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Loyalist College goes international

By Stephanie Clue [1]

BELLEVILLE – Loyalist College [2] has become home to 150 international students.

One of those students is Abhinav Preenza.

Preenza, 20, was born in Mumbai, India [3], but spent most of his childhood growing up in Nigeria and South Africa and only spent a small amount of time in India.

Preenza lives with his aunt in Belleville and found out about the college through her.He came to Canada two years ago to get an education.

Electrical engineering student Abhinav Preenza, came to Loyalist College two years ago from Mumbai, India. Photo by Stephanie Clie, QNet News.

Electrical engineering student Abhinav Preenza, came to Loyalist College two years ago from Mumbai, India. Photo by Stephanie Clie, QNet News.

“My aunt lives really close by, so when I wanted to move to Canada she suggested Loyalist. It’s easy for me to commute from home to school,” Preenza said.

Preenza says he finds the college very welcoming and chose Loyalist because of its proximity to his family and because of the school’s size.

“I kind of prefer a college that is a bit smaller, where you can get your point across to your professors more easily. The school is so close to other cities like Toronto and Kingston, so they’re not that far off and you get a lot more exposure to people instead of traffic,” Preenza said.

He says that he didn’t have any problems adjusting to life here because of all the places he’s lived in. What he does like about Canada is the weather.

“I get to see snow and that’s one thing I didn’t get to see most of my life and I get to do a lot of snowmobiling now. I don’t mind the winter as long as I don’t have to shovel,” he said.

Preenza is now enrolled in the electrical engineering [4] program at Loyalist.

Parvinder Burn is an immigration consultant with the Canadian Immigration Centre [5]. Born in Chandigarh, India [6], Burn came to Canada over 15 years ago and now lives in Kaladar [7].

Burn spoke to Loyalist faculty about the difference between the Indian and Canadian education systems and the cultural difference between the two countries.

“The Indian education system is more rigid, there are less choices for students. For example, plagiarism is not a big concern in India whereas in Canada it is a very big concern The focus is more on scoring the mark rather than the learning, whereas the Canadian system is more hands on approach and more freedom for the students,” Burn said.

Chad Munday, academic manager for the School of Media, Arts and Design [8], says the college started hosting the students in 2009.

“The province is really invested in bringing international students to post-secondary schools, they think it’s a good opportunity for the practical training aspect. A lot of international students are theoretical in their study, so the college sector is able to provide a more practical side to their studies,” Munday said.

Munday says in order to get the students to come to the school, they need to recruit. Agents visit up to 15 countries and tell potential students what the college has to offer. Loyalist has its own recruitment agent who lives in India.

International students at the college are primarily from India and Nigeria. The Student Partners Program [9] is a program between the governments of Canada and India and it makes it easier for Indian students to get a study visa.

“We have a very global campus in terms of the international students. Faculty is very global as well, they’ve often had partnerships abroad or have either studied or lived abroad, so the faculty end is pretty globally aware,” said Munday.