International students are an important part of our MaKami College community. As a school started by immigrants themselves, MaKami has always put an emphasis on helping international students and newcomers to Canada become educated.
“I remember taking my mom to colleges soon after we moved to Canada because she couldn’t speak English,” says MaKami’s CEO Marija Pavkovic-Tovissi, who moved here when she was eight with her parents from the former Yugoslavia. “I remember the teachers saying to us, ‘look to your left, look to your right – one of those people will not graduate this program.’ I didn’t really understand that, and it spurred in me the idea that I wanted to do it differently. And over the years we have helped change thousands of international students lives, and their generations to come.”
More than two decades later, MaKami still prides itself on creating a welcoming community for all students, with a student base made largely of people from all over the world who find a home at the college.
How to study as an international student in Canada
To study in Canada, prospective students will need acceptance confirmation from a designated learning institute, in order to then apply for a study permit.
MaKami College is a designated learning institute and we will provide this acceptance letter to prospective students who have completed the pre-approval survey, and who have signed, completed and returned all documentation within the International Student Package to their desired campus location, in either Edmonton or Calgary, Alberta.
What if English isn’t my first language, or I’m not confident with my level of English?
With a large percentage of students whose first language is not English, MaKami College offers a number of English supports, such as tutoring, ESL classes for international students and different conversation clubs for different needs. Even the way MaKami teaches is catered to ESL, with iPads and laptops equipped with translation tools to help make the transition easier.
“My English was not very good, and sometimes I couldn’t always understand what the instructors were saying,” says Ramandeep, a massage therapy student originally from India. “But our instructors are very nice, and we can ask them any question again and again, and they will always give you answers and explain it.
“I found when I worked hard and dedicated time to it, it became easier. There are also so many supports to help you succeed here. There are tutors and staff members from every community here, they are helpful with free ESL training, tutoring if you need to catch up and even with financing options. Any help you need you can get here at the college.”
Plenty of ESL Opportunities
MaKami offers a wide variety of ESL options for students, including a general ESL study club, a more relaxed conversation club where students can socialize while practicing their English, and a clinic conversation club where students from the massage therapy and health care aide programs can practice the more technical medical terminology used in those programs.
If you’re interested in more information about our ESL opportunities, contact our Student Advisory Services department.
Where do MaKami College International Students come from?
We’re proud to welcome a wide range of nationalities at MaKami College and we’ve had students from nearly every corner of the globe.
Students come from Commonwealth countries like India, Australia and Pakistan, perhaps because of their affinity with Canada. We also have students from the Philippines, Togo, Lithuania, Colombia, Paraguay, Jamaica and the USA.
There are some countries where students may be eligible to apply via the Student Direct Stream. These countries include the Philippines, India, Colombia and Pakistan. Speak to one of our student advisors about whether this fast track option is available to you.
What can I do after studying at MaKami College as an international student?
We have student success stories on our blog to give you inspiration for where your future could take you. For example, Simona from Lithuania opened her own clinic in Canyon Meadows after completing the Advanced Clinical Massage Therapy programme. Simona credits MaKami with helping her find the happiness and success she has found so far.
“MaKami gave me a lot, I’m very thankful,” she says. “I have that flexibility I was looking for – if I need a day off I can make that happen. I can pick my daughter up from school. I don’t need to ask for time off, it’s great.”
Simona highly recommends MaKami College.
“It really is a great school, I learned a lot, and the instructors, tutors and ESL staff are very helpful. If you are struggling you can always go ask for help.”
What else do I need to know about studying and living in Canada?
If you’ve got more questions, like “Am I eligible to work in Canada?”, “Can I get health coverage?” and “Where will I live?” then speak to one of our student advisors, and we’d be happy to help answer all of your student and community support questions. Contact us today!