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International students strategies to obtain career-related work in Canada after graduation Bepple, Nancy 2014

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INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS STRATEGIES TO OBTAIN CAREER-RELATED WORK IN CANADA AFTER GRADUATION  by Nancy Bepple  B.Sc., University of Victoria, 1985 M.Sc., The University of British Columbia, 1990  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  DOCTOR OF EDUCATION in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES (Educational Leadership and Policy)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  December 2014  © Nancy Bepple, 2014 ii  Abstract  This study examines strategies which international students use for transitioning from a British Columbia (BC) post-secondary institution to full time work in the Canadian labour market.  It discusses how international students use different types of human, social, cultural and symbolic capital in this transition.  Further, it discusses students’ use of their post-secondary institution’s career programs and services.  Other factors impacting students’ strategies, such as discrimination, family pressures, financial constraints, and Canadian immigration policy, are also discussed.  The investigation uses an on-line survey, targeting all international students at a specific BC post-secondary institution, as well as follow up focus groups with a subset of these same students.   The research led to 11 key findings on strategies which international students use for transitioning from a BC post-secondary institution to the Canadian labour market:  (1) international students want to obtain career-related work in Canada after graduation; (2) international students want to stay in or leave Canada for both career and non-career-related reasons; (3) international students employ a variety of ways to gain human, social, cultural and symbolic capital; (4) international students consider Canadian human capital more valuable than non-Canadian capital; (5) international students value Canadian education and academic credentials for a number of reasons; (6) international students consider English language skills and culturally based Canadian communication skills as being a key skill to obtaining career-iii  related work; (7) international students consider a range of types of experiential learning as key ways of acquiring capital; (8) international students view different types of paid work or volunteer experiences as providing opportunities to gain various types of capital; (9) international students use a wide range of relationships as part of their strategies for obtaining career-related work in Canada; (10) international students are aware of which post-secondary services and programs are available to them and choose strategies accordingly; (11) international students use multi-faceted approaches towards achieving their goal to obtain career-related work.  Recommendations are made to post-secondary institutions and government on policies and practices related to international students’ transition to the Canadian labour market.  Limitations of the current study and suggestions for complementary research are put forward.     iv  Preface This dissertation is original, unpublished, independent work by the author, N. Bepple. The on-line survey and focus group work reported in Chapters 4 to 7 was covered by UBC Human Ethics Certificate number H11-03441. v  Table of Contents Abstract .......................................................................................................................................... ii Preface ........................................................................................................................................... iv Table of Contents ...........................................................................................................................v List of Tables ..................................................................................................................................x List of Figures ............................................................................................................................. xiv List of Abbreviations ...................................................................................................................xv Acknowledgements .................................................................................................................... xvi Dedication .................................................................................................................................. xvii Chapter 1: Introduction ................................................................................................................1 1.1 Motivation for this Study ................................................................................................ 2 1.2 Educational Policy Context............................................................................................. 3 1.3 Immigration Policy Context ............................................................................................ 5 1.4 Career Services for International Students ..................................................................... 7 1.5 Gaps in Literature and Research ................................................................................... 10 1.6 The Research Project .................................................................................................... 11 1.6.1 The Goal of the Research .......................................................................................... 12 1.6.2 Four Research Questions .......................................................................................... 13 1.6.3 Relevance of Research .............................................................................................. 14 1.6.4 Location of the Researcher ....................................................................................... 15 1.7 Thesis Structure ............................................................................................................ 17 Chapter 2: A Review of the Literature ......................................................................................20 2.1 Immigrant Success in the Canadian Labour Market ..................................................... 20 vi  2.2 International Students as Migrants................................................................................ 24 2.3 International Students Transition to Work .................................................................... 31 2.4 Career Services for International Students ................................................................... 35 2.5 Conclusion .................................................................................................................... 40 Chapter 3: Theoretical Framework ...........................................................................................42 3.1 Human Capital .............................................................................................................. 42 3.1.1 Criticism of Human Capital Theory ......................................................................... 44 3.2 Social Capital ................................................................................................................ 46 3.3 Weak and Strong Ties ................................................................................................... 48 3.4 Cultural Capital ............................................................................................................. 49 3.5 Symbolic Capital ........................................................................................................... 50 3.6 Habitus and Bounded Agency ...................................................................................... 50 3.7 Proposed Conceptual Framework ................................................................................. 51 Chapter 4: Research Methodology .............................................................................................58 4.1 Rationale for On-line Survey ........................................................................................ 58 4.1.1 On-line Survey Design .............................................................................................. 60 4.1.2 Selection and Recruitment of Participants ................................................................ 66 4.1.3 Statistical Methodology ............................................................................................ 74 4.1.4 On-line Sample versus Overall Population: A Statistical Comparison .................... 74 4.1.4.1 Country Groupings............................................................................................ 74 4.1.4.2 Academic Level ................................................................................................ 77 4.1.4.3 Gender ............................................................................................................... 79 4.1.4.4 Program of Study .............................................................................................. 81 vii  4.1.5 Strengths and Limitations of On-line Survey Method .............................................. 83 4.2 Rationale for Focus Groups .......................................................................................... 88 4.2.1 Focus Group Design ................................................................................................. 89 4.2.2 Strengths and Weaknesses of Focus Groups ............................................................ 91 4.3 Summary of Research Questions .................................................................................. 93 Chapter 5: Research Results: International Student Career Strategies .................................95 5.1 Why Do International Students Study in Canada? ....................................................... 95 5.1.1 On-line Survey Responses ........................................................................................ 95 5.1.2 Focus Group Responses .......................................................................................... 100 5.2 International Students’ non-Canadian Work Experience and Education ................... 108 5.3 Strategies for Obtaining Career-Related Work ........................................................... 111 5.3.1 International Students’ Career Goals versus Strategies .......................................... 112 5.3.2 What Do Students Think is Important for Obtaining Career-Related Work .......... 114 5.3.3 Strategies Related to English Language Skills ....................................................... 115 5.3.4 Strategies Related to Canadian Education and other Canadian Credentials ........... 120 5.3.5 Strategies Related to Canadian Paid Work Experience .......................................... 126 5.3.6 Strategies Related to Canadian Volunteer Experience ........................................... 132 5.3.7 Strategies Related to Relationships ......................................................................... 137 5.4 Use of Post-Secondary Career Services ...................................................................... 147 5.5 Multifaceted Strategies ............................................................................................... 152 Chapter 6: Linking Strategies to Capital.................................................................................156 6.1 Overview ..................................................................................................................... 156 6.2 Plans to Stay or Leave................................................................................................. 157 viii  6.3 Non-Canadian Work Experience and Education ........................................................ 158 6.4 English Language Skills ............................................................................................. 159 6.5 Canadian Education and Other Canadian Credentials ................................................ 161 6.6 Canadian Paid Work Experience ................................................................................ 163 6.7 Canadian Volunteer Experience ................................................................................. 164 6.8 Relationships ............................................................................................................... 165 6.9 Interaction of Human, Social, Cultural and Symbolic Capital ................................... 169 6.10 Institutional Impact on Acquisition of Capital............................................................ 170 6.11 Habitus and Bounded Agency .................................................................................... 171 6.12 Summary of Findings .................................................................................................. 173 6.13 Conclusion .................................................................................................................. 178 Chapter 7: Summary, Recommendations and Conclusions ..................................................180 7.1 Summary ..................................................................................................................... 180 7.2 Recommendations and Conclusions of Research ....................................................... 183 7.2.1 Policy Recommendations........................................................................................ 183 7.2.2 Practice Recommendations ..................................................................................... 187 7.3 Recommendations for Future Research ...................................................................... 189 7.4 Concluding Remarks ................................................................................................... 191 Bibliography ...............................................................................................................................194 Appendices ..................................................................................................................................206  On-line Survey Questions .................................................................................. 206  International Student Demographics .................................................................. 214  Survey Response by Gender and Country .......................................................... 215 ix   Country Groupings ............................................................................................. 216  Pearson’s Chi-Square Test of Independence Calculations ................................. 219 E.1 On-line Survey Responses versus Overall Population............................................ 219 E.2 Previous Non-Canadian Education versus Importance to Student of Education .... 223  Students by Program Area .................................................................................. 224  Overview of Focus Groups ................................................................................ 225  Focus Group Questions ...................................................................................... 226  Question 23 Correlations ..................................................................................... 229  Question 24 Correlations ..................................................................................... 230  Data Not Used .................................................................................................... 232  x  List of Tables  Table 1: Program areas of study at post-secondary institution ..................................................... 62 Table 2: Why are you studying at <post-secondary institution’s name>? .................................... 64 Table 3: Number of international students at post-secondary institution, by academic level. ..... 