International students in STEM fields are struggling to gain admission to many Canadian universities and college campuses due to a lack of essential course prerequisites in their country of schooling.
International students as a whole also face intense pressure on them to succeed but a leading online school principal in Ontario says there are things students can do to ensure they will be well prepared to study in Canada.
“We have been able to help thousands of students achieve success,” says Gary Michael, principal of the Ontario Virtual School (OVS).
In the past dozen years, the Ontario Ministry of Education-accredited online school has grown to now offer more than 130 courses taught to upwards of 9,000 students all over the world by more than 100 certified instructors.
OVS’ Math Courses Are a Boon to Students Entering Into the STEM Fields
In a bid to help themselves succeed in science, technology, engineering, and math-based programs, collectively known as STEM courses, many international students can beef up their math skills by taking a suite of Ontario Virtual School government-approved courses. These include the Grade 12 advanced functions, calculus and vectors, and mathematics of data management courses.
International students who want to take OVS courses can do so from their own home anywhere in the world at any time of the day or night because these are offered online – and no study permit is needed to take them.
The tuition for international visa students depends on the level and type of course but generally does not exceed $1,199 per course with OVS.
Canadian students pay $799 per Grade 11 and 12 courses, $699 per course for Grade 9 and 10 courses, $649 per course for Grade 7 and 8 courses. English as a Second Language (ESL) courses are $799 per course and careers and civics courses are $549 each.
Although international students pay higher tuition fees than Canadian students, they can enjoy hefty discounts on the cost of that OVS education with a course reduction code which saves them 40 per cent off all international fees.
Aside from tuition, other fees at OVS include a $200 per course charge for three-month extensions beyond 12 months and a $200 fee for course changes. Entrance assessments for incoming Grade 12 students are charged at $300.
There’s no doubt that for many international students, these courses are the bridge allowing them to gain access to a Canadian university. And with recent restrictions lifted by IRCC on working while studying international students can supplement their education costs by working while studying.
Pressures at College or University Weigh Heavy on Many International Students, Says Doctor
Online STEM courses offered by OVS give international students the solid foundation and confidence to gain access to college and university-level programs but once admitted, the preparations given can mean the difference between success and failure for these students.
In an article in Psychology Today last year, entitled International College Students: Challenges and Solutions / Research Shows That College Is Challenging for International Students, Dr. Eugene V. Beresin, described the pressure international students often feel.
A professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and executive director of the MGH Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds, Dr. Beresin noted homesickness on the part of international students is compounded by academic, social, cultural, and financial pressures, potentially resulting in excessive stress, anxiety, and depression.
“There is often a conflict between their emotional struggles and the expectation that they should feel privileged and lucky to have the opportunity to study abroad,” he noted.
While some homesickness is perhaps unavoidable, being fully prepared for the classroom material can take much of the pressure off international students once on campus. The courses OVS offers can even help international students get admitted to the college or university of their choice.
“If students have conditional acceptances where they are accepted provided, they complete a Grade 12 math course, students are able to use our OVS courses to get full acceptance,” says Michael.
“Some students take both Grade 11 and 12 with OVS so they have those years. Some students take seven Grade 12 courses with us and get an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) dual diploma which allows them to earn an Ontario Ministry of Education diploma (an OSSD diploma issued by the Ontario Ministry of Education.). This is a huge benefit to international students as it relates to admissions.”
OVS Alumni Was Accepted to Every University in Ontario to Which He Applied
OVS gives verifiable testimonial evidence from one such student, Manreet Singh Boparai, who was all set to come to a Canadian university when he realized he would need an additional Grade 12 math course to be admitted into the bachelor of science program there.
“This was a difficult predicament for me,” he says. “Either I had to study an entire one more year to complete the Grade 12 math course or I had to forget about studying at a Canadian university.
“Then, one of the university advisers showed me the path: Ontario Virtual School. Now, I have completed my math requirements through Ontario Virtual School. In the end, I was accepted to all of the universities I applied to in Ontario in the same year.”
Students can sign up at any time of the year for OVS courses and can finish them in as little as four weeks but have as long as 12 months to complete them. Once that’s done, OVS students have a 98 per cent university acceptance rate.
Both current and prospective students are encouraged by OVS to contact their counsellors for one-on-one guidance whenever they require. Students can book virtual appointments seven days per week to help better understand graduation requirements, discuss pathway questions, receive help with course selection, answer post-secondary application questions, discuss out-of-province or international considerations, or address any mental health concerns, including social or emotional support.
For more information click on the link for Ontario Virtual School and include the promotion code to receive the discount.