This is part two of two articles about studying and MBA and business schools in Canada. Part one can be found here
To remain competitive top Canadian schools continue to innovate their program delivery. Queen's divides the students into groups of five or six. Each group represents a diverse mix of nationalities and personalities. Students belong to their teams for the duration of the program. Each team is assigned an office space and must maintain hours much like project groups in a workplace. It has proven to be a great way to work through problems and participate in teamwork. Ivey has adopted Harvard's case model approach and Rotman fuses their program with integrative thinking and a design mentality. This kind of innovative approach to learning is what will separate Canadian schools from the international competitors.
Canada has made it easy for foreign graduates to stay and work. Under the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program grads can work anywhere in the country part-time or full-time for three years and do not need a job offer to apply. Students can then apply for permanent residence. The new regulation makes a previously confusing and discouraging process much easier and shows the Canadian government's goal to fill projected job vacancies and attract international students. International students attending schools in the United States will have significantly more paperwork, headache and cost. F-1 students (non-immigrant, full time student visa) must apply for either the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program or a H1-B Visa. The OPT Program permits students to work and live in the country for twelve months after graduation in part or full-time jobs that utilize their field of study.
The H1-B Visa confers temporary worker status for non-immigrants for a maximum period of three years. A student must first find an employer and that employer must sponsor them into the program. Processing fees for the application can cost over $2,000. Both of these programs can be extended for 17 months and six years respectively. After the end of the H1-B term students can apply for full citizenship and a Green Card, a process that will take them years.
The most comprehensive professional networks and alumni groups exist in the city, country or region of your school. The strongest brand recognition will occur with companies and industries that are headquartered or operate there. Students trying to make the decision on which program to attend should investigate living and working in that country. Canada is a western industrial powerhouse with a stable democratic government, a strong diversified economy and employee friendly labor laws and employment standards. Weathering the recessionary storm better than most, the economy is ripe with opportunity and the business education is world class.