Mohawk College has approximately 13,000 students, of which more than 3,000 are international students, coming from over 80 different countries. These students pay a lot more for tuition than domestic students. They also have to pay for housing, food and other expenses.
Even during the pandemic, with online classes, the cost was the same. Many international students even spent a semester in their home country due to the closed borders.
The website needorgreed.ca features some international students sharing their stories about their experience and how the high price of tuition causes them a lot of unexpected stress. There, they draw attention to the high numbers of international students who suffer from mental health issues as a result of the high (and sometimes unexpected) costs and lack of support. The students share similar stories about coming to Canada because of the reputation the country has for being fair, but say the reality they face is not what was promised.
The mother of one of these international students, Dinarlene de Oliveira Rangel, describes her apprehension.
“Many people actually end up giving up on studying abroad even during the planning, because they realize the money won’t be enough,” she said. “I am very concerned about the values, and it is a relief that my daughter is already at the end of the program, so we believe we’ll manage to pay for the next fees. Local students might not know, but it is already a battle to get all the documents, to study English to pass the exam, among other things. Parents sometimes have to give up a lot to get their children going to Canada to study, and even so there is a fear that the costs will get higher and we won’t manage to make our children finish college due to that.”