Post-secondary schools face rough autumn if pandemic keeps foreign students away
Having imagined coming to Canada since her teen years, Fabiana Costa was living her dream. A former lawyer, the Brazilian student began the international transportation and customs program at Toronto’s Seneca College in 2019 and found a part-time job in the industry that was helping her pay expenses and save for her tuition.
Then COVID-19 hit.
Costa’s campus closed, classes moved online and she lost her part-time job. Neither a citizen nor a permanent resident, she doesn’t qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), nor student loan programs like the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP).
This month, the approximately $7,000 bill for her final, three-month semester in Toronto comes due.
“I want to finish my school and if I don’t have money to pay, I can’t,” she said. “Now what am I going to do here? I [will] have to go back to Brazil.”
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