67 Table 4: Information obtained from post-secondary institution. .................................................. 69 Table 5: Response rates of first and second rounds of on-line survey.......................................... 72 Table 6: Response rates to first and second survey rounds by citizenship. .................................. 73 Table 7: Respondent distribution by country compared to entire population ............................... 76 Table 8: On-line survey response versus overall population by academic level. ......................... 78 Table 9: On-line survey response by gender and region versus overall population. .................... 80 Table 10: On-line response rates versus overall population. ........................................................ 83 Table 11: How research questions are operationalized in on-line survey and focus group questions ....................................................................................................................................... 94 Table 12: Reasons for studying and choosing post-secondary institution .................................... 97 Table 13: What were your plans when you came to <institution>? and What are your plans now? N=178 ........................................................................................................................................... 99 Table 14: Focus group students’ plans to stay in Canada and to obtain career-related work after graduation. .................................................................................................................................. 100 Table 15: Plans to apply to CEC and PNP programs and p to get career-related work in Canada after graduation. .......................................................................................................................... 106 Table 16: Plans to stay in Canada, knowledge and plans to apply to CEC/PNP, and plans to obtain career-related work in Canada after graduation. .............................................................. 107 xi  Table 17: Type and importance of non-Canadian work experience in getting career-related work in Canada after graduation. ......................................................................................................... 109 Table 18: Level of education prior to coming to the post-secondary institution (Q11), N=202. 111 Table 19: Importance of factors for getting career-related work in Canada? (Q18), N=202. .... 115 Table 20: How well respondents know individuals .................................................................... 139 Table 21: Likelihood of asking those individuals (Table 20) for help ....................................... 140 Table 22: How well respondents know others and plans to stay in Canada, N=178. ................. 142 Table 23: Respondents’ desire to remain in Canada after graduation and completion of career-related activities. ......................................................................................................................... 154 Table 24: Domestic and international student demographics, 2012-13 (Government of BC, 2013, p. 14) ........................................................................................................................................... 214 Table 25: On-line response rates compared to overall population, by country and gender ........ 215 Table 26:  On-line response rates compared to overall population, by country and country grouping ...................................................................................................................................... 218 Table 27: Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence calculation for gender, for overall population ................................................................................................................................... 219 Table 28: Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence calculation for gender, for Eastern Asia region .......................................................................................................................................... 219 Table 29: Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence calculation for gender, for Arab and Southern Asia regions ................................................................................................................. 219 Table 30: Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence calculation for gender, for African region..................................................................................................................................................... 220 xii  Table 31: Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence calculation for gender, for Former Eastern Bloc region .................................................................................................................................. 220 Table 32: Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence calculation for gender, for UANWE region..................................................................................................................................................... 220 Table 33: Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence calculation for gender, for all other regions (UANWE, Latin America & Caribbean, and South Eastern Asia plus unknown countries. ...... 221 Table 34: Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence calculation for students by country grouping ...................................................................................................................................... 221 Table 35: Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence calculation for students by program of study ............................................................................................................................................ 221 Table 36: Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence calculation for students by academic level of study........................................................................................................................................ 222 Table 37: Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence calculation for students’ makeup. Male business students versus others in total population..................................................................... 222 Table 38: Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence calculation for importance of previous non-Canadian education as factor to getting career-related work after graduation ........................... 223 Table 39: Students by program area ........................................................................................... 224 Table 40: Focus group participants ............................................................................................. 225 Table 41: Correlation of “How well do you and others know each other” versus “I would ask the following people for help”, N=202 ............................................................................................. 229 Table 42: What are you plans now, and which of the following activities are an important part of preparing for your career after graduation? N=178 .................................................................... 230 xiii  Table 43: To what extent have you used <post-secondary institution’s> career services; and which of the following activities are an important part of preparing for your career after graduation? N < 202 ................................................................................................................... 231  xiv  List of Figures  Figure 1: Growth of Global International Student Enrollment (in millions) (Gürüz, 2008, p.162) 4 Figure 2: International higher education students in Australia 1987 – 2007 (from Davis, 2009) 26 Figure 3: Life course agency model. From Adamuti-Trache (2010) ............................................ 52 Figure 4: Proposed theoretical framework .................................................................................... 54 Figure 5: Non-Canadian Work Experience before coming to Canada (Q12), N=202................ 108 Figure 6: Importance of factors in getting career-related work in Canada. ................................ 109 Figure 7: Importance of factors in getting career-related work in Canada and type of non-Canadian work experience. ......................................................................................................... 110 Figure 8: Jobs students’ studies will prepare students for and preparation for finding career-related work in Canada. .............................................................................................................. 113 Figure 9: Plans for and actions related to finding career-related work in Canada ...................... 114 Figure 10: Q20: Respondent assessment of English language skills .......................................... 116  xv  List of Abbreviations  BC British Columbia CEC Canada Experience Class CIC Citizenship and Immigration Canada ESL English as a Second Language FTE Full Time Equivalent GPA Grade Point Average ISA International Student Advisor MA Massachusetts MBA Masters of Business Administration OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development PNP Provincial Nominee Program TESL Teaching English as a Second Language TRU Thompson Rivers University UANWE United States, Australia, New Zealand and Western Europe UBC University of British Columbia  xvi  Acknowledgements I would like to thank the faculty, staff and students of UBC’s Department of Educational Studies, who provided me with a supportive and enlightening environment in which to study and research. I would especially like to thank my supervisor Dr. Kjell Rubenson for giving me guidance in my research.  His gentle suggestions kept me always moving forward.  I would also like to thank my committee members, Dr. Maria Adamuti-Trache and Dr. Tom Sork, who provided thoughtful comments on my work as well as insight into others’ work I drew from. Special thanks go to my 2009 Ed.D. cohorts who were with me from day one, providing support, friendship and laughter. Thanks also to Kristen Hamilton for expert editing. Finally thanks to Mrs. Maria Rozitis, who provided me with a wonderful home away from home in Vancouver. xvii  Dedication  To my parents, for teaching me all the things which are important in life.  1  Chapter 1: Introduction This study examines strategies which international students use for transitioning from a British Columbia post-secondary institution to full time, career-related work in the Canadian labour market at the completion of their studies.  The purpose of the study is to understand how international students use their time at a post-secondary institute to prepare themselves for this transition.  The study concentrates on understanding what students are doing to aid in this transition.  The study also aims to understand the role of the post-secondary institution in general, and its career programs and services specifically. The number of international students attending Canadian post-secondary institutions in general, and British Columbia (BC) institutions specifically, has risen significantly in recent years.  International students attend BC post-secondary institutions not only to obtain Canadian academic credentials, but in many cases, they also want to gain employment in Canada at the completion of their studies.  At the same time, provincial and federal immigration policies have been implemented which provide the means for an international student to remain in Canada as long as the student obtains work typically requiring a post-secondary education (i.e. career-related work) after graduation (1779 Province of British Columbia, 2013; 1780 Government of Canada, 2014).  While the immigration policies provide the means, the actual transition from the post-secondary institution to the Canadian labour market is left to each individual student.  In the middle are the post-secondary institutions, whose programs, services and policies are used by international students.  Hence, post-secondary institutions have become a pathway for international students to immigrate to Canada. The transition from school to work is challenging for anyone, not least for an international student.  Despite immigration policy allowing international students to obtain work 2  in Canada at the completion of their academic programs, it is not a certainty this will occur.  For international students, challenges of transitioning to the Canadian labour market include a limited time window to find career-related work after graduation, a weak social network in Canada, discounting by the Canadian labour market of their non-Canadian work experience and education, and often perceived or actual less proficient English skills.  International students wishing to gain career-related work in Canada after the completion of their academic program spend time during their academic studies in ways they think will assist in this transition.  1.1 Motivation for this Study Understanding strategies which international students use for transitioning from a BC post-secondary institution to full time work in the Canadian labour market is timely and relevant.  First, there has been a significant increase in international students at post-secondary institutions across Canada in general, and in BC specifically, in recent years (Roslyn Kunin & Associates, Inc., 2012).   At the same time, rapidly changing immigration policies afford more and more international post-secondary students the opportunity to seek employment at the completion of their studies in Canada.   The increasing numbers of international students, coupled with immigration policies which allow international students to stay in Canada and work at the completion of their programs has resulted, in general, in changing demands by these students for post-secondary career programs and services.  At the same time, because the changes to the immigration policy are so recent, there is a lack of studies on how international students are reacting to these policies.    As a Co-op Coordinator with over twelve years’ experience in the Career Education Department at Thompson Rivers University (TRU), I have observed varying levels of success by 3  international students transitioning from post-secondary to the Canadian labour market.  Examples of successes include a student from China who went on to become a programmer analyst for Research in Motion,  a student from Peru who now works in a similar position for the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, and a student from Turkey who started his own computer consulting company.   Unfortunately, I have also seen cases of less success such as students who obtain non-career-related work far below the level of their academic credentials (for example, work at fast food restaurants and grocery stores).  Worse, I have seen students who wanted to obtain work in and migrate to Canada, but who were not successful and returned to their home country.  I have also noted some international students use TRU career programs and services extensively during their years of study, while other students use few, if any, of the programs and services which have been put in place specifically to aid in student transition to the labour market. I see a need to understand better the pathway from post-secondary institution to the Canadian labour market after graduation for international students.  1.2 Educational Policy Context While motivated by my own role as a Co-op Coordinator, this research takes place within a broader policy context.  First, especially, since the 1980s, across many different countries, changes in governance of higher education institutions allowed new funding models to evolve. What has been paraphrased as “the rise of market forces” in the last decades of the previous century has manifested itself in higher education in the form of resource diversification and increasing reliance on tuition fees in public institutions, expanding share of private institutions in national higher education systems, and diffusion of 4  practices from the world of business to the governance and administration of institutions of higher education, both public and private.  (Gürüz, 2008, p.77) As a result, institutions have increasingly relied on non-government sources for funding.  This in turn has motivated many institutions to turn to international students as a source of revenue.  The growth in the number of international students is occurring worldwide (Figure 1).    Figure 1: Growth of Global International Student Enrollment (in millions) (Gürüz, 2008, p.162)  5  This growth in international student enrollments is also occurring in Canada.  From 2000 to 2010, the number of long term international students (those staying greater than 6 months) at Canadian universities rose 120% from 53,168 to 116,890 (Roslyn Kunin & Associates, Inc., 2012, p.16). From 2004 to 2010, in BC, the number of long term international students at all types of educational institutions (K-12, trades, university, other post-secondary, and other institutions) rose 29.5% from 46,707 to 60,470 students (p.19).  In 2010, in BC, 42.9% of international students attended a university, while another 17.9% attended some other form of post-secondary institution (p.21).  The increased numbers of international students in Canada brings considerable economic spinoffs.  In 2010, it is estimated all types of international students in Canada spend in excess of $7.7 billion on tuition, housing and other spending (p.iii), with international students attending universities long term contributing $4.0 billion of the total $7.7 billion spent (p.28).  1.3 Immigration Policy Context  Driven by country-specific immigration policies, more and more countries with inflows of international students, especially member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), are experiencing an increase in international students becoming migrants at the completion of their studies (Gürüz, 2008; Tremblay, 2005).  In 1997, Australia became the leader in enacting specific immigration policy that allows international students to work and obtain permanent residency after graduation (Hawthorne, 2005).  By 2007, many international students were going to Australia explicitly with the intention of migrating after graduation.  For example, Jackling (2007) found 84% of 303 international students studying 6  accounting in her Australian study intended to seek permanent residence status after graduation (p.34). Recently, Canada and BC have followed Australia’s lead and created a series of immigration policies which give international students favoured access to immigration.  First, since 2006, BC has provided its Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) as an avenue for international students graduating from BC post-secondary institutions to immigrate (M. Krausse, personal communication, November 10, 2009; Province of British Columbia, 2009).  PNP is not unique to BC.  All provinces except for Quebec, which has separate immigration authority, have signed Provincial Nominee Agreements with the federal government, whereby the province specifies its own criteria for selecting immigrants.  To apply for BC’s program, students must first secure regular, full-time employment in their field of study at a level comparable to their educational qualifications (Province of British Columbia, 2013).  Second, in September 2008, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced the Canada Experience Class (CEC).  Under this policy, an international student who graduates from a Canadian post-secondary institution, who also has one year professional, managerial or skilled work experience in Canada, can apply for permanent residence status (CIC, 2008).  Both the CEC and PNP policies have been revised on a nearly annual basis, as both the provincial and federal governments tweak their programs to attract international students as immigrants.  Pandey and Townsend (2010) projected that by 2012 CEC and PNP would account for half of all immigrants to Canada, up from approximately 20% in 2000 (p.2).  Although the Pandey and Townsend study does not differentiate between students and other types of immigrants using the CEC and PNP programs, the Australian experience suggests international students in Canada would take advantage of these programs.  Further, at the Metropolis 2011 Thirteenth National Conference in Vancouver, 7  BC, which I attended, it was reported by presenters that 87% of international students surveyed at Ryerson University in Ontario wanted to stay after graduation, while presenters felt some other institutions had at least 50% of students indicating desire to stay after graduation.  Based on not only these other findings, but my own interactions with international students, I expect international students in Canada will be motivated to take advantage of the CEC and PNP programs.   Hence, the students will be seeking career-related work in Canada after graduation.  1.4 Career Services for International Students Canadian post-secondary institutes typically provide a range of career programs and services to aid students in the transition from school to the labour force.  Career programs and services both assist students in defining their career goals as well as in obtaining employment.  For example, the TRU Career Education Department where I work aims, “to educate and provide students the opportunity for experiential learning and career exploration” (Thompson Rivers University, 2011).  Specific examples of programs and services include the Co-operative Education program, job fairs and employer networking events, job finding clubs, employer presentations, employment job postings, and on-line career resources, workshops on resumes and interview skills, and one-on-one counselling on career options, resumes and interview skills.  Institutions may offer other career-related services which may or may not be offered through a career education department.  For example, at TRU, another department offers a non-academic Leadership program, which teaches workplace leadership skills.   Some institutions, such as the University of British Columbia, offer formalized volunteer programs for gaining skills and experience through volunteering.  Practicums and internships, types of experiential learning, which share many similarities to Co-operative Education, are offered at numerous institutions 8  through various faculties or departments.  TRU offers practicums in programs such as nursing, social work and teaching as well as requiring students (international or domestic) to obtain a paid or unpaid internship in journalism and tourism.  The term “career program” is often, but not exclusively, used to refer to academically based career-related activities such as a Co-op program, while “career service” often, but not exclusively, refers to a non-academically based career-related activity such as a job fair.  For brevity and clarity, for the remainder of this thesis, “career services” will be used to refer to both academic and non-academic career-related activities facilitated by an institution’s career education department, and will not include career-related activities facilitated by other parts of an institution. An international student (or any student) may choose to use their institution’s career services as part of her or his strategy to obtain career-related work after graduation.  For example, from a Co-op work placement, an international student gains work experience at well-known Canadian organizations.  Through their work experience, they may also improve their English language skills in general as well as gain an understanding of Canadian workplace language and culturally based Canadian communication skills.   The student may also build career-related relationships through their career education department.  While not the only place students access career-related education, experiential learning or career exploration, an institution’s career services act as a focal point for many aspects of career development on campus.   International students use career services not only to obtain work after graduation, but also to obtain Canadian paid work during their studies.  This work can be divided into on-campus work, off-campus work and Co-op work.  Each type of work varies in terms of which students are eligible, visa requirements, type of work and maximum hours an international 9  student can work.  International students are eligible to work on-campus without a work permit.  Numbers and types of on-campus jobs at Canadian post-secondary institutions vary widely from food services to administration support to research for a faculty member.  At the post-secondary institution of the research, the number of positions was limited to a few hundred, with the majority of these positions related to food and housing services.  At the time of the survey, full time post-secondary international students needed to apply for an off-campus work visa (Government of Canada, 2013d).  To be eligible to apply for an off-campus work visa, an international student needed to meet the academic criteria set out by their post-secondary institution (e.g. grade point average, number of academic courses enrolled in) and have studied full time in Canada for six of the last twelve months (as of January 2014, international students will be issued work visas automatically with their study permit).  Off-campus work permit allowed working up to 20 hours per week during academic semesters, and full-time during scheduled breaks (e.g. summer break, winter break) (Government of Canada, 2013a; Government of Canada, 2013c).  Types of off campus positions vary greatly, but as with any part-time position, are often in the service sector at an entry level.  International students in academic programs which offered a Co-op or internship could work full-time up to 50% of the total program of study or to the maximum of work terms allowed by a specific program (Government of Canada, 2013b).  Co-op and intern work is meant to be career-related and may be at an organization or company in any area of Canada.  Post-secondary career services in general and Co-op programs specifically can assist students in obtaining employment, but whether on-campus, off-campus or Co-op, employment is not guaranteed to international students.  The limitations on the types of work available to international students, on-campus, off-campus and Co-op, means even though it would be something international students might 10  want to do, they may not be able to obtain the type of work they desire.  There are a limited number of positions on-campus; not all international students (at the time of the research) are eligible to work off-campus; not academic programs offer opportunities to do career-related Co-op or paid internships, and even when they are offered, positions are not guaranteed.  1.5 Gaps in Literature and Research With the CEC only in place since 2008, and PNP since 2006, there is a lack of studies on international students as migrants to Canada through the utilizing these programs to transition to the Canadian labour market after graduation.  Altbach and Knight (2007) consider the major influences on growth of international education to be political realities and national security; cost of tuition; expanded domestic capacity in source countries; expanded demand for education in English; internationalization of curriculum; E-learning; private sector initiatives; quality assurance; and European policies of protecting or opening up their educational sector.  They do not consider immigration as one of the major influences, but at least in Canada, based on the Australian experience, I would argue Canada’s immigration policy will be a major influence on growth of international students choosing Canada.  Alternately, the idea of international student as immigrant can be overlaid on some of Altbach and Knight’s ideas.  For example, Mueller (2009) contends Canada has seen an increase in students from predominantly Muslim countries as a direct result of heightened security concerns and visa restrictions in the US.   As the US becomes less favourable as a destination for students from predominantly Muslim countries, more of these students will study and subsequently immigrate to Canada.  As demand for education in English continues to expand, Canada will be a dual beneficiary as students choose Canada because of the English-based education, and then subsequently choose Canada as a place 11  to migrate to.  Hence, the need for further research into international students as migrants in Canada.  Further, with the introduction of CEC and PNP, there is a need for increased research specifically into international students as migrants and their transition from post-secondary education to the Canadian labour market.  1.6 The Research Project This research project examines strategies which international students use for acquiring various types of capital (human, social, cultural and symbolic) for the purpose of obtaining career-related work in Canada at the completion of their studies.  Human, social, cultural and symbolic capital have been used to explain different individuals and groups’ relative success in the labour market.  More concretely, for an international student wishing to work in Canada after graduation and subsequently immigrate, human capital includes skills such as technical abilities (e.g. lab skills, computer programming and accounting skills), academic credentials, language skills and work experience (Becker, 1993; Friedberg, 2000; Schultz, 1963).  Social capital includes the relationships, such as with a faculty member, friend, or Co-op employer, the student has which will make her or his transition to on-going, full time career-related work easier (Bourdieu, 1986; Coleman, 1988; Lin, 2001).  Cultural capital are non-monetary social assets such as education, intellect or style of speech which gives an individual higher social status.  Lack of cultural capital, in the form of not speaking like or not understanding the ways Canadians communicate in English may hinder an international student’s success in interviews or in the workplace (Bourdieu, 1986).  Symbolic capital is honour, prestige or recognition which lead to economic opportunities for an individual.  An example of symbolic capital may be foreign work experience or education which may not be as recognized by employers as 12  equivalent Canadian work or educational credentials.  There will be a more in-depth discussion of human, social, cultural and symbolic capital in a following section. All of the international students in the study attended a primarily undergraduate BC post-secondary institution with a substantial international student body.  The research project comprised of an on-line survey, targeting all international students plus follow up focus groups comprising a subset of survey respondents.  The on-line survey and focus group data were analyzed to discern what international students were doing during their time at a post-secondary institution to obtain various types of capital which they think will assist in gaining career-related work in Canada at the completion of their studies.  Second, the data was analyzed to discern ways in which institution’s career services were part of students’ strategies.  1.6.1 The Goal of the Research The foremost goal of this research is to understand how international students use their time at a post-secondary institution to gain capital they believe will assist in the acquisition of career-related work in Canada after graduation.  A secondary goal is to better understand the post-secondary institution’s role in this acquisition of capital.  Students in general, and international students specifically, attend post-secondary institutions for a number of reasons, one of which is to obtain career-related work at the completion of their studies.  