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International students in Canada in times of COVID-19

International students in Canada in times of COVID-19

by David Mendoza

The COVID-19 crisis has impacted the entire population in one way or another but there are some who are more vulnerable and need extra support during these times of uncertainty.

If you are an international student, I am going to include you in this category since not only your classes are cancelled, but also your work prospects have been delayed. Plus, you are facing isolation while being away from your loved ones.

Therefore, it is paramount that you make your mental health your top priority right now – school can wait, work can wait, but your mental health cannot. It must be on point in order to sail through this chaos victoriously.

Remember that your school is your ally and they are doing everything within their reach to support you.

If you feel that this situation is taking a toll on you and your well-being, connect with counselling services within your institution, as they are delivering their services online.

Meet with your friends via Zoom and check in on them; support each other with assignments and coursework and keep an eye on each other. Show leadership and empathy and do the same with your family back home – they are concerned about your situation, so use technology to feel their warmth and affection.

Other school resources that you should use during this time of containment are tutoring learning services and career services. This is the perfect time to sharpen your job search strategies and be ready to face the changes that the marketplace and the world of work will experience in the upcoming months.

A few weeks ago no one had time for anything. We were always busy and we took pride in that, but now, time is what we have in our hands so it is up to you to optimize it.

An incredible resource that all college students have free access to but is used only by a few of them, is LinkedIn Learning. Please, don’t rest on the laurels – upgrade your skills by taking certificates through the platform, at your own pace, so you can show a potential employer in a future interview how you used the time in isolation to become better at areas that will add value to their organizations.

Like never before, adaptation will be a pivotal skill to have, and that is something you already possess since you managed to adapt to life and school in Canada when you came to the country to upgrade yourself and further your education.

Reflect on your journey through this situation and how you are sailing through it.

Hiring processes may have slowed down but if you are in job search mode, keep applying and keep cultivating your network. The future of work is now, and after this crisis, there will be numerous remote work opportunities.

Who knows, depending on your strategy, you can land opportunities to work with companies not only based in Canada but elsewhere from the comfort of your home. Don’t be surprised if you could apply to jobs in companies based in Germany, Brazil, South Africa, or Japan. The sky is the limit.

Finally, take time for self-care doing what you enjoy while investing in yourself by upgrading your abilities.

Reach out if you need help – you don’t have to go through this alone.

We are all in this together.

Stay safe and keep thriving!

David Mendoza is a Toronto based Educator, Entrepreneur, Career Coach, and the Director of Orbit5. He has extensive experience helping post-secondary students, newcomers, and the public in general in all aspects of career exploration and career development and with their transition into life in Canada. His detailed profile is available on his website , and on Linkedin .

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