Monthly Archives: April 2013

Studying in Canada on Limited Financial Resources

If you would like to study in Canada at the post graduate level but think you do not have the necessary financial resources to study in Canada; then think again.  Helen Khan, a Canadian student recruiter from Alberta Rose Education Centre in Lahore says that many graduate students find grad studies less stressful than their undergraduate studies because they have more funds available to cover the cost of studying in Canada.

There are several research related ways a graduate student may be able to cover their costs.  All of these options are worth checking out so you will know if you have enough money to study in Canada.

University Funding Packages:

Many universities have guaranteed funding packages that usually range around $12,000 to $18,000 per year.  What that means is that they will not take you as a graduate student unless they can also provide you with some funding.  Some of these funds may come from the department or university or they may be part of your supervisor’s research grant.

Some of the universities cannot guarantee this funding but they will be upfront and let you know right away if they can support you or not.

Teaching Assistantships:

Another way you can earn money will studying is to be a teaching assistant whereby you will be an instructor in a lab class or seminar, etc.  You do need to have good English skills though.

Research Assistantships:

Your supervisor may have you work on one of his research projects for which he will have a substantial grant.  Granting agencies allow researchers a certain percentage of the grant to be used for paying one or more graduate students to work on the research project.


There are always internal (university related) and external (government or private industry) scholarships.  There are a number of prestigious scholarships offered to international students who are citizens of developing countries.  That means that Pakistan will fall under that category.  This list of scholarships is worth looking at as the funding can be substantial.  After you click on the link, select Pakistan from the dropdown box.  Certain conditions and rules apply but there may be a scholarship just for you.

So before you give up on studying in Canada because of lack of funds, make sure to check out all your options.  If you want to use the services of a Canadian consultant in Pakistan they will also be able to give you some good advice and help you select a university that focuses on your research interest.



How Important is Speaking When Learning English?

So you want to learn or improve your English language skills?  There are four main skill areas that you will have to consider when choosing a competent English language training centre; Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing.  Ideally you will want to find an English language school that will take you through all four components of the language.

But if you are taking your classes in a non-English speaking country, it may be difficult to find a school where spoken English is at a high enough level for you to gain a decent proficiency in speaking the language.  You may think that as long as you can get training in writing and reading you will do well.

But how well will you learn the language if you do not have opportunity to speak English in an environment where it is spoken well?  Helen Khan, who is a native English speaker and operates Busisense English, says that learning to speak is a very important aspect of learning any language and especially if you are learning a second language such as English.  She asks, “How did you learn your mother tongue?”  The answer of course is that we learned our native language before we enter school.  We are fluent in the language before we even learn to read and write.  By listening to our families we pick up the correct pronunciation, sentence structure and a vast vocabulary while we are still pre-school.  She goes on further to say that this same concept must be followed through when learning a second language such as English. It is important to join an English class where you will be able to hear someone speak the language correctly, grammatically and pronunciation-wise so you can replicate what you hear.

Furthermore when you start speaking correctly, that is when you will remember what you learn.  If you only read and write it is difficult to take ownership of the language and it doesn’t really become part of you.  But once you start speaking, you eternalise the concepts, vocabulary, grammar and etc. and that is when you start thinking in English and become fluent in the language.

Therefore finding an English language class where English is spoken well is very important to you acquiring good English language skills.  If you live in a non-English speaking country you may despair and think that it will be impossible to take English classes from a language school where you will hear and be able to speak English correctly, but there are English language training centres run by native English speakers in most major cities throughout the world.  One such place in Lahore is Alberta Rose Education Centre.  Just be persistent and you will find a quality English language school where you will be able to become proficient in all aspects of the English language.

Study Mass Communications in Canada

If you are someone who watches the Academy Awards you will likely hear Canada mentioned in the category of foreign films or documentaries.  That is what Canada is noted for; its excellent calibre of documentaries and message bearing films.  There have been numerous Canadian nominees and awards, for example The Barbarian Invasions by Danys Arcand who studied at the University of Montreal.  This year is no exception as we have again been nominated for the best Foreign Language Film at the 85th Academy Awards.  Rebelle, a documentary film about the Congo has been written, directed and produced by graduates of Concordia University in Canada.

So Canada is no slouch at producing quality communication media.  Studying Mass Communications at a Canadian university or college means distinction and if you don’t attain the heights of an Academy Award, you will still reach an apex yet unknown.  The world is yours!

For example students who took the Print Futures: Professional Writing Program at Douglas College were chosen to develop an awareness campaign about additions for a non-profit organisation.  This not only won them community recognition while studying, but also landed them their first freelance writing contract.

Canada has many excellent colleges and universities where you can study Communications.  There is a full gamut of study programs from diplomas to PhD, from Communication Studies and Culture, to Journalism, from Media & Film studies to Professional Communications in Business; the list of study programs in Canada goes on and on.

So if you want to make a name for yourself, if you want potential international recognition, if you want a quality education in Mass Communications consider Canada as your study abroad destination.  Contact your Canadian Study in Canada representative in Pakistan to discuss your possible study institutions in Canada.

Keeping Pakistan Green

On the weekend we took a much needed holiday to Islamabad and Muree.  It was a lovely weekend with excellent weather, fresh air and beautiful scenery except for one tarnishing element.  Garbage!  Garbage was everywhere shattering the picturesque splendour of Pakistan’s mountains and ultimately destroying our environment.