Post-secondary institutions invest considerable resources in providing career services, as well as other curriculum, programs and services with the goal of assisting students in the transition from school to the labour market.  At the same time, students choose many strategies to achieve their career goals.   13  Given the growth in international students at Canadian post-secondary institutions, coupled with the Canadian and provincial governments’ increased interest in attracting international students as immigrants, I believe more and more international students will attend Canadian post-secondary institutions with the goal of obtaining career-related work in Canada after graduation.  At the same time, Canadian post-secondary institutions use the lure of working in Canada after graduation to attract international students to study at their institutes.  For example, a TRU website page aimed at attracting international students to study this institution specifically highlights various options for working after graduation, including links to BC government information on the CEC and PNP program (Thompson Rivers University, 2012). As a Co-op Coordinator, I have experienced increasing interest by many international students to use TRU career services.  All of these reasons combine to behoove Canadian post-secondary institutions to support international students in transitioning to the Canadian labour market at the completion of their academic programs.  My goal is to provide post-secondary institutions and other policy makers concerned with international students a better understanding of the strategies international students undertake to obtain career-related work, and how students use post-secondary institution career services as part of their strategies.  My research investigates international students’ transition to the Canadian labour market under the current policies.  1.6.2 Four Research Questions My research goal was investigated using four main questions.  The first question was, ‘What are international students’ goals after graduation?’  Students were asked why they were studying at this specific post-secondary institute and their goals after completion of their studies.  The question’s aim is to establish whether international students do or do not want to stay in 14  Canada after graduation to obtain career-related work.  The second question was, ‘What non-Canadian education and work experience do international students bring with them to Canada?’  A student’s prior, non-Canadian experiences may influence their strategies of acquiring further capital once they are studying in Canada.  The third question was, ‘What are students doing, and want to do, during their time at a Canadian post-secondary institution to gain capital (human, social, cultural, symbolic) which they believe will assist them in their transition to the Canadian labour market?’  Students may choose various means to obtain the same capital.  For example, one student may take on part-time work to strengthen their English skills, while another student may access their institution’s services instead.  The fourth question was, ‘How are international students using their post-secondary institution’s career services?’  This includes services such as one-on-one appointments, Co-op programs, job fairs and networking events.  1.6.3 Relevance of Research With the implementation of the CEC and PNP, Canadian post-secondary institutions are poised to become major portals of immigration to Canada, as is echoed in the statement made by the then Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney in a September 14, 2012 news conference on the Canada Experience Class where the CEC program was identified as the fasted growing source of immigrants to Canada (Elliot, 2012).  Kenney said, Until we created the Canada Experience Class four years ago, when we had bright young foreign students come to Canada and complete their degrees or diplomas, we then asked them at the end of their academic program to leave Canada.  And if they wanted to immigrate, to get in the back of a seven- or eight-year-long queue in our skilled worker program. (n.p.) 15  With post-secondary’s new role as portal to immigration, there needs to be an increased understanding by post-secondary institutions and others of international students as migrants.  This research will help to inform post-secondary institutions in terms of policies created to support international students’ transition to the Canadian labour market.  The research will also help post-secondary institutions prioritize the implementation of programs relating to career transition which are aimed at international students.  Since the CEC and PNP programs are relatively new, I hope this research will also provide a base for future research into how international students use their time at Canadian post-secondary institutions to create human, social, cultural and symbolic capital, and also how various post-secondary institutional policies and programs hinder or facilitate the acquisition of various types of capital.  More broadly, this research may also help inform policy gaps in the federal CEC and provincial PNP relating to international students.  For international students wishing to use CEC or PNP, there is a gap in programs and services between the time of graduation and permanent resident status is obtained.  Finally, within the international context, since many countries, especially those in the OECD, are experiencing an increase in international students becoming migrants at the completion of their studies, the research may be of interest when comparing international students’ experiences in Canada to those in other countries (Gürüz, 2008).  1.6.4 Location of the Researcher Who I am has greatly impacted the research process.  I am a faculty member at TRU, where I have been a Co-op Coordinator for over 13 years.  As a Co-op Coordinator, I see my role as assisting students in building up various types of capital which will assist them in transitioning to the labour market, first as Co-op students, and longer term as graduates.  For example, I assist 16  students in obtaining human capital such as writing a professional resume, conducting a job interview, and gaining professional work experience.  I also assist students building social capital, such as a network of professional connections in their chosen career field.  While I assist students acquiring capital, much capital can only be gained directly by the students’ own actions.  For example, while I assist students obtaining Co-op work experience, students can only gain work skills (human capital) through their own efforts. My social capital provides students with contacts which result in opportunities at various companies who hire Co-op students, but once at a work place, a student must build their own network of professional connections.  I provide opportunities for international students to practice business networking, but individual students must afford themselves of these opportunities to gain a better understanding of how Canadians behave at a business event (cultural capital).  I may advise students to join specific professional groups to gain symbolic capital, but they must follow through by actually joining. During my time as a Co-op Coordinator, I have worked very closely with hundreds of international students in Co-op programs (up to 70 or more per year) and as well as less closely with thousands who access other TRU career services (e.g. job fair, networking events, one-on-one counselling appointments).  Having worked with international students enrolled in Co-op programs for so many years, I have seen the barriers international students face in obtaining employment in Canada, both during their studies and after they graduate.  These include perceived or actual lack of English language skills, discrimination by employers, and lack of Canadian academic and work experience.  I believe everyone has barriers which hinder their transition into the labour market, and acquisition of various types of capital helps to lower those barriers.  This belief is strengthened by the many international students I know who have gone on to acquire career-related work in Canada.  One the key roles I see for myself is to assist 17  students in lowering barriers through acquisition of capital.  While I see acquisition of all types of capital (human, social, cultural and symbolic) as important in the transition to the labour market, others, including international students, may not share this view.  Hence, the importance, during the research project, of suppressing my own views and listening carefully to what international students say.  1.7 Thesis Structure The remainder of the thesis is organized in terms of a literature review, theoretical framework, research methodology, research findings, analysis of findings, conclusions and recommendations.  The literature review, in Chapter Two, begins with an overview of immigrant experiences in the Canadian labour market.  Then, there is a discussion of the experiences from various countries of international students as migrants, including their experiences transitioning to the labour market.  The section concludes with studies on international students’ use of post-secondary institutions’ career services within the context of a number of career development models.  In Chapter Three, various definitions of human, social, cultural and symbolic capital are presented and critiqued.  Then, starting with a previous theoretical framework on immigrant acquisition and mobilization of capital, a conceptual framework for student strategies for gaining human, social, cultural and symbolic capital is developed. In Chapter Four, the rationale for the chosen research methods, an on-line survey and focus groups, are outlined.  The construction of the on-line survey and selection and recruitment of participants is discussed.  A statistical comparison of the overall population with the sampled population is presented.  Similarly, the design of the focus groups is discussed.  For both the on-line survey and the focus groups, advantages and disadvantages of the approaches are discussed. 18  In Chapter Five, the findings of the on-line survey and the focus groups are summarized with respect to the four research questions.  First, the goals of the international students, especially related to their career plans after graduation in Canada or elsewhere, are presented.  Second, data on what non-Canadian education and work experience international students have prior to coming to Canada is discussed.   Third, specific strategies to obtain career-related work after graduation which are employed by international students relating to English language skills, Canadian education, work and volunteer experiences, and various relationships are presented.  Fourth, how international students use their post-secondary institution’s career services as part of their goals to acquire career-related work in Canada after graduation.  In Chapter Six, the specific actions students had undertaken are reframed and interpreted within the theoretical framework presented in Chapter Three.  The types of human, social, cultural and social capital international students want to gain and actions they take to get the capital are discussed, along with the role of the post-secondary institution, especially its career services.  The impacts of various forces shaping students’ choice of strategies are examined.  There are forces within the purview of post-secondary institutions, such as program offerings and levels of service provided.  There are also some forces which are primarily outside of the scope of post-secondary institutions, but which international students need to be able to respond to, such as Canadian immigration policy.  Finally, there is an individual’s choice of what actions they will take, such as using their post-secondary institution’s career services,  as well as pursuing a career in Canada, returning to their homeland, or perhaps going on to another country. In Chapter Seven, the conclusions are presented.  Recommendations are made to post-secondary institutions on ways to support international students’ transitions to the Canadian 19  labour market, both in terms of policy and practice.  Based on the findings, as well as the limitations of the research, I make recommendations for future research.   20  Chapter 2: A Review of the Literature  In order to give a background and context for my study, I will provide a review of four types of studies from the research literature.  The first are studies related to highly skilled migrants’ experiences entering the Canadian labour market.  The second consists of studies of international students as migrants.   Third, I will examine studies on transitions to the labour market of international students with an emphasis on studies using human, social, cultural and symbolic capital lenses.  Finally, I will review literature related to career services, especially related to international students.  2.1 Immigrant Success in the Canadian Labour Market Immigrants to Canada comprise three main categories: economic immigrants, the family class, and refugees.  Family class immigrants are close family members sponsored by their relatives.  Economic immigrants, comprising of skilled workers and business class, and, more recently, immigrants qualifying under CEC and PNP, are selected on their skills and ability to contribute to the Canadian economy.  Although international students working after graduation are not “immigrants” but “non-permanent residents” until they apply for landed immigrant status, understanding the experiences of immigrants transitioning to the Canadian labour market sheds light on the experiences of international students.  Since the 1980s to present, there has been a shift in priorities in Canadian immigration from family unification to the economic interests of Canada.  Currently, at the federal government policy level, immigrants are seen primarily as economic drivers.  This is articulated 21  by the then Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism of Canada, in a report on citizenship and immigration entitled “Raison d’être”: Over the last 150 years, immigrants have been a driving force in Canada's nationhood and its economic prosperity—as farmers settling lands, as workers in factories fuelling industrial growth, as entrepreneurs, and as innovators who help make Canada competitive in the global, knowledge-based economy. (p.7) This idea immigrants are perceived as economic drivers also came forward in work by Laura Charles during a presentation by her at Metropolis 2011, Thirteenth National Conference, Vancouver, BC.  As a result of the shift to immigrants as economic drivers, from 1985 to 2009, economic immigrants rose from 31% to 64% of all immigrants, while the family class declined from 31% to 22% in the same period (CIC, 2009, p.4-5).   Despite the Canadian government selecting more and more immigrants based on economic criteria, skilled workers with education and work experience obtained outside Canada struggle to enter the Canadian labour market at a level comparable to their education and experience (Adamuti-Trache, 2010; Heibert, 2006, 2009; Mata, 2009; Oreopoulos, 2009).   As a concrete example, 67.8% of university-trained immigrants who arrived within the previous 5 years are over qualified for their position compared to 40.5% of university-trained Canadian born workers (Gilmore, 2009, p.19). In 2006, the average incomes for adult males and females in Vancouver was $45,664 and $29,200, respectively, compared to $33,144 and $23,140 for immigrants who landed in Vancouver between 1989 and 2004 (Heibert, 2009, p.69).   This despite the fact immigrants are better educated than Canadians.  For example, in 2001, only 17.9% of Canadians had completed a university degree, diploma or certificate, compared to over 45% of all immigrants who arrived between 2001 and 2004 (Heibert, 2006, p.12, 17).  