International College Students in Prince George complaining about unfair treatment
'I wasted $4,500 because ... I need to register in full time courses, if I’m here in Canada'
International students at the College of New Caledonia in northern B.C. are expressing their frustration with the school.
Too often, they say, they can't get into the courses they need and sit on a wait-list, which is a costly process.
Students, like Jasmeen Sandhu, met with college administration last week to share their stories and get answers.
Sandhu has been a student at CNC for a year-and-a-half now, taking business management courses, which he feels is a waste of his money and time.
"I wasted $4,500, because, as an international student..., as a full time student, I need to register in full time courses, if I'm here in Canada. Otherwise, I have to go back to India."
A school agent told Sandhu his past studies qualified him for the school's dental hygiene program, but once in Canada he found out this was not the case.
"When I arrived here, I came to know I have to study one-and-a-half years, because one year pre-study. Then, I have to wait six more months, because the course only opens in September."
Chad Thompson, CNC acting vice president academic, said he's glad students are sharing their experiences.
"We're really always looking for ways to hear what challenges students are having and to better understand what we can be doing," said Thompson.
Sandhu said he spent a month approaching the students' union and the college faculty to file a complaint about the recruitment agent he dealt with which the school employs.
"I'm still expecting strict action against those agents, so there will be an example set, so they can learn the lesson of if you're treating the student unethically, illegally, that there will be consequences."
The students' union has made the suggestion that feedback on agents is provided after they work with international students, and Thompson said that's a process they'll be putting into place immediately after learning of Sandhu's, and others, experiences.
Sandhu remains frustrated about his time at the college, but he says this meeting is a positive.
"It think this is the first time the student union, also, and college faculty are making an effort to decrease the communications gap between the students and the college faculty."
The CNC students' union is collecting written statements from students to present to school administration.
To hear the full interview listen to media below:
With files from Nicole Oud, Daybreak North
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