Pakistan has a natural beauty that must be cherished, nurtured and maintained.  But we are destroying our land by our careless and indifferent attitude towards its beauty and the environment that makes our land beautiful.  Certainly some of the garbage strewn on the landscape is due to ignorance about pollution and its harmful effects.  But much of it is caused by people who are educated in the sciences and other technological disciplines.  What is their excuse?  What sort of education will it take to make us conscious of what we are doing to our country?

Garbage is everywhere in this country.  Some may blame it on overpopulation or uneducated masses.  And although there is some merit to the argument, we cannot let that be our excuse for self-destruction.  The gauntlet must be taken up to keep Pakistan clean and green.  Informal and formal education campaigns must be instigated and spread throughout the country to educate people about the end results of this mass destruction of the land and beauty of the country.  Tools and procedures must be put into place to allow people to put into practice the newly attained knowledge.

Lack of environmental rules and programs has put the land in jeopardy.  Lack of communication programs and enforcement cannot be taken lightly.  Government bodies must come on board as most municipalities have not put sufficient waste disposal systems in place.

I am actually a foreigner in your land, it isn’t truly mine to maintain, but it hurts me to see Pakistani’s destroying the natural beauty of this land, destroying the soil that produces our crops, the water that we drink and the air that we breath by carelessly tossing out our debris. 

Does it not hurt you too!

Littering has to stop!  Who is going to be the first one to do it?  It starts with me.

How to Write a CV for University Admission in Canada

Depending on the study program you may be required to send in a CV as part of your academic application process.  For example Grant MacEwan University in Canada advises prospective students as follows:  “Specific Program Requirements – Your acknowledgment package will indicate other information needed for consideration, depending upon the admission requirements of the specific program to which you have applied. Examples are resumes, references, letters of intent, portfolios, and auditions.”

But bear in mind that a CV for study purposes is formatted differently than one that you would write up for an employment opportunity.

So what should a CV for University Admission look like

Education first

  •  Put your most recent degrees/courses then followed by earlier records.
  • Focus on your academic credentials; especially if you have never worked before.
  • Inclusion of grade school may not be necessary, especially if you are planning to study at the Master’s or PhD level

Publications & Research

  •  If you have published any scholarly papers in an academic or scientific journal, include these.
  • If you have done any research in university or in your work environment, include this as well.

Work Experience

  •  List in chronological order from most recent work experience to earlier positions.
  • Make sure to include a summarised, bullet point overview of your responsibilities

Awards and Accomplishments

  •  List relevant awards, scholarships, recognitions
  • Do not included grade school or religious affiliation awards/documents
  • Sports awards may be included
  • Make sure to include the year received

Volunteer Services

  •  It is very important to include community work involvement; especially if you are applying for scholarships or the program includes leadership training
  • Make sure to include the year/years in which you were/are involved

A chronological CV tells the admissions officer a great deal about the prospective student.  It shows growth and progress and also shows continuity and stability.  This is often very important, especially if you are planning on studying in a business program or graduate studies in Canada or elsewhere.

If you do need to write a CV for the school you are planning on studying at in Canada and if you feel you need assistance; then contact Alberta Rose Education Centre.  They have a native English editor on site and she can edit your CV for you.  Rates do apply but check with them for the current charges for a CV.


Here Are 4 Strategies That Will Help Students Succeed

No, this is not another lecture for students on how they should study harder.  In fact this one is more for teachers.  The full onus of achieving excellent marks doesn’t always fall on the student but must be shared equally with the teaching staff.

Making high-achieving students can best be done by putting the following components in place:

Rigorous Standards

  • Standards should be clearly set so both students and teachers know what is expected of them; this helps the student meet grade expectations and prepare for the next grade.
  • A school that integrates effective learning methods, demanding coursework and high expectations will result in producing high-achieving students.
  • This sets high goals for the student; challenging them so that they are excited about learning.

Rich Curriculum

School should never be boring because a bored student will not produce.  The intellectual quality of assignments must not be low because this produces dull listless minds.  If the assignments and material is interesting and challenging then students will gain better results.  One study in Chicago showed that students who received stimulating assignments gained marks 20% over the national average and where the assignments were intellectually low; students had marks 25% under the national average (Newmann, Bryk & Nagaoka, 201, January).

Effective Teachers

Teachers should be:

  • Well-trained not only in their subject matter, but also as educators – they must know teaching methodologies.
  • Studies show that a teacher’s expertise has a direct relationship to student achievement.

The effectiveness of a teacher is determined by how well they know their subject matter, how effective they are in engaging their students to be active participants in the classroom and how they challenge their students to accomplish more.

Meaningful Learning

Teachers should use methods and provide an environment that includes the following:

  • Authentic instruction – critical thinking and analysis, discussion, debates, praise for work well done, depth of knowledge and how the concepts/facts relate to the student’s life; the world around them.
  • Teachers should employ several learning models as there are different kinds of learners and intelligences.  For example some students learn better by hearing, others by seeing the visual and others by hands on experience.
  • Students should be free to ask questions, to explore, to investigate so that the learning experience is meaningful.  This king of learning experience will bring understanding not rote memorisation of facts that are soon forgotten as soon as the test is over.

So students, the full burden doesn’t rest fully on you.  But you do have a part to play too.  The expression goes, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”  When you are in the classroom drink deep for there is a well of knowledge that will benefit you every day of your life.