An ever 22  larger portion, 80% of principal applicants in the economic class had completed a university degree (p.12-13).  Despite being highly educated, the labour force participation rate of workers with non-Canadian post-secondary credentials was 82.1% compared to 90.5% for those with Canadian post-secondary credentials.  At the same time, the unemployment rate for workers with non-Canadian post-secondary credentials was 6.6% compared to 4.2% for those with Canadian credentials (p.13).   The failure of economic immigrants to be as successful as Canadian-born labour force participants has been attributed to the relative value in the Canadian labour market of the different types of human and social capital these immigrants possess.  For example, country specific human capital, such as foreign educational credentials, especially those from non-OECD countries may be valued less (Mata, 2008; Tian & Ma, 2006).  Along with lack of recognition of foreign educational credentials, lack of recognition of foreign work experience, as well as discrimination hampers immigrants. There was either no value, or a negative value in the labour market of older workers’ foreign work experience (Schaafsma & Sweetman, 1999).  Middle aged immigrants’ work experience was valued 25% less than their Canadian counterparts.  A specific example of discrimination is preference by employers of selecting interview candidates with English-sounding names over ones with Chinese, Indian or Pakistani-sounding names, has also been used to explain less favourable labour market outcomes of some groups of highly skilled immigrants in the Canadian labour market (Oreopoulos, 2009).  On the other hand, country-specific human capital offsets name based discrimination.  For applicants with Chinese, Indian or Pakistani-sounding names who had Canadian work experience had significantly higher requests for interviews than those with the same work experience acquired at a non-Canadian firm.  The preference by employers to select candidates with certain types of names could also imply there 23  is symbolic capital associated with names.  In contrast to older immigrants, and in support of the CEC and PNP policies to attract (typically young) international students, Schaafsma and Sweetman (1999) also found earnings of younger immigrants, who would have little or no foreign work experience, had earnings higher than similar aged Canadians.  However, these immigrants also had more education than similar aged Canadians. Language skills in English or French, another form of human capital, have also been used to explain labour market outcomes of highly skilled immigrants in the Canadian labour market.  For example, Hiebert’s 2009 study of economic integration of immigrants in Vancouver in the early 21st century found immigrants in any immigration class, except refugees, arriving in Canada without either official language faced considerably lower incomes up to five years after arrival compared with those who immigrated with English language skills.  In the case of refugees, Hiebert postulated the year of financial support refugees receive after arrival to Canada allows them to gain necessary language skills.  In general, immigrants who arrived well-educated, but with little or no English, had incomes and employment rates similar to immigrants who arrived with just a high school education.   On the other hand, for male principal applicants, admitted as skilled workers with both English language proficiency and post-secondary education or trades training, after five years in Canada, at $44,800, earnings of approached that of the Canadian average of $47,234,  suggesting wage parity is being approached (p.69).  But, this is not quite the case, as, since as discussed above, the average Canadian is far less educated than the average skilled immigrant.   A number of studies have looked at the impact of social capital on immigrants’ labour market success.  Hiebert (2009) concluded immigrants coming as part of family reunification, who possess social capital in the form of their family network, benefit from these networks and 24  as a result have comparable employment rates to those of skilled class immigrants (p.54).  On the other hand, immigrant social networks may have limitations.  A study of 28 youth in Vancouver who had immigrant parents found the young people did not rely on their family for job referrals because “immigrant parents are themselves often struggling culturally and economically and lack the social connections” (Yan, Lauer, & Chan, 2009, p.22).  Rather, the youth relied on friends.  However, even though they relied on their friends, the youth realized opportunities provided by their friends were limited.  A comparison of the social capital of immigrants versus Canadians, as measured by an individual’s web of relations with people of influence concluded ...as social capital is concerned, immigrants are at a serious disadvantage. This disadvantage is multi-faceted: a smaller social network, a lower socioeconomic value for the network, a more limited mobilization of network resources, a less ethnically-diverse social web, and, finally, a more religiously diverse network. (Kazemipur, 2004, p.16) These studies all suggest the human, social, cultural and symbolic capital an immigrant possesses impacts her or his ability to connect with the Canadian labour market, as well as the types of opportunities the capital provides.  2.2 International Students as Migrants More and more countries with inflows of international students, especially those in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCED), are experiencing an increase in international students becoming migrants at the completion of their studies (Gürüz, 2008), and are targeting these students for migration  (Tremblay, 2005).  Canada can best be compared to Australia and New Zealand, both because of shared linguistic and educational histories, and because all are white settler societies, meaning a racial hierarchy intersects the 25  experiences of an international student as migrant (Razack, 2002).  Gürüz labels Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, along with United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK), the major English-speaking destination countries (MESDCs).  In 2004, nearly half of all international students, 1,132,491, went to one of these five countries (p.238).  Understanding how international students are migrants in MESDCs captures a significant amount of the student experiences globally.   Australia provides a starting point for research in international students as migrants within the current context.  Starting in the 1950s, up to 150 Asian postgraduate students came to Australia each year through scholarships originating from the Colombo Plan (Davis, 2009).  These were joined by a limited number of international students who paid fees at the same rate as Australian students.  In 1974, post-secondary fees were eliminated for all students, meaning international students were no longer paying fees either (Shu & Hawthorne, 1996).  The elimination of fees led to a public backlash at subsidizing international students.     Davis (2009) found that in 1985, the Australian government adopted policies allowing educational institutions to charge full-cost fees.  In 1987, there were 1,000 full-cost and 16,000 subsidized overseas students.  Figure 2 shows how international student numbers rose steadily from 1987 until 2001.  Between 2001 and 2007 full-cost international students enrolled in Australian universities increased even more steeply from approximately 110,000 to 273,000 including 65,000 enrolled off-shore, meaning by 2007, 25% of the students enrolled in Australian institutions were international students.   Paralleling changes in international student policy were changes in immigration policy.  Australia’s White Australia Policy, a race-based immigration policy, was changed in 1973 to one based on skills and investment (Shu & Hawthorne, 1996).  The skills based migration criteria is 26  currently defined by the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL) (OECD, 2010).  Even prior to the abandonment of the White Australia Policy however, international students from Asia were impacting migration.  Seventy-five percent (75%) of fee-paying Asian students graduating in 1969 had achieved citizenship by 1979 (Shu & Hawthorne, 1996).  In 1997, Australia became the leader in defining specific immigration policy which allows international students to work and obtain permanent residency after graduation (Hawthorne, 2005).   It is interesting to note that in the 1990s, Australia had a Minister for Employment, Education and Training, which may explain why they were able to lead the world in defining immigration policy specifically targeting international students as migrants.   The policy change has had two effects: increasing the number of international students in Australia, and changing the path of migration for skilled immigrants.   Figure 2: International higher education students in Australia 1987 – 2007 (from Davis, 2009) For example, Jackling (2007) found 84% of international students studying accounting in her Australian study intended to seek permanent residence status after graduation (p.32).   Accounting is one of the occupations on the MODL.  Enrollment at all Australian university 27  commerce and management programs by international students has grown “exponentially” since the establishment of MODL (p.32).  By 2007, international students made up two-thirds of Australian skilled migrants (Hawthorne, 2010).     In New Zealand, significant growth of international students occurred after that country’s 1989 New Education Act, which allowed educational institutions to market their programs and retain revenue (Collins, 2008).  Since that time, international students have become an increasing presence and now contribute significantly to the New Zealand economy, being one of the top five export earners for the country (Butcher, 2004), with 85% of students coming from Asia (Ho & Bedford, 2008).   In 2008/09, 74,000 international students were approved for study at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels (OECD, 2010).  At the same time policies around international students were changing.  New Zealand shifted its immigration policy from one which favoured immigrants from Britain and Ireland, to allowing limited migration of Pacific people in the 1960s and 1970s  (Butcher, 2004), and then in 1987 shifting from this racial based migration policy to one based on skills and investment potential (Collins, 2008).  The change in selection criteria lead to a rise in immigration from Asian countries, although, at 19%, the United Kingdom continues to be a leading source (OECD, 2010).  As an example, of the 32% foreign-born residents of Auckland, 9.7% are from Asia, 9.5% from Europe and 7.7% from Pacific Islands (Butcher, 2004).   Butcher contends “there is little tangible evidence that there is a policy connection between education and immigration policies in New Zealand” (2004, p.273).   On the other hand, Ho and Bedford (2008) call the New Zealand immigration policies “deliberate targeting of international students as possible future young skilled migrants” (p.42).  Whether deliberate or consequential, the skills based immigration policy adopted in 1987, and subsequent refinements 28  such as the Essential Skills in Demand Lists, give preference to applicants with New Zealand qualifications, making it easier for students to become permanent residents.  For example, in 2003, 19% of applicants approved for a residence visa previously held a student visa (Butcher, 2004, p.268).  Both Butcher and Collin note, in the case of Koreans, a student, who subsequently may become a migrant, may come to New Zealand partially because of encouragement of other family or friends who had previously migrated from Korea to New Zealand as non-students.   This is an example of the interconnectivity of social capital and migration with respect to international students.  Previously, international students may have selected Canada as a place to study based on the institutional characteristics, such as, the school’s reputation; schooling costs; and academic environment (Madgett & Belanger, 2008).  Other forces come into play as well. In the case of Korean students coming to Vancouver, Hiebert and Kwak (2004) found an intersection between tourism, permanent immigration and temporary migration of students.  Tourists would return as students.  Students would choose to study in Vancouver based on previous immigration of friends and family to the city.  Now, based on the Australian experience, it can be expected international students will be coming to Canada for another reason as well - to gain permanent residence status after graduation.  However, there is little research into international students studying in Canada and migrating under the CEC or PNP policies.  This is not surprising given these policies came into effect in 2006 and 2008 respectively.   Hiebert’s 2009 study on the economic participation of immigrants in Vancouver alludes to international students using the PNP program to gain permanent residence status, but does not provide any data on the participation rates in the labour market of these students after they graduate from university.  Gürüz (2010) discusses how Canadian immigration patterns are being affected by migration of 29  international students without referring directly to either policy.  Pandey and Townsend’s 2010 study on the income and provincial retention of immigrants utilizing PNP includes projections that by 2012, CEC and PNP will account for half of all immigrants to Canada, up from approximately 20% in 2000. One of the primary reasons the CEC and PNP policies were created was to address the issue that economic immigrants struggle in the Canadian labour market.  The premise of the CEC and PNP policies is that during their time at a Canadian post-secondary institution, along with Canadian work experience gained during and immediately after their schooling, international students have gained country-specific human, social, cultural and symbolic capital which will make the transition to full-time, career-related work easier: If you are a temporary foreign worker or a foreign student who graduated in Canada, you often have the qualities to make a successful transition from temporary to permanent residence. You are familiar with Canadian society and can contribute to the Canadian economy. You should have knowledge of English or French and qualifying work experience. (CIC, 2010) Hence the CIC is stating an international student with Canadian educational credentials and Canadian work experience may have acquired enough skills, knowledge and work experience (i.e. human capital) along with a network during their time as a post-secondary student in Canada (i.e. social capital) to be both of value to the Canadian labour market and able to connect with it.  Further, it can be inferred the policy implies the international student will have gained cultural capital “familiar with Canadian society” and symbolic capital in the form of Canadian, rather than non-Canadian, academic credentials and work experience.  A study by Grenier and Xue (2009) supports CIC’s assertion.  Based on statistical analysis of the Longitudinal Survey of 30  Immigrants to Canada (LSIC), which shows more favourable employment outcomes of immigrants who had Canadian job experience and education as well as English or French language skills, Grenier and Xue postulated international students who immigrate through the CEC will have obtained human capital during their studies in Canada which will assist them in getting a professional job in their area of study. However, the newness of the CEC and PNP policies means Grenier and Xue provided no data of actual students’ transitions to work to substantiate this claim.  