In a ceremony that is said to be the first of its kind in Canada, the organized and hosted a permanent residency celebration for over 35 international student alumni on October 26, 2022. An occasion to honour and acknowledge the achievements and resilience of their former international students, the celebration was attended by the mayor of Calgary, among other key dignitaries.
Calgary Mayor Joyti Gondek, Albert’s Minister of Advanced Education Demetrios Nicolaides and SAIT’s President and CEO Dr. David Ross were all on hand to help rejoice in this momentous occasion, where all alumni received a commemorative certificate to memorialize their achievement of gaining Canadian permanent residence (PR). The ceremony was also live-streamed to give the families and friends of honorees living abroad an opportunity to view the event in real time.
Let’s talk about Permanent Residence
The significance of obtaining permanent residence in Canada cannot be understated, as a PR card symbolizes a number of potent things for many international students in this country. For instance, receiving a PR card signifies the beginning of one’s life in one of the world’s safest countries, as well as access to an affordable education, free health care, increased working hours, and the chance to create the life of their dreams. Additionally, this card enables international students to eventually apply for Canadian citizenship, sponsor their loved ones to join them in Canada, and build a family here.
“Getting my permanent residency has given me a sense of acceptance. After years of feeling like I didn’t fit in anywhere, I’ve built a home for myself in Canada” said Kajol Bhatia, an international student from Dubai and SAIT alumna who was honoured during the October 26 event.
SAIT believes strongly in the value of celebrating this life-changing accomplishment, and current SAIT students say they feel inspired to strive even harder for PR themselves because of the event.
“This event is inspiring for me,” said Lavinda Deslate, a business student majoring in accounting. “As an international student, this makes me want to achieve permanent residency more.”
More about SAIT
The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, located just five minutes from downtown Calgary’s famous Peace Bridge, offers a unique and invaluable mix of quality education and multicultural campus life.
“In many ways, studying at SAIT changed my life. I had underestimated the abundance of opportunities and kindness I would find here. It was the genuine interest in my growth that I saw from my instructors, mentors and colleagues that really pushed me to succeed,” said Kajol Bhatia.
The polytechnic college, which proudly boasts a background in education dating back over 105 years, is also one of Canada’s designated learning institutions (DLIs). This means that international student graduates from SAIT will be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit of up to three years after completing their studies in eligible program, which is vital to fulfilling the one year of work experience required to be eligible for Canadian PR.
Understand that studying at SAIT means more than just being on a campus
Studying at SAIT is also far from just an on-campus experience. SAIT’s proximity to downtown Calgary means that students will be able to effectively balance a fulfilling educational experience with a vibrant social life in this city — the third most diverse in the entire country.
There are over 120 different languages spoken by residents of Calgary, which makes it easier for immigrants to fit in all throughout Alberta’s largest city. In fact, nearly 25% of Calgary’s current residents are immigrants themselves.
The city of 1.4 million inhabitants is also tied for the world’s third most livable according to the Global Livability Index 2022. Here are a few quick facts about Calgary’s ranking in the index.
- The city of Calgary has a cumulative index score of 96.3, the highest score of any city in Canada (Vancouver and Toronto were also in the top 10)
- Calgary scored a perfect 100.0 rating in three areas: Healthcare, Infrastructure and Education
- Calgary scored 95.0 for Stability, five points higher than any other Canadian city
- Calgary scored 90.0 for Culture & Environment
Beyond its place as one of the world’s most livable cities, Calgary is also a land of great employment and economic opportunity. In his letter to SAIT alumni commemorating this event, Canada’s Immigration Minister Sean Fraser noted “I am thrilled to know that you chose to make Canada, and more specifically Calgary your home. I spent the early part of my legal career in Calgary, and have fond memories of all that it has to offer.”
According to the Calgary Economic Region (CER) in their September 2022 Labour Market Review, 53,400 people were added to the labour force year-over-year (YOY) in that month. Over the same period, the CER added 81,900 jobs YOY. That signifies a job growth rate of 9.4%, which signals immense employment opportunities for newcomers to Calgary when combined with the steadily increasing number of job vacancies across the city (up to 4.9% in Q2 2022 from 3.3% at the same time in 2021). Moreover, the average wage rate is up across Calgary on both an hourly (4.5%) and weekly (6.1%) basis, meaning that Calgarians are also now earning more money than in previous years.
Begin your journey to SAIT today
Ultimately, Calgary leaves little to be desired when it comes to providing economic opportunities for immigrants and newcomers — and it could all start for you with an education at SAIT. Beginning your international student experience at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology can be the key to a new life and prosperous future in Canada. Obtaining an education at SAIT may be the first step to enjoying a great education, followed by a fulfilling career and a prosperous life in one of Canada’s premier metropolitan cities.
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