Chaitaniy Razdan is doing is Masters Degree at University of Alberta, Canada. He is also the Chairman of Indian Students Association at UofA. He was kind enough to spend lot of his time to answers some important questions about Life in Canada, Job Opportunities, Financial Aid at UofA.
1) Give a brief intro about you, what are you studying and where?
Hello, I am Chaitaniy Razdan currently doing my Masters in Engineering Management from Univ of Alberta, Edmonton. I did my undergrads from NIT Jalandhar in Industrial Engineering and after that worked for couple of years in a software company at Pune.
2)Why did you select Canada instead of US Universities?
The tuition fees in Canada is very less if we compare it to what US universities charge and getting a Permanent Residency is way easy. If we see job prospects, they are almost equal, so I thought here I would get a better value for my money.
3) How many students are currently studying at UofA (approximate)?
Approximately there are about 200 Indian students here at UofA. This is a rough figure and it includes Bachelor’s, Masters and Phd students.
4) When people think of Canada, they think its very cold. How do you manage the winter and how cold does it get?
Well yeah it gets really cold here. The temperature dips to about -35C to -40C during winters and that restricts your movement outside. But people here enjoy winters and there are lot of things to keep yourself busy during winters. All the basic amenities are easily available and transportation facility is also good here (Free for students).
5) Cost of living for a typical student from India?
Well an Indian student can manage a decent standard of living here for about $800. I have seen Indian students here living on $600 dollar budget too and some spending $2200 every month. So, in my opinion it depends on you how much you want to spend.
6) what kind of funding options are available for Graduate students? Does every student get funded?
Funding options here are quite better then US univ’s. Almost all graduate students here get funding from the university espacially the one’s in Engineering Streams (Chemical, Mechanical, Civil, Petroleum to be more specific). Pharmacy students also get good amount of funding from their department plus there always is chance to get TA.
8) How long does it usually take a graduate student to find a job in her/her field after graduation?
It depends on the field of graduation. Alberta is known as oil country as it has second largest oil deposits after Saudi Arab. Students from Chemical, Mechanical, Civil and Petroleum backgrounds are almost always in demand and sell like hot cakes. People from other streams also are able to find good jobs quite easily.
9) Can they work anywhere in Canada or just in Alberta Province?
You can work anywhere in Canada. After graduation, you are eligible to get 3 years open work permit which is valid throughout Canada, no matter in which province you are.
10) It takes many years to get Green Card in US? What is the scenarios in Canada, how long it would take for a student to get Permanent Residency in Canada?
After filing for the PR, it usually takes 14-18 months.
11) What advise would you give to a student considering to apply for US?
Well the only advice I would like give to the people who apply for US is that consider all the options, evaluate using multiple parameters and then do what you feel is right for you.
* All the statements above are as per my knowledge about the subject and might differ from one person to another. It is recommended to seek multiple opinions before taking any further steps. For accurate data and information about PR, visa or immigration laws I would recommend everyone to visit Canada Govt Website.
If you have more questions about Canada and admission to Universities in Canada, leave a comment to this article. Also, check out the ISA website at UofA for more detailed information about various aspects of life in Canada.