In general, until recently, there has been very little, if any, data collected or research into international students studying in Canada and subsequently migrating under the CEC and PNP (Pandey & Townsend, 2010).  Hiebert’s (2009) study on the economic participation of immigrants in Vancouver alluded to international students using the PNP program to gain permanent residence status, but does not provide any data on the participation rates in the labour market of these students after they graduate from post-secondary institutions.   Gürüz (2008) discussed how Canadian immigration patterns are being affected by migration of international students without referring directly to either policy.  Pandey and Townsend’s (2010) study on the income and provincial retention of immigrants utilizing PNP projected that by 2012, CEC and PNP will account for half of all immigrants to Canada, up from approximately 20% in 2000.  Unfortunately, their study did not differentiate students from other immigrants using these programs.   Phythian et al. (2009) make mention of the CEC as one of the five types of immigrants to Canada on their study of labour market outcomes of different classes of immigrants, but did not include this class of immigrants in their analysis, and students are not mentioned as a source of immigrants.  However, based on Australia’s experience, while previously international students may have selected Canada as a place to study based on the institutional characteristics, such as, the school’s reputation, 31  schooling costs, academic environment, previous experiences as a tourist,; and relatives or friends who had immigrated previously (Hiebert & Kwak, 2004; Madgett & Belanger, 2008),  I expect a great number of international post-secondary students coming to study in Canada, in general, and, in BC specifically, will want to obtain career-related work in Canada after graduation, and subsequently, apply for permanent residence status through the CEC or PNP program.  2.3 International Students Transition to Work Since, to qualify for either CEC or PNP, an international student must obtain career-related work after graduation, a key issue with respect to both of these programs is whether international students acquire sufficient human, social, cultural and symbolic capital through a combination of their Canadian academic studies along with other activities to transition successfully to the Canadian labour force.  My own observations are, even with Canadian academic credentials, international students face considerable barriers entering the Canadian labour market including lack of recognition by employers of their foreign employment experience, lack of previous Canadian work experience, and lower actual or perceived English language proficiency, cultural differences and weak social networks in Canada.  Along with barriers international students face as newcomers to Canada, youth in general have difficulties transitioning from education to work.  Youth are more vulnerable to unemployment during economic downturns, youth frequently move back and forth between education and work rather than complete all education and then transition completely to work, and youth work increasingly on temporary contracts and on a part-time basis (Brooks, 2009).    32  A study of international accounting students in Australia found employers were not favourable to hiring international students for permanent jobs, stating the students lacked necessary English language proficiency, as well as previous related Australian job experience, such as what is gained during summer work in accounting (Jackling, 2007).  However, international students can benefit by gaining human capital during their time in another country.  A study of 10 Chinese international students who transitioned successfully to employment in New Zealand found along with using their social networks, the students’ human capital played a part, as the students “linked developing English language and employable skills during their study years with improving their ability to gain employment” (Dyer & Lu, 2010, p.29).  One of international students’ largest barriers in finding work is their lack of a strong social network in Canada.  One of the earliest works linking getting a job with one’s social network is by Granovetter (1995).  In his study, a total of 282 men in professional, technical and managerial jobs, in Newton, MA, were interviewed or surveyed to determine how they had obtained their jobs.  For those who grew up in Massachusetts, 48% used family or social contacts to find their job (p.43).  For those who grew up in other parts of the United States, between 18% and 29% used family or social contacts (p.43).  For those who grew up outside of the U.S., only 11% used family or social contacts (p.43).  Instead they relied on formal means, such as advertisements and employment agencies, or through direct applications.  Clearly, in comparison to those from other countries, those who grew up in Massachusetts had a much stronger social network they could rely on in their job search.  A Norwegian study in 2010 by Støren and Wiers-Jenssen showed how social capital impacted the employment outcomes of foreign students in Norway’s labour market.  The study, which used statistical analysis of labour market data of Norwegian and non-Norwegians studying 33  inside and outside of Norway, found students who were both born and educated in Norway fared best in the Norwegian labour market, while the unemployment rate was highest among the non-Western immigrants regardless of the origin of the diploma.  The authors concluded those who studied in Norway benefited from having country specific human capital in the form of Norwegian credentials, as well as more social capital, in the form of contacts which helped them attach to the Norwegian labour force.  At the same time, they concluded discrimination factored into employment outcomes of non-Westerners.  While Støren and Wiers-Jenssen’s statistical approach demonstrated differences in labour market outcomes, the research approach did not delve into structural practices, such as recruiting practices of companies, which might disadvantage non-Western immigrants.  While, in general, non-Western immigrants as a group did not fare as well as others in the Norwegian labour market, some did succeed.  Along with not addressing actions of employers which might disadvantage non-Western immigrants, the study also did not illuminate actions successful non-Western students themselves might have taken which contributed to their employment outcomes. Some New Zealand and Canadian studies have shown the positive effects of pre-existing social capital on a student’s inclination and ability to study and subsequently migrate to another country.  A study of Korean students in New Zealand found a student may come to New Zealand partially because of social capital; the student may have been encouraged by other family or friends who had previously migrated from Korea to New Zealand (Butcher, 2004; Collins, 2008).  Though not necessarily their original intention, having established themselves in New Zealand during their time as students, many of the students subsequently choose to migrate to New Zealand after graduation.  Similarly, a study of Korean students coming to Vancouver found students would choose to study in Vancouver based on previous immigration of friends and 34  family to the city; after studying, students might then become migrants themselves (Hiebert & Kwak, 2004; Hiebert, 2009).  In my own practice, I have observed similar behaviour among students I work with from the Punjab in India, many of whom have relatives or friends already living in Canada.  Many have told me they are motivated to stay and work in Canada after graduation. While in school, their pre-existing network in Canada, though small, assists these students in finding housing, finding part-time or summer employment, and motivating them to move to another Canadian city for Co-op employment where they may know someone.    An international student does not just use pre-existing social capital.  They can also create social capital during their time as a student.  A study of 19 international students in the United States found the students relied primarily on contacts in their own academic area, rather than counsellors in the career counselling and job placement department, for help with their careers (Shen & Herr, 2004).  This study showed not only how the students used social capital of their relationships within their academic programs, but also suggests the students did not see their relationships with the career counsellors as valuable in their career search.  A year-long study of a Japanese international student’s interactions at a Canadian university gives graphic illustration of social capital being acquired: “his everyday, ongoing interactions with various members of his new local academic communities and by the kinds of membership and identities Kota constructed through these interactions” (Morita, 2009, p.444).  While the study’s focus was on identity creation, it also portrayed Kota as an active agent in creating his social network within his academic community.  However, simply because a student can create social capital, does not mean she or he will.  A study of Spanish university students found their views on social networking influenced how actively they participated in creating social capital through deliberate social networking practices such as joining specific groups or connecting with specific people of 35  influence (Villar & Albertin, 2010).  The authors argued while a student might see the benefit of building up social capital through networking, depending on the position a student held, they might view the act of networking positively, for example as a way to assist in their career goals, or negatively, for example as a manipulation of others for personal gain. Whether pre-existing or created after arriving in Canada, social capital influences an international student’s desire and ability to obtain career-related work after graduation and subsequently migrate.  As an example of the influence of social capital, a study of domestic and international students in Ottawa and Montreal found, except for quality of work, the students’ social networks in the city they studied was the most important influence of why, after graduation, they would remain in the city they studied in to work (Darchen & Tremblay, 2010, p.229).  Quality of work remained the number one reason students would move to another city, whereas their social network was not even listed in the top four reasons listed as an influence of why they would leave their city of study to work elsewhere.  Hence studies, have shown the impact of a range of types of human and social capital on an international student’s transition to the labour market of their country of study.  What has not been researched is how international students use their time at a post-secondary institution to create different types of human and social capital as part of their strategy to transitioning to full-time career-related work within the Canadian labour market.  2.4 Career Services for International Students Career development has been modeled as a series of steps.   In this context, the goal of career services is to help a student chart a path to a career, first by motivating the student, then assisting the student in identifying careers which would fit their skills, interests, and values, and 36  finally by defining steps which would help move the student towards their chosen career goal (Beaushesne & Belzile, 1995; Team Canada, 2000).  In this model, a student who assessed her or his interest and aptitude in accounting, took the requisite courses, created a resume, attended employer events hosted by accounting firms and applied to accounting positions should expect a positive outcome by achieving a career in accounting. This model parallels Slavin’s (2002) prescriptive view of the educational process, whereby, every student who does A, B and C will transition successfully to employment. Contrasting this step-wise model, career development can also be seen as much a factor of chaos and chance as it is of planning.  For example, Bright and Pryor (2005) state, “it is increasingly accepted that career behavior is influenced by unplanned and chance events to a much more significant degree than has been typically acknowledged” (p.293).  While chance and chaos influence outcomes, Bright and Pryor contend specific processes and influences shape the career path of an individual at a macro level, but because of chance and chaos, there is not a linear relationship between specific behaviours, such as gaining job skills, taking a resume writing course or attending a certain career networking event, and specific outcomes, such as acquiring a specific job.  Reflecting on my own practice, one of the first times I worked with a Turkish student was also coincidentally the first time there was a Co-op position at a certain firm.  As chance would have it, even though there are very few people from Turkey in Kamloops, one of the employees of this particular firm was Turkish.  Though not the only factor, I feel it is likely the firm hired the Turkish student as a Co-op student, and then later as a graduate, because the employer had previous experiences working with Turkish people and thus viewed the Turkish student more favourably.  If I had not, by chance, gained that firm as a Co-op employer, the Turkish student’s transition to work may have been far more difficult, and as a 37  result his story might have been far different.  However, that does not mean a career is only a factor of chaos and chance, since without a certain level of skills this opportunity would not have been possible for the Turkish student.  Bright and Pryor’s ideas parallel those of Olson (2004) who stated “in education, such simple causal relations do not obtain between teaching and learning; interactions are filtered through the goals, beliefs, and intentions of the teachers and learners” (p.25). Supporting Bright and Pryor’s contention careers are a factor of chaos and chance is the work of Granovetter (1995).  In Granovetter’s study of Massachusetts men, the men  used personal contacts for job finding 57% of the time, with those under 34 years of age relying on personal contacts 48% of the time, while older workers relying on personal contacts 64% of the time (p.18). For individuals finding jobs through personal contacts, 58% of the interactions were initiated not by the individual, but by their personal contacts who might know they were looking for a job, through “bumping into” others, through the “grapevine”, or even by being contacted by someone they did not even know who was recommended to them by a personal contact (p.33).  In the study, in 13% of the encounters “the respondent and his personal contact were interacting for some purpose unrelated to job information” (p.33).  In over 23% of cases, including 7% for first full-time jobs in the career, the individual did not even search for the job they obtained, but was sought out by others (p.31).  Clearly, one’s ability to find a job is not simply because of one’s own actions, but also due to “chance” meetings with others. Of the two models for career development presented above, Bright and Pryor’s model reflects more my own experiences.  However, whether the step-wise career development model or the chaos model is used to describe career development, there is an underlying assumption human, social, cultural and symbolic capital are required, and there is a role for career 38  practitioners, such as provided by an institution’s career services, assisting students in creating specific types of human, social, cultural and symbolic capital.  The question then becomes what strategies, including post-secondary career services, international students use to transition to the Canadian labour market. It is not a given international students will use their institutions’ career services at all.  