids of the English language.

What does Multiculturalism in Canada Look Like?

There are probably two kinds of students who will go to study in Canada; those who can’t wait to leave home so they can adopt a new identity and assimilate into the Canadian milieu and then there are those who want to uphold their own identity, they want to remain who they are.  They are going there to study, not change their values, norms and customs.

Canada is a country that upholds multiculturalism as an official policy.  In 1971, the implementation of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act affirmed the value and dignity of all Canadian citizens and all people residing within the boundaries of Canada.  Regardless of one’s ethnic origins, language or religion you are free to maintain your own identities, take pride in your heritage and still have a sense of belonging to Canada.  Thus you will often hear people refer to themselves as a Scottish Canadian, a Pakistani Canadian, a French Canadian, etc.  This policy was not only to be applied to the social structure and milieu of Canada, but it was also to be extended to the workplace and places of study in Canada.

As a Canadian citizen who was born before 1971, I remember that historical event; not so much by the legalisation of the act, but by people’s reactions.  Prior to 1971, in Canada you very seldom saw an Indian or Pakistani lady wearing a shalvar or saree to work or to the university; rather she would be wearing Western attire.  Men in turbans at work, or turbaned boys studying at school or university were thought odd.  That soon changed as more and more men and women from different backgrounds started to wear their traditional attire.  Nowadays, it is common place to see an array of traditional attires and hear different languages in the workplace or the study halls of some school, university or college.  Students can even study as a second language their own mother tongue in grade school.  Punjabi, Spanish, Hindi, Ukrainian, German, Chinese and French are all a possibility for studying, depending on the dominant ethnic population of that district.

Religious freedom is encouraged and you can take time away from your studying in Canada to attend the religious place of your choice.  Every major city has at least one if not more mosques, mundars, gurdwaras and temples.  Most campuses where you will be studying will have an MSA (Muslim Student Association) along with other religious groups.  Halal shops abound in all major cities where you will most likely be studying in Canada.

This Canadian Mosaic has led to a specific holiday and heritage celebrations.  Some provinces even observe it as a day off work.  If you are studying in Alberta, you will want to take part in our Heritage Days celebration that occurs the first long weekend in August.  It is a 3-day event and about 50-60 nations set up a pavilion to display their culture, crafts, dance and customs and most importantly their food.  That is a celebration where you will want to set aside your work or your studying time, set aside at least one day to take part in the celebrations.  You might even want to volunteer yourself and work at the Pakistani pavilion.

So if you, or your parents, are worried about sending you off to Canada to study where you might be exposed to unfamiliar or undesirable ways of life, rest assured that you do not need to change if you don’t want to.  In Canada, when you come to study, you will be valued and respected just as you are.  We welcome diversity.

Study in Canada Where Excellence in Internationalisation Is Awarded

Douglas College is a growing community college in New Westminster BC, a satellite city to Vancouver.  It is a great place to study at as it has many programs, university transfer programs and collaborative programs with major universities in Canada.  It also has good work programs such as Coop work experience and internships that are part of its degrees and programs.  This is a big advantage to international students who want to work in Canada after studying in Canada.

But Douglas College also comes with a heart; a heart for its learners, its community and the world.  This is evident as Douglas College received the Internationalisation Excellence Award for 2011.  This award is given to a college or institute that shows leadership in internationalising its entire institution for the benefit of all.

Douglas College’s international students make up 10% of its student body and these students come to study at Douglas from over 40 countries, including Pakistan.  Furthermore, each year students who study at Douglas College can participate in overseas programs such as practicums, work experience, cultural and academic study exchanges and internships.  As part of their studies in Canada, participating students get credit or recognition for their involvement in these overseas work programs.

One of Douglas’s ongoing internationalisation programs is its Uganda Development Program.  It started as a practicum in 2006 and has become the catalyst that has moved Douglas College to pursue internationalisation as an important goal.  The Uganda Project started out as part of the college’s Community Social Service Work program and the Co-occurring Disorder’s Program and now has extended the project to hospitals, libraries and aid centres.  Students studying at Douglas are eligible once they have finished their course work and can apply for field learning placement in Africa.

There is a two-aim agenda to this project; one is to contribute to improving people’s quality of life and the second is to give students who study at Douglas and take part in international work projects like this, international experience that will help them in their careers back in Canada.

The Uganda Project now includes the Uganda Endowment Fund which was created to fund projects in Uganda that support sustainable development for children, youth and families.  As part of this fund, last year Douglas provided scholarships to three financially impoverished girls so they could study in high school.

It is encouraging to see a college that not only provides quality programs where a student can study their program of choice, but they also are sensitive to cultural diversity and development, nationally and internationally by providing work experience programs in projects such as the Uganda project that teach the students how to be other focused rather than self-serving.  It is this kind of college where, I believe an international student would want to study.  So if you are thinking about studying in Canada, think about Douglas and call their Canadian Representative in Pakistan.


