Study and Stay Program
July 10, 2018
Study and Stay is an international student attraction and retention pilot program currently being delivered in Nova Scotia by EduNova. The initiative is open to international students in the province’s publicly-funded community colleges and universities.
In February 2018, the Atlantic provincial governments, with support from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees Canada, announced the expansion of the Study and Stay program to the other three provinces to attract and retain greater numbers of international students, while adapting the program to meet the specific needs of the individual provinces.
During the summer of 2018, in preparation for the coming academic year, Study and Stay coordinators will be hired in Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador to complement each province’s existing efforts to attract and retain international students.
The coordinators will help international students to transition into jobs or to start their own businesses after graduation, which will continue their valuable contributions to the Atlantic Canadian economy. ACOA will provide support to EduNova to help these new coordinators access the tools, training and guidance needed to implement the program in their respective provinces.
Expanding the Study and Stay concept supports work under the Atlantic Growth Strategy’s skilled workforce/immigration pillar, enhancing the region’s capacity to attract and retain a skilled workforce and meet regional labour market needs.
How it will work
International students will be eligible to apply for participation in Study and Stay programs offered in the Atlantic Provinces. The programs will provide participating students opportunities to build networks with peers, professional contacts and potential employers. In addition, Study and Stay will include tools and activities to help international students better understand local business culture, to develop relationships with business mentors, to develop job search skills and to pursue individual career counselling advice. The ultimate goal is to welcome these highly skilled graduates into the Atlantic Canadian labour force.
The pan-Atlantic initiative will focus on two key areas:
- Attracting more international students: The availability of a Study and Stay program demonstrates to prospective international students that Atlantic Canada is committed to their academic success and to welcoming them as productive members of the region’s economy. The program, and its ongoing success, will encourage increased numbers of students to consider Atlantic Canadian colleges and universities as their preferred study destinations. Recruitment efforts for the program will be managed on a provincial basis, in collaboration between the provincial departments of post-secondary education and the participating academic institutions.
- Facilitating international students’ integration into the workforce and retention in Atlantic communities: National and provincial programs and services will be used to connect participants with employers, address employment barriers, and provide knowledge and experiential learning opportunities. This component may also enhance a graduate’s employment readiness, entrepreneurship skills, professional networks, or Canadian work experience.
The program is designed to enhance the support structures already in place at the region’s public educational institution, boost the students’ practical knowledge and skills, and help them to overcome barriers that may place them at a professional and competitive disadvantage when seeking employment.
The positive long-term economic benefits of this initiative will support population growth and the availability of skilled workers through international student attraction, retention, and permanent residency outcomes that result in employment and entrepreneurship growth, which are all key goals of the Atlantic Growth Strategy.
Study and Stay is a unique initiative that demonstrates the region’s commitment to inclusive growth and diverse communities where newcomers are welcomed, celebrated and supported.
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