Monthly Archives: August 2013

Does the Foreign Workers’ Strike Affect Your Study Visa Application?

Study Visa CanadaYes, it does.  With no let up in sight, students who have already applied for their study visa can only wait hopefully for the strike to end soon.  Applications are being processed but the process has become extremely slow with workers throughout the world walking off their jobs in rotation.  You can expect delays in getting your student visa approved.

If you still haven’t heard from the High Commission in Islamabad by the end of next week, then contact your university or college where you have admission and ask what provisions they have for these delays in Canada Immigration processing the visas.  They may be able to roll over your start date to the next session (i.e.: January 2014).

If you haven’t applied yet and are planning on applying soon, then consider the online process.  By applying online, your application does not necessarily need to be picked up by the folks in Islamabad but can also be processed right in Canada.  That is the beauty of online applications.  The Canadian government encourages applicants to use their online process.

When applying online for your study visa to Canada, you will want to be familiar with key terms such as Sign-In Partner and GCKey.  Sign-In Partner is probably not open to non-Canadians as you need to go through Canadian banking institutions to register and use the online visa application.

But you will want to use the GCKey registration method.  A GCKey is simply a credential that allows you to use Government of Canada online services, ensuring your privacy and security.

To register for a GC Key, you are required to:

  • Create a User ID
  • Create and choose Recovery Questions, Answers and Hints
  • Create and confirm a Password

So, if you have yet to apply for your study visa to Canada, then try the online process.  Go to the High Commission of Canada in Islamabad website and scroll down to their Apply Online link.


How to Greet a Woman in Canada

Most often when I get an email or message from an international student, the first greeting is Dear Sir.  As soon as they find out I am a woman, I sometimes am addressed as dear.  This has happened to me at least three times which is three times too many.

In Canada a woman, especially one you do not know; is not addressed as dear.  Please do not use the word dear.

So how do you address a woman?

For Males

When emailing or writing to a woman, address her as Ms.  (Last Name) or Ms. (Full Name – First and Last).  This is the most appropriate way to address someone of the opposite sex.  When that person replies, they may indicate if they want to be addressed as Mrs. or Ms.  If you know if the woman is married you may address her as Mrs. (Last Name).  For example my name is Helen Khan but I should be addressed as either Ms. Khan or Mrs. Khan, both ways are appropriate but Ms. Khan is never not appropriate.

If you are meeting them face to face, in a formal setting such as an office, you will be advised by the receptionist or the individual how they want to be addressed.  For example, the receptionist may say, Mrs. Khan will now see you.  Or Mrs. Khan may say, “Hello, I’m Mrs. Khan (or Helen Khan), how may I help you?”  You will lonely use the first name once you have permission to do so but you will never address them as dear; at least if you want to be respected.

The person you say dear to may continue to serve you and be polite (Canadians are extremely polite) but they will think poorly of you even while they are smiling at you.  You do not want to be shamed in this manner.

For Females

If you are addressing a woman through email or a letter, again it is always polite to address someone formally as Ms. or Mrs. (Last name or First and Last name).  As one, though, who is writing to the same sex, you have a little more leeway than your male counterpart and may start off with Dear Helen.  Although this is an informal way of addressing someone, you will be forgiven, unless of course, you are applying for a job, then you must be formal and correct.

Dear Madam is also appropriate, although less seldom used.

The 10 Point Grant MacEwan Advantage

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have just come back from visiting Grant MacEwan University in Canada.  My visit proved very fruitful because the Director of the International Centre gave me a tour of their state-of-the-art facility.  If you are planning on studying at the undergraduate level in Canada, this is the place to be.  Some of the highlights that impressed me were:

§         Lab Rooms – Well equipped labs with sufficient microscopes and other state-of-the-art lab equipment to enhance a student’s learning experience

§         Classroom Size – No classroom holds more than 115 students with the average classroom size designed to hold no more than 40 to 80 students.  That means more individual help for students from their instructors; greater opportunities for student-teacher interaction

§         Teaching vs. Research Facility – Highly qualified professors from all over the world come to teach because they want to work with undergraduate students.  Teaching is their focus.

§         Buildings Interconnected – This is vital in international students coming to study from a warmer climate to experience Alberta’s cold winter months.  Students do not need to venture outside to get to their different classrooms

§         Ambassador Program – This is a peer mentorship program where Canadian students who are hand-picked by the university assist International students in many ways, including academics

§         Inter-library Connection – The library at Grant MacEwan is connected online with all university libraries in Alberta, including the University of Alberta

§         Residences – The reasonably priced 2 bedroom apartments in their residence includes a little kitchen were the 2 roommates can cook their own meals.  That means if a student has food restrictions, they can prepare food according to their needs.  The residence is only a few hundred metres from the teaching facility

§         Easily Accessible with Public Transport – The bus system to and from the university is excellent with buses from all over the city converging at the campus bus station.  Additionally, 2014 will see the LRT (Light Rapid Transit) system connecting to the university

§         Tuition Costs – Grant MacEwan is a highly regarded university that offers an education for less than the average cost of going to one of the major universities in Canada.

§         Reputable University – Students consistently put Grant MacEwan high on the list of desirable universities.  The 2012 Globe & Mail rankings put Grant MacEwan first over 16 other Canadian universities in the areas of 1) most satisfied students, 2) student/faculty interaction, 3) teaching methodology, 4) quality of teaching and learning and 5), classroom size.

If you are looking for a good university for your undergraduate study program in Canada, then you will certainly want to consider Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, Canada.  One international student said that his relative had recommended this university to him and that is why he was applying.  The relative had said it was a good place to study.  If you want further information about Grant MacEwan University contact your Canadian representative in Pakistan at Alberta Rose Education Centre for information or assistance in applying to this fine study institute in Canada.