International Student Scholarships Available in Canada

If you are an international student who is studying in Canada, it is worth noting that there are some scholarships and awards available for those students who are studying as an undergraduate in a Canadian university or college.

Although Canada as a nation or government does not have a lot of scholarships for the international undergraduate student, (there are lots for graduate students) studying in Canada, there are many institutions in Canada that offer entrance scholarships to their international student studying in their institution.  These scholarships are based on admission entrance marks and are for new students only.

For example at Grant MacEwan University, in Edmonton, Canada, there are a number of scholarships and awards available for both the national and international student who study at this institution.  There are several types of scholarships:

Entrance Scholarships:

These scholarships are awarded to students who have applied, been accepted and enrolled in their 1st year of studies at Grant MacEwan.  They are based on merit and awarded to students who are entering Grant MacEwan to study.  Examples of some of the Entrance Scholarships that are awarded to either national or international students are as follows:

Bachelor of Commerce Entrance Scholarship awarded on the following basis:  If the student has a 90% or more in their high school marks upon admission to this degree program they are eligible to receive $1200, 85-89% is eligible to receive, and 80-84% is eligible to receive $500.

The following are based on the student with the highest academic admission marks:

Correctional Services Entrance Scholarship

Disability Studies:  Leadership and Community Entrance Scholarship

Emergency Communication & Response Entrance Scholarship

Externally Funded Scholarships

Undergraduate students are advised to contact the Ministry of Education in their home country about scholarships for students who plan to study in Canada.  In Pakistan, try the HEC website for information and links to different scholarships.  Although they list many scholarships for graduate students who are studying at the Masters or Phd. Level in Canada, they may also have some undergraduate ones as well.  Also you can check the Study in Canada website for more details.

One externally administered scholarship is the Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship.  This is a US based scholarship awarded by the ACEF Foundation.  Students worldwide are eligible to apply and they can be studying in Canada or any other country.  Students who are studying accounting, business, finance and criminal justice and are interested in an anti-fraud profession are eligible to apply.  Awards range from $10,000 US to $1000 US. This is a good amount to help pay for your study program.  Visit to learn more about this scholarship.

Grant MacEwan Scholarships

Dr. JW Grant MacEwan International Student Award – Two, $2000 scholarships are granted each year to deserving international students.  Students can be studying in any field but they must be studying at Grant MacEwan.  This scholarship is based on academic excellence and student’s financial need.

Globex Foreign Exchange International Student Bursary – is worth $500 and is granted to a student who is in his/her 2nd, 3rd or 4th year.  The student can be in any discipline, must be a student studying at Grant MacEwan and there must be a financial need.  There is only one granted per year.

International Student Bursary – This is a financial needs based bursary and is for $200.  The student can be studying in any discipline and in any year of studies.  To be eligible, the student must be from a developing country with the intent to return to his/her country of origin after completing their study program in Canada.

Student Association of MacEwan International Student Award – This is a $1000 scholarship and is open to international students who are studying in any field at Grant MacEwan.  This award is based on extracurricular activities where a student, while studying, has demonstrated considerable volunteer work in the university community, Student’s Union and/or student clubs.  The student, to be eligible must also intend on returning to their home country after completing their study program in Canada and continuing to bring positive change to their community in their country of origin.

The majority of scholarships are based on merit and/or community service.  When planning your studying in Canada experience make sure to check out any scholarships for which you may qualify.  Or ask your Canadian studying in Canada representative in Pakistan about particular scholarships available for the university or college where you will be attending.

5 Reasons to Take a Co-op Work Term While Studying in Canada

Co-op experience, or in other words, a co-op work term allows students to get valuable supervised working experience while taking their courses.  In most cases, students receive a salary during their work experience and also get credit from the university or college.

Five good reasons to consider taking a co-op program while studying in Canada are:

Earn While You learn:  In a Co-op program you get paid to learn.  In most cases, in a work experience program such as the Co-op program, you get paid a salary by your employer.  You would work full time during an eight to sixteen month program, be under the supervision of both the university or college and your employer.  After ½ the courses are completed, students can opt for a co-op work experience.  You do pay for the course, but you will earn far more than what you will need to spend on the Co-op program.  This work experience term will be included in your transcripts.

Credits for Effort:  You earn university or college credits while working.  You cannot get a better deal for your efforts.  The cost of this extra experience is minuscule when compared to the value of practical experience, credits, and other career opportunities and benefits.

Employers Prefer Students with Practical Knowledge:  There is nothing better than hands-on experience.  In fact most employers prefer to hire graduates who have some work experience in the respective field.  A Co-op work experience gives you that added edge over students who did not opt for a work experience component to their studies in Canada.