Shen and Herr (2004) concluded when career practitioners at university career services do not meet the cultural needs of an international student, the student may instead rely on her or his own close ties, such as faculty members, for assistance with transitions to the labour market.  Researchers have contended cultural differences between international students and career practitioners warrant different approaches to career services (Arthur & Popadiuk, 2010; Heppner & Fu, 2010; Reynolds & Constantine, 2007; Shen & Herr, 2004; Yang, Wong, Hwang, & Heppner, 2002).  For example, Arthur and Popadiuk (2010) use a case study of providing career services to a female Muslim student from Iran to argue career services need to be adjusted since simply using Canadian norms would be too much in conflict with the student’s cultural and religious values pertaining to career decision making.   Other researchers have focused on the impact of culture on a student’s difficulty in making career decisions.  For example, Zhou and Santos (2007) contended Chinese international students had more difficulty in career decision making than their British domestic students peers because of factors such as familial pressures to pursue specific career paths, and lack of information on British career options.   However within the Chinese student group there was not a correlation between acculturation difficulties and career decision making difficulties.  That is, even Chinese international students who had become more acculturated to Britain still had more difficulties making career decisions than British students.  Zhou and Santos contended one 39  possible reason for the Chinese students having more difficulties in career decision making was the discrepancies between wishes for their career of the students and others of influence, such as family members.  International students are not just making career decisions: they are also making the decision to either stay and work in their country of study or return to their home country.  Hence, career decision making is complicated by contrasting forces pulling them back to their home country or pushing them to stay in their country of study (Alberts & Hazen, 2005; Shen & Herr, 2004). Although reviewing career services from a cultural perspective is something to be considered, having worked with hundreds of international students from a range of countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, and South America, as well as an equal or greater number of Canadian students, my sentiments mirror a quote from Shen and Herr’s (2004)  study: Xenophon, a professor, mentioned, “I agree that culture contributes to some of the behaviors, but there are, within the same culture, there are a spectrum of people. . . . You just have to deal case by case.” (p.21) No matter what their cultural background or amount of acculturation, an international student’s ability to acquire human capital, such as Canadian academic credentials, Canadian work experience and English language skills, and social capital, such as a network of faculty members, friends and employers, will aid their ability to transition to the Canadian labour market.  Lacking from the current research is how post-secondary career services are used by international students’ during their time in school to create different types of human, social, cultural and symbolic capital as part of their strategy to transitioning to full-time career-related work within the Canadian labour market.  40  2.5 Conclusion I argue international students can and do acquire many different types of human, social, cultural and symbolic capital during their time at a Canadian post-secondary institution such as Canadian academic credentials, relationships in Canada, a deeper understanding of Canadian culture, and experiences and ways of doing things which are valued in Canada.  However, given, for example, the difficulties of non-Western students transitioning to the Norwegian labour force (Støren & Wiers-Jenssen, 2010), Australian international accounting students transitioning to the Australian labour force (Jackling, 2007), and my own observations of difficulties international students face when seeking career-related work in Canada after graduation, it is by no means a given international students studying at Canadian post-secondary institutions will obtain sufficient capital to successfully transition to the Canadian labour market.  Having said this, given an international student wishing to use the CEC or PNP program to immigrate to Canada after graduation needs to transition to the Canadian labour market, it is reasonable to assume during her or his time at a post-secondary institution, a student may have a strategy for acquiring human, social, cultural and symbolic capital she or he thinks will aid in this transition. At a minimum, the student has already chosen to attend a Canadian post-secondary institution to get country specific academic credentials.   Another strategy might be for an international student to use their institution’s career services to create human capital, through development of skills in a Canadian work place, resume writing and interview skills, and social capital, through the building of weak and strong ties, through employer networking events, Co-op work placements, on and off-campus part-time work and volunteer work experiences.  An international student might also use their institution’s career services to create cultural capital such as gaining an understanding of Canadian hiring practices and workplace expectations, and 41  symbolic capital such as the prestige gained by working for a well-known Co-op employer.  From previous exit surveys of international students at TRU and my personal observations as a Co-op Coordinator, I know some international students wishing to remain in Canada after graduation access a large number of career services, while others access almost none.  The research is important at a national level, as CEC and PNP will become an increasingly important component of the Canadian immigration policy, and from an international perspective as various countries’ immigration policies relating to international students are assessed.  It is important from an international perspective, as more and more countries are experiencing an increase in international students becoming migrants at the completion of their studies.  It is important at an institutional level, as Canadian post-secondary institutions want to provide career services which will attract increasing numbers of international students.  It is important to career practitioners who want to better serve international students.  Finally, it is important to individual international students who want to use their time at Canadian post-secondary institutions as a pathway to immigration to Canada.   42  Chapter 3: Theoretical Framework The studies in Chapter 2 suggest students will be attracted to use CEC and PNP as a means to immigrate to Canada, but will face difficulties transitioning from a Canadian post-secondary institution to the Canadian labour market.  The assumption a post-secondary credential from a Canadian post-secondary institution, in and of itself, links the international student to the Canadian labour market is thus problematic.  Other factors, including a student’s social network, are key determinants in a student’s desire to immigrate and ability to do so.   However, despite the evidence international students face difficulties transitioning to their host county’s labour market, there is not a clear understanding about strategies students use to aid in this transition.  To understand these strategies, and what factors impact an individual’s choice of strategies, I will review several theoretical frameworks on forms of capital.  I will conclude with a selection and synthesis of the perspectives most relevant to my study.  3.1 Human Capital Human capital is comprised of the skills, knowledge and personal attributes which give an individual the ability to perform work for economic gain (Shultz, 1963; Becker, 1993).  Thus, international students studying at a Canadian post-secondary institution acquire human capital both in the form of Canadian academic credentials, but also English or French language skills.  Schultz one of the earliest theorists, stated capital as a means to economic growth should not be restricted to physical structures or manufacturing equipment.  Rather, human capital, created by individuals through schooling, skills and knowledge, is also a form of capital which creates economic growth.  Schultz proposed people “enhance their capabilities as producers and as consumers by investing in themselves and that schooling is the largest investment in human 43  capital” (p.10).  Schultz laid out a framework showing the costs and benefits of gaining human capital through education.  Not addressed in his theory is the reality two students with the same educational background, but different cultural or socio-economic backgrounds, might realize different benefits from the same education. Also in the early 1960s, Becker developed a theory of human capital, linking an individual’s increase in wealth, as a measure of their productivity, with her or his acquisition of education (Becker, 1964, 1993).  Becker used supply- and demand-side economics to argue individuals receive benefits equivalent to the investment in their education.  Using examples from the US economy, he acknowledged human capital is heterogeneous, resulting in individuals having varying levels of access to education, varying abilities to accumulate skills from the same education, and differential earning potential for the same education.  He theorized discrimination may affect income potential, but at the same time argued differential earnings may be explained by a segmented labour market where women and people of colour compete for different jobs with different earning potentials than their white male counterparts.  Differences in income attainment were also explained by lower quality of educational institutes attended by people of colour, and non-employment goals, such as marriage and family formation, of women.  Central to both Schultz and Becker’s theories on human capital is the rate of return.  Individuals undertake education based on an expected positive rate of return on the investment made.   Neither Schultz nor Becker differentiated between domestic or foreign educational credentials. Drawing from Becker’s work, Lucas (1988) used the concept of human capital to describe differences in rates of economic development between nations.  The acquisition of an individual’s human capital was seen to be obtained not only through formal study but also on-the-job training or learning-by-doing.  Individuals or groups gain knowledge of better and better 44  ways of doing things, such as producing computers.  The model explained why individuals with equivalent education would fare differently economically in one country than another but did not explain as well why immigrants with equivalent education and work experience would not fare as well in their new country as non-immigrants.  To explain less-favourable labour market outcomes of immigrants as compared to non-immigrants with equivalent education and work experience, models of country specific human capital have been developed (Friedberg, 2000).  An example of country specific human capital is educational credentials, which may have recognition in the country they were acquired in, but might not be recognized in another country.  Another example is proficiency in the language(s) of the destination country.  However, others contend human capital is not sufficient to explain why one individual’s human capital is valued more than another’s, especially when the human capital is acquired in the same country.     3.1.1 Criticism of Human Capital Theory Human capital theory fits within a broader field of labour market economics which begins from the perspective of an individual being equated to a commodity within the market.  Within the labour market, there are a certain number of jobs (the demand) and a certain number of workers who can meet the criteria of the job (the supply).  By “gaining education, one-the-job training, or work experiences” a worker becomes more in demand for specific types of jobs (Lin, 2001, p.11).  An individual can gain access to employment by “investing” in their education.   A key measurable of human capital is an individual’s education.  In this model, individuals become “capitalists”, with the key measurable for human capital being an individual’s education (p.13) The human capital theory does not explain what steps an individual undertakes to obtain a job, or how a company attracts available workers, or selects one candidate over another.  Others in the 45  field of labour market economic attempt to explain the process of obtaining a position not in terms of an individual’s academic credentials, but as it relates to an individual’s limited information about a specific labour market, including potential jobs and their wage rates (Stigler, 1961, 1962).  This perspective still sees individuals in a capitalist role, able to sell their labour to an employer. Bourdieu (1986) developed a criticism that human capital was not sufficient to explain differences in economic outcomes between individuals, and redefined capital as being three parts: As economic capital, which is immediately and directly convertible into money and may be institutionalized in the form of property rights; as cultural capital, which is convertible, on certain conditions, into economic capital and may be institutionalized in the form of educational qualifications; and as social capital, made up of social obligations (“connections”), which is convertible, in certain conditions, into economic capital and may be institutionalized in the form of a title of nobility. (p.243) Although human capital theory has been criticized as not being able to completely explain labour market outcomes, what needs to be kept in mind is one of the primary reasons students, international or otherwise, enroll in post-secondary education to gain specific academic credentials.  However, academic credentials have been deemed a necessary requirement by employers for many professions, and thus cannot be ignored in understanding the transition from an educational institute to the labour market.  46  3.2 Social Capital Bourdieu (1986) further defined social capital as “a durable network of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition – or in other words, to membership in a group” (p.248).  Bourdieu goes on to say: These effects, in which spontaneous sociology readily perceives the work of “connections,” are particularly visible in all cases in which different individuals obtain very unequal profits from virtually equivalent (economic or cultural) capital, depending on the extent to which they can mobilize by proxy the capital of a group (a family, the alumni of an elite school, a select club, the aristocracy, etc.). (p.256) Hence, Bourdieu was contending the ability of an individual to derive economic benefits is directly related to their membership in one or more groups.  Others have made refinements to Bourdieu’s definition.  From the perspective of the group, Coleman’s (1988) definition of social capital is often quoted:   Social capital is defined by its function. It is not a single entity but a variety of different entities, with two elements in common: they all consist of some aspect of social structures, and they facilitate certain actions of actors-whether persons or corporate actors-within the structure. Like other forms of capital, social capital is productive, making possible the achievement of certain ends that in its absence would not be possible. (p.256) Also from the perspective of the group, Thomas (1996) defined social capital as “those voluntary means and processes developed within civil society which promote development for the collective whole” (p.11).  