The initial enthusiasm of international students when accepted to study in Canada sometimes turns bitter because of the difficulties involved in paying their tuition to schools. Many face challenges converting their currencies to the Canadian dollar to pay tuition. Still, Agnes Pamilerin developed a way to ensure the college receives her payment on time.
“The major challenge that I have always faced is paying my tuition at the beginning of every semester, converting Naira to Canadian dollars. It is a lot of stress; the variation is so wide. $1 equals #450 in Nigeria money. So, paying $7,000 from Nigeria, which is equivalent to millions of naira, comes with difficulties,” says Agnes Pamilerin, an international student studying Business Finance at Conestoga College. She has missed classes because of the difficulties in tuition payment.
Some of the students say banks in their countries contribute to the late transfer of funds to schools in Canada.
“Apart from the fact that it is difficult for my parents to get this money, Nigeria banks too will impose many charges on them. Sometimes it takes more than two weeks before the fund transferred can reflect in Canada,” Pamilerin said.
“Last semester, I missed the first two weeks of education before my tuition was reflected in my school’s account; because of it, I could not register for my courses not to talk of entering classes, and this caused me a lot of sacrifices before I could meet up.”
Khalid Prit, another international student, laments about the currency conversion and what it has done to his grades in college.
“My parents tried to pay my tuition from my country, and it went through. So back here in school, I thought that because my tuition transfer went through from the country that some consideration (was) supposed to be made for me, but nothing happened, says Khalid Prit, a second-year Nursing student at Conestoga.
He struggled to survive in class because his tuition did not arrive on time in the college’s account, which led to losing some marks.
“As a second-year nursing student, I was behind my colleagues. It affected my academic results,” he said.
To avoid these struggles that lead to starting late for the semester, Pamilerin has acted fast by paying her tuition earlier.
“The thing I tried to do for my next semester is that my parents are willing to pay my tuition four weeks before the resumption date because I do not want to experience what happened to me last semester. Till now, I have not been able to make up the quiz I missed, and it affected my grades in total.”
Conestoga’s international office and finance office have resources and services that can help international students to further avoid facing the challenge of currency conversion and late tuition payment.