Potential Employer Exposure:  Many financially sound, influential companies hire Co-op students.  They work closely with the universities and colleges to provide good training and supervision to the students.  These companies are the kind of companies that you want to work for after you graduate.

For example Douglas College in BC has BC Hydro, Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers and the Royal Bank of Canada on their Co-op Employers roster.  BC Hydro is the 3rd largest electric utility company in Canada and provides services to 94% of BC residents.  Ritchie Bro. is the world’s largest industrial auctioneers with their headquarters in BC and they have 110 branches world wide.  The Royal Bank of Canada is the largest bank in Canada with over 1338 branches.  Who wouldn’t want to work in Canada for one of these big companies?  These and many more companies look for engineering, commerce and business students and more.  By being part of the Canadian Co-op work experience programs you open doors into the business world.

High Employment Rate:  Students who opt for a Co-op work experience program in Canada have a higher success rate of getting a job after graduation that those that get their degrees without the added work term.  For example Georgian College in Ontario is one of the largest co-operative program colleges in Canada.  The employment rate for their graduates stands at an impressive 90%.

If you are on planning on studying in Canada, consider including a Co-op term with your degree.  Many universities and colleges in Canada offer this option.  If you want to work in Canada after graduating, then taking a Co-op work term is the best option for you.  Visit your Canadian representative in Pakistan to find out more about the Co-op work programs and other options for studying in Canada.

7 Top Bollywood Celebrities Who Have a Good Education

When was the last time you watched an old classic, or a new movie featuring your favourite superstar?  Maybe you even skipped studying or a tuition class just to watch your favourite actor or actress.  Is that celebrity someone you admire and see as a role model?  Perhaps you aspire to be a screen idol just like your hero or heroine and somehow school work and classes just aren’t as important as they should be because you all your time and energy is spent modeling your superstar.

But we can’t all be in the movies and very few people make it to the big screen.  That is why education is so important.  In fact some of your favourite Bollywood celebrities not only talented movie actors and actresses but are talented in the Sciences, Maths, English and other subjects as well.  Some of Bollywood’s finest have outclassed their peers by studying hard and earning excellent degrees.

Preity Zinta has a lot more going for her than just acting ability and beauty.  She has an English honours degree, a degree in Psychology and a post-graduate degree in Criminal Psychology.  So take care, because her talent isn’t only on the screen, but any discourse with her might land you on the psychologist’s couch!  She is an all around classy and brilliant lady.

Vidya Balan is another actress that didn’t just take acting classes.  Although she always aspired to be an actress her parents encouraged her to finish her education which she did, attaining both a BA and MA in Sociology from the University of Mumbai.  So whether she is earning Filmfare awards for her performance in such movies as The Dirty Picture or No One Killed Jessica, or she is earning degrees, Vidya Balan can be classified as exceptional.

Siddharth’s ability at discourse started while he was still in college as part of the college’s debating society and theatre group.  He is in a class of his own for speaking abilities and which resulted in him winning the CNBC Manager of the Year Award in 1999.  He is not only accomplished in acting and speaking but was also top of his class in commerce which earned him a B. Comm. (Honours) degree and then later he attained a MBA from S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai.  His accomplishments are not limited to his role in Rang De Basanti but also in his education accomplishments.

Soha Ali Khan shouldn’t be noted just for the awards she has won as best supporting actress or her classic beauty.  This gal knows what it takes to get somewhere – sheer hard work and work she has done.  She holds a Master’ degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science and is no slouch at holding employment at such places as the Ford Foundation and Citibank.

John Abraham is not all brawn and no brains.  To say he was all brawn and no brains would be a misclassification to say the least!  Of course, he can certainly act and he certainly has the looks, but there is a lot more going on inside this talented film star.  He holds an MMS from Mumbai Educational Trust which is the equivalent of the University of Mumbai’s MBA.

Amitabh Bachchan was, during his long and illustrious career, classified as one of the best educated Indian actors.  He held a Bachelor of Arts degree and also held a science degree from Delhi University.  Amitabh Bachchan will always remain one of Bollywood’s classical actors.

Shah Rukh Khan is one of Bollywood’s best known actors and the audience’s favourite.  When you hear the name Shah Rukh Khan, My Name is Khan, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Devdas come to mind.  But did you know that this famous actor who has had no formal acting classes has gone to class and earned himself a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce?  And no less with honours!

Actors and actresses are classy people.  Who won’t want to have a piece of what they have?  But next time you look to your favourite superstar, look to their educational achievements as well.  Whether you ever make it to Bollywood or any other big screen venue, you need an education, you need those academic courses.  Your stars did it and so can you.  And remember we can’t all be actors and actresses; it’s not easy to get there.  If you don’t make it in the film industry you need some recourse.  Let it be a good education that you can fall back on and have a successful and rewarding future, whatever it might be.