CANADA: TOP DESTINATION FOR BRAZILIAN STUDENTS
by Élida Rocha
Multi-linguilism is a key asset to finding success in careers that lay ahead of us. In some situations, the main element of a successful job interview is the maturity and the life experiences acquired by students while living and studying abroad. However, the choice of the right place plays a very important role. The United States has always been the main destination chosen by Brazilian students, until recently though, when Canada started to point out as a top destination for those who go abroad searching to broaden their knowledge of English.
According to statistics from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), 1998, the number of Brazilian students who visited Canada continues to grow significantly. In 2010, Canada was ranked first place – out numbering the USA, England and Australia, registering a 30% increase in the amount of Brazilian visitors according to the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC). The main reason for this change in this scenario is a direct result in the world economy and recent terrorist attacks. However, there are a few other explanations. The Canadian General Consul in São Paulo has pointed out the fact that the Canadian educational institutions are not only able to provide a very high standard of quality education, but are very well prepared to receive a multicultural post-globalization clientele. Furthermore, the magazine The Economist states in one of its articles that three Canadian cities (Vancouver in the first place, Toronto in fourth and Calgary in fifth) were awarded the title of the “World’s Most Liveable Cities 2011.” On top of that, the United Nations indicated that Canada offers one of the highest standards of living in the world.
Those who have been there
Gabriela David, from the exchange student agency Globalway, emphasizes that “the vast majority of our Brazilian students are looking for a place not only diverse but also culturally similar to our own making it easier to relate to our own country. It is easy to like what you see here.”
Renata Chiara , a teacher, visited Canada in 2001 and says that she was amazed by the Canadian multi-culturalism. “Each city we visited, we were able to find something new. The mixture of languages is something fascinating.”
As for Letycia Furtado, administrator, the safety of the cities was something remarkable. “Toronto is a very safe place, with efficient means of transportation. People are friendly and welcoming.”
For those who are going to study abroad
For those who are interested in studying in Canada, there are several options like ESL (English as a Second Language) Programs, High School, College and University. According to the Canadian Consul General, the numbers of foreign students have always been higher in courses with a shorter duration offered by ESL Programs and Private ESL schools and that are no longer than six months. But since the number of Brazilian students has increased in the last few years, one can notice a change in this category with the enrolment of more students in ESL courses with a lengthier period of time. The fact was observed in the last Education Abroad Fair, in São Paulo, where we could see a record number of Canadian exhibitors (over 50 institutions).
According to Gloria Luchsinger, from ELC Idiomas e Itercâmbio, Canada is the first choice among the students from her school. “Moreover, the choice of the Province varies according to the age of each student. The younger ones between the age of 16 and 20 years old and with a more basic knowledge of English tend to prefer Vancouver. But the senior students fall for Toronto because of its proximity with different cities which allows them to fuse a little bit of tourism with their studies,” she adds.
Sandra Teixeira, from the exchange study agency Canadá Destino, highlights that a lot of people have been looking for study programs with the chance of a paid internship with a more kinaesthetic approach to what they studied in school. “This program is by far the most sought after by students.”
After the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, the city was able to attract a lot of visitors and new admirers. In fact, according to the report released by the Canadian Government, (CIC), observations were made and 20 488 foreigners students registered for entry in Vancouver and 25 307 in Toronto respectively in 2010.