Study & Work Abroad - Toronto, Canada

Interview & Text | Samantha Leong, Ammie Chin, Khin Chong

Ammie Chin (25)

Education pathway: SPM > American Degree Transfer Program > University of York University, Toronto, Canada in Bachelor of Communication Studies 2020

Employment: In search of job in Canada with post graduation work permit visa.

Why did you pursue your degree studies in Canada instead of other country?

I have decided to take up my degree in Canada under few considerations. Which are Canada’s environment. For me Toronto itself is a city but in sense of security I do feel secure and peaceful being there. Other points are the currency, the major I planned to take and most of my peers are going there as well.

Does students have the chance to stay there for work after graduated ?

Well based on my case, I do get the opportunity to have 3 years of post graduation work permit visa after I done my degree studies here. However, there are some requirements that student will need to fulfil in order to get the post graduation work permit visa.

From what I could recall, the requirements are you need to be a full time students, be in an accredited university by the Canada government, reach the required course credits. So it will be a case to case basis.

(pic above: Niagara Falls trip with friends.)

Why do you choose to take up Communication studies as your major?

I was a science stream student during my high school. However, I realized that I have no interest in taking courses that related to my background such as engineering or medical courses.

For me I wanted to venture my journey into advertising, events, public relations or designing course. Compare working behind a desk I preferred to get myself work around with people therefore I took this major.

Now that you have graduated from this course, did it met your expectation?

Not really, basically Communication Studies is a very theoretical base major. It will need to do a lot of research by reading and writing. which is not my cup of tea. The area that I touched up for this course included studying the Canada’s politic, media system and how both of this will affect each other.

As my expectation were I will be able to have practical session where I could be trained on hands job instead of just research by reading and writing. Also for us we do not have any placement in our syllabubs so if you want to have practical sessions than you will need to find it personally.

However, the career pathway for this subject is very broad I could say. As any career that related to communication the graduates from this subject are able to apply for it.

Where do you plan to develop your career? Malaysia or Canada?

I planned to gain professional working experiences in Canada first as I am entitle for the post graduation work permit visa for 3 years.

You will still venture your career into the industry that you have studies?

Yes, as I preferred to venture into career that related to events, social media coordinator, communication coordinator or even advertising. These are few of the career that I am interested in.

During the Covid-19 pandemic situation, are you able to re-enter Canada for this moment?

Due to Canada’s immigration policy I will be able to re-enter Canada when I received a job confirmation from the Canada employer. I am now applying job with Canada companies.

Did you face any challenges while you applying jobs in Canada?

As now I am currently based in Malaysia. Few challenges that I encounter will be the interviewing time because we have twelve (12) hours gap in between mostly I need to conduct my interview with them at midnight time, communication wise is not that smooth as I will need to swap my sim card to Canada’s sim card in order to get in touch with most of the companies and lastly would be the hiring rate now is low because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since you have conducted job interviews in Canada, can you share your experience to TE readers?

I would said that doing research about the company helps a lot. Research the company’s background or questions the company often ask it’s interviewee.

You can check out during your preparation as you might get some insights information there.

Secondly I want to highlight the importance of interviewee’s resume. Always make sure that the information within are related and up-to-date to be assessed by the interviewer.

Thirdly, I did encountered interviewer asked me problem solving scenario in order to see how will I solve it. Preparation is the key I will say.

Fourthly, the interviewer will also assess the interviewee based on your soft skills for example they way that you communicate during the interview or even your personal vibes.

Do you plan to apply for Permanent Resident (PR) in the near future?

I would prefer go back to Malaysia after the post graduation work permit ended as my intention is only to earn work experiences at Canada.

What makes you return to Malaysia after your post graduation work permit ended?

The main point for me is the culture differences between Malaysia and Canada.

Canada is a diversify country which there are a lot to explore but meantime it gave me the feeling of isolation, a stranger to this city.

The second part will be in sense of human touch. Personally, I think that in Malaysia the human touch among people are stronger. Which it gave me a sense of comfort.

However if people with extrovert personality and keen to explore I would said that Canada will be your potential choice.

The Third reason is the weather in Canada is too cold for me to handle as I have sensitive skin although I had endured it for 3 years. Sometimes it can be as cold as -20 +/- Degree Celsius.

Did you commit to any part time during semester breaks?

Yes I did work as a seasonal part time in a department store as a presents wrapper during the Christmas season. It was really fun, by working there I met a lot of new friends and also get to earn some extra pocket money to buy things that I like it was a good experience.

I am lucky enough to get legal payment. In Canada even you are working as a part time you will need to apply for Social Insurance Number (SIN), during your pay day you will received cheque deposit from your employer. Every year April you will need to file an income tax return. As a full-time student, you may be eligible for several deductions that can reduce the amount of tax you owe and may even provide a refund.

(pic above: Club Fair @ Uni)

Did you stay on-campus during your studies?

During my first three (3) months in Canada, me and a friend of mine we stayed at a Home-Stay with a Canadian family. Overall, it was a lovely experiences.

It has given me 3 months of grace period to get myself adapt and settle down in this new city. Because as an international students you will need sometimes to set up during your arrival.

The benefits of staying at a Home-Stay based on my personal experiences will be convenient. As daily meals are included, they will tour you around the city or join their family outing it provides a sense that you are not alone too. However if you need your “me time” that is totally fine.

After that we moved out to rent a place ourselves. Which the rental was 2000 CAD/ month which will be divided among ourselves, and it took one (1) hour for us to reach our university with public transport.

Currently I am staying at a location that can reach the university within 30minutes. However, the rental is slightly higher compare to the previous one. It is around 2700 CAD/ month.

Based on your own experiences at Canada, what career or skills you think will be needed for the next 5 years?

I think that Information Technology (IT) related filed will be in need on the job market of Canada in this next 5 years. So for students or parents that plan to apply for PR this might be another path way for it. However, that was just my personal perception.

Do you think there are any difference(s) on the education system between Malaysia and Canada?

In Malaysia I realized that students in sense of interaction in class with lecturer are quite weak. For example when lecturer ask are there any questions, students in Malaysia will be silent most of the time. However students in Canada are the opposite of it.

In Canada education’s system students interaction in the class with lecturer do have participation marks for that. So let’s say if students think that they do not agree with the statement, they will seek for the answer by discussing and asking questions.

(pic above: Ammie and Samantha during our online interview.)

Special thanks to Ammie for contributing valuable info to our e-publication!

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