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High fees, family pressure add to stress for international students

Keith Tiu
News Reporter

Students from around the world come to Humber College and many arrive carrying a heavy load of stress.

Mayank Chauhan, 19, a second-year paralegal international student studying from India, finds being a paralegal student stressful due to day-to-day activities.

“Paralegal, as you can tell, is a tough course,” she said. “I have to study a lot given that I have to balance my job and my studies. It’s very stressful.”

Amanat Rattan, 20, a first-year culinary management international student from India, finds stress in maintaining her marks and failing mean paying tuition payments again.

“I cannot fail this semester,” Rattan said. “I cannot think about changing my program because I’ve paid a lot.”

Chauhan believes tuition fees for international students should be reduced.

“That’s the question we can debate,” she said. “We pay over $14,000 for two semesters,” while domestic students pay less than half.

“There should be some (effort) to reduce those fees,” Chauhan said.

She also believes making program changes is difficult due to the financial commitments.

“This is our age to learn and our year to grasp onto bridges or make different choices,” Rattan said. “We cannot change those choices.”

International student advisor Matthew Keefe said there are an approximately 5,000 international students at Lakeshore, North and Orangeville campuses and that they pay more than  $7,500 per semester.

He believes international students undergo a wide range of emotions while transitioning to a Canadian post-secondary institution.

“Within the first year of them arriving, some financial issues arise,” Keefe said. “Not to say they don’t exist because they have to prove to immigration that have money for at least a year or else they wouldn’t receive the permit, now having said that some circumstances do arise.”

He said students’ stress is also tied to family pressures.

“Other pressures come from their parents, sometimes there’s pressures from them to successfully get their permanent residence, so they can immigrate them or their families into Canada,” he said. “There’s often pressures amongst themselves as well, alike any student would have.”

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