O Canada! One of the Hottest Destinations for Overseas Study

Canada  permits graduates of public postsecondary institutions and degree programs at private institutions to work for up to three years, depending upon the length of their program of study.  The government has also created an immigration program specifically for international graduates known as the Canadian Experience Class.  Graduates with a Canadian degree and/or work experience in a skilled trade or professional or technical occupation in Canada have the opportunity to immigrate, if they so desire. 

From 2006 to 2010, the number of international students who chose Canada as their overseas study destination jumped from 169,923 to 218,243, a 22% increase.  (About 1,000 Vietnamese are enrolled in Canada’s secondary schools and universities, which translates into enormous untapped potential for these institutions and Canadian society.)  To put these numbers in perspective, Canada, a country of 33 million whose universities and colleges number in the hundred not thousands, has nearly a third the number of international students as the US.

One reason for Canada’s open door policy is the graying of its population and the need for an infusion of young skilled workers and professionals.  The median age is 41 compared with 36.9 for the US and 27.8 for Vietnam.  If you can’t produce enough workers domestically (i.e., through a higher birth rate), then import them via your postsecondary institutions.  The US would do well to learn from Canada’s experience and policy.

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