Brehm and Rahn (1997) defined social capital as “the web of co-operative relationships between citizens that facilitate resolution of collective action problems” 47  (p.999).  Alternatively, from the perspective of the individual, Lin (2001) stated, “social capital consists of resources embedded in one’s network or associations” (p.56).  Central to Lin’s theory is the idea of reciprocity or compensation.  One can make use of one’s relationships for economic gain, but there is an expectation of payment.  Lin (2007) states the ways social capital is important because of information it gives an individual access to, influence their network can have on others, social credentials acquires by association with one’s network, and reinforcement in the form of emotional support and public acknowledgement of being worthy of certain resources.  Social capital has been criticized for a number of reasons.  First, it has been criticized as be part of “neo-liberal economic transformations”, whereby relationships are measured only on their economic value (Waechter, Blum, & Scheibelhofer, 2009, p.66).  Villar and Albertin (2010) posit not all individuals view the purpose of relationships to be for personal economic gain.  Second, it has been criticized for putting the emphasis of transition to the labour market on the individual and her or his relationships rather than on other factors outside of the control of the individual, such as institutional barriers, hiring practices, or inequitable treatment of students by teachers (Waechter et al., 2009; Støren & Wiers-Jenssen, 2010).  In the case of international students in Canada, another factor is restrictions of which international students can obtain a work visa, when they can obtain a work visa, and how long they can work while they are a student in Canada (CIC, 2011).  Another example is the Canadian immigration selection criteria for the CIC Skilled Class favours males, meaning CIC does not value the human capital of women attempting to immigrate in the skilled class as highly as that of men (Boucher, 2009).  With CEC and PNP emerging as a major way immigrants arrive in Canada, an unknown is {whether selection criteria for these programs are also biased to males.  Discrimination has also 48  been shown as a factor for different labour market outcomes (Oreopoulos, 2009; Støren & Wiers-Jenssen, 2010).    Third, forces pushing an international student to stay or pulling them back to their home country will affect an international student’s career decision making.  Individuals choose where to work not only because of economic factors, but for many other factors such as location of life partner’s employment opportunities, closeness of family ties, family pressures, goals of family formation, and importance of status a job may provide (Alberts & Hazan, 2005; Shen & Herr, 2004).  Finally, measuring social capital is seen by many to be problematic. Whereas human capital has been equated to such concrete measurable as academic credentials, work experience and language skills, social capital attempts to measure benefits derived from a range of relationships (Lin, 2001).  Despite these criticisms, social capital has proved a useful concept for understanding how who one knows influences one’s success in the labour market.  3.3 Weak and Strong Ties While not referencing the concept of social capital directly, Granovetter’s 1973, 1974, and 1995 studies of individuals getting jobs influenced other authors developing concepts about social capital (Coleman, 1988; Lin, 2001; Putnam, 2000; Waechter et al., 2009).   Granovetter’s works contained the key concept of strong and weak ties.  Granovetter defined strong ties as being those with family and friends, and weak ties as those such as being a member of the same club or friends of friends.  Granovetter contended weak ties were as important as strong ties in assisting an individual to connect with others.  These connections have also been described as bonding, which are connections an individual has to a specific ethnic group or religious organization, and bridging, which are relationships which allow an individual to transcend their 49  current circumstances to access opportunities outside of their immediate sphere (Putnam, 2000).  Granovetter’s (1974; 1995) theoretical framework for individuals’ job searches depends on the concept of causal distance.  Individuals who have more connections and sustain connections over a longer period of time have more choices and achieve more desirable positions.  Since job searching is a sporadic activity, sustaining relationships over time benefits an individual seeking a job.  A tie might be weak because, for example, time has elapsed since last contact between the job seeker and the other individual, or because the relationship between the job seeker and the employer is second hand through a shared contact.  Granovetter’s ideas on the importance of weak ties fit well with the Bright and Pryor’s ideas of chance in career development (2005). Lin (2001) extended Granovetter’s ideas of strong and weak ties.  Lin contended that the stronger the tie, the more likely assistance would be provided, but at the same time, a relationship which was a strong tie would have access only to the same or only slightly better social capital.  For weak ties to exist, there needed to be a “bridge” (p.67).  Weak ties gives an individual access to “better information” (p.67).  3.4 Cultural Capital From his definition of cultural capital given in a section 3.1, Bourdieu (1986) further divided cultural capital into three parts: institutional form, embodied state, and objectified state.  For Bourdieu, individuals accumulate cultural capital through absorption of the values and ideologies espoused by the dominant class.  Institutional form includes educational credentials, “academic qualification also makes it possible to compare qualification holders and even to exchange them (by substituting one for another in succession)” (p.248).  Objectified state includes the consumption of artifacts, such as appreciating a painting or using a machine.  In this 50  theoretical framework, the cultural capital will include the value placed on an international student to exhibit Canadian ways of being or doing such as ways of communicating, or ways of interacting with others in the workplace.  3.5 Symbolic Capital Embodied state is capital which is often embedded within a society: “it is predisposed to function as symbolic capital, i.e., to be unrecognized as capital and recognized as legitimate competence” (Bourdieu, 1986, p.245) but is really a reproduction of the dominant class.  Bourdieu contends symbolic capital is “based on reputation, opinion and representation” (Bourdieu, 1990, p 93).  The objectified state includes literature and art; owning the art is economic capital, but the consumption of the literature or the arts is cultural capital.  In this theoretical framework, the symbolic capital will include the value given Canadian education credentials over credentials from other countries as a measure of competency, as well as Canadian work and volunteer experience over experiences from other places.  3.6 Habitus and Bounded Agency Bourdieu defined habitus as “systems of durable, transposable dispositions, structured structures predisposed to function as structuring structures, that is, as principles of the generation and structuring of practices and representations” (Bourdieu, 1977, p.72).  Habitus, which comes initially from one’s family, and later one’s schooling, defines how one decides “between what is good and what is bad, between what is right and what is wrong” (Bourdieu, 1998, p.8).  Habitus influences the actions one takes, but Bourdieu saw habitus is changeable based on experience, but stated “most people are statistically bound to encounter circumstances that tend to agree with 51  those that originally fashioned their habitus” (Bourdieu, 1992, p.133).  Adamuti-Trache (2010) put forward a concept of bounded agency which flowed from habitus, such that an individual’s agency could “consciously adjust” to a changing situation” (p.47), but at the same time the actions one takes is influenced by her or his habitus.  Thus an international student’s actions can adjust their strategies for finding career related work after graduation, but are bound by their habitus.  3.7 Proposed Conceptual Framework Acknowledging international students bring a myriad of cultural backgrounds to the study and each student will have a unique set of barriers to accessing the Canadian labour market, I will start from the perspective that international students have the ability to obtain different types of human, social, cultural and symbolic capital which are valued in the Canadian labour market and will aid their ability to transition to the Canadian labour market.  The evidence presented previously points to specific types of human capital, such as academic credentials, work experience, and language skills, as well as social capital, in the form of strong and weak ties, assisting in transitions to the labour market.  It also points to specific types of cultural capital, such as culture specific communication skills, as well as symbolic capital, in the form of experience from one place or institution being valued more highly than from another locale.  How much of each type of capital is acquired will be limited by students’ personal agency. I will explain my theoretical framework by contrasting it with the framework proposed by Adamuti-Trache in 2010 (Figure 3).  She examined how recent immigrants use Canadian post-secondary education as a means to transform their capital into forms recognized by Canadian employers.  Arriving in Canada, an immigrant brings with her or him human, social, 52  symbolic and embodied cultural capital.  Adamuti-Trache stated “highly educated immigrants possess capital, but they need to shape it into a form that is familiar to Canadian employers” and thus, as a strategy to transitioning to the Canadian labour market, may choose to obtain Canadian post-secondary credentials both to gain human as well as social, embodied cultural and symbolic capital.  She also argued recent immigrants make use of social capital, such as their membership in a professional organization, to help in the transition to the Canadian labour market.  Finally, Adamuti-Trache argued the fourth type of capital, the embodied cultural capital consisting of an immigrant’s socialization characteristics and behaviours, is an “important effect in mobilizing agency towards social action” (p.53).    Figure 3: Life course agency model. From Adamuti-Trache (2010)  While the model was used to describe how well-educated immigrants transition to the Canadian labour market, Adamuti-Trache proposed the model might also be suitable for “(young) Canadian-educated university graduates who for the first time in the competition for skilled jobs” 53  (p.23).  Therefore, in considering a theoretical model for my research, I used Adamuti-Trache’s model as a starting point.   In Adamuti-Trache’s model, recent immigrants arrive to Canada with human, social, symbolic and embodied cultural capital.   An immigrant may use post-secondary education to transform capital they already possess.   In my model, at least some international students may come to Canada with some types of capital such as human capital in the form of previous non-Canadian education and work experience, or social capital such as friends or family in Canada, or from a previous visit to Canada.  Therefore, upon arrival to Canada, international students may be either transforming or creating human, social, cultural and symbolic capital.  If, for example, an international student already possesses educational credentials or work experience from another country, she or he will be transforming their capital.  For the most part however, from my experience, not all international students come to Canada with previous post-secondary credentials or professional work experience, and thus are actually creating capital.  Although human capital theory has been criticized as not being able to completely explain labour market outcomes, what needs to be kept in mind is one of the primary reasons students, international or otherwise, enroll in post-secondary education to acquire specific academic credentials.  However, academic credentials have been deemed a necessary requirement by employers for many professions, and thus cannot be ignored in understanding the transition from an educational institute to the labour market. As with new immigrants, international students arrive with habitus based on their experiences from outside of Canada.  Habitus will influence a student’s bounded agency and thus the strategies she or he undertakes to prepare for career related work in Canada after graduation.  Habitus also plays a role in the value an individual places on various skills, services and 54  relationships, such as an individual’s perceived value of Canadian or non-Canadian credentials, enrolling in certain workshops, their relationship with their post-secondary’s faculty and staff, whether they think it is appropriate to seek help from others. In my model (Figure 4), I will also use the concept of strong ties and weak ties.  Upon arriving in Canada, international students will likely have few, if any, strong or weak ties in Canada.  These may all be back in their home country.  Over time, they will create a network in Canada which will represent strong ties, such as friends and work colleagues, as well as a possible network of weaker ties, such as with past employers, potential employers and career counsellors.  They may have strong or weak ties with faculty members depending on the nature of their relationships with their teachers.  Whether strong or weak, key is the ties must be created.  International students must make many choices on how they wish to prepare for career-related work, as well as the decision on whether or not to immigrate.  Figure 4: Proposed theoretical framework  55  A major difference between Adamuti-Trache’s model and mine is my model examines the role of the post-secondary institution in supporting the international student in creating human, social, cultural and symbolic capital.  For example, the institution assists the student to create human capital, by creating curriculum which conveys skills required for specific professions, such as accounting, computing science or teaching.  An institution’s career education center or student employment center can assist a student to gain human capital by assisting the student to find Co-op work terms and on or off-campus employment.  The post-secondary institution also assists international students acquire social capital by ways such as Co-op programs, networking events and job fairs.  As well, the post-secondary institution assists students acquire cultural capital, through services such as mock interviews so they can learn what a Canadian interview is like, and symbolic capital, by raising the profile of the post-secondary with potential employers so the students’ credentials are viewed more favorably.  The institution assists the students to acquire symbolic capital, for example, by increasing the prestige or recognition of the institution.  One of the biggest difficulties students, international or domestic, face is when they put all of their energy towards gaining human capital in the form of academic credentials, and ignore acquiring other types of capital.  From my experience international students who acquire more social, cultural and symbolic capital have an easier time acquiring career-related work after graduation.  Social capital, in the form of a student’s relationships developed during their schooling, allows international students to connect more easily with Canadian employers.  As specified by Lin (2001), “only when the individual is aware of their presence, and of what resources they possess or can access (these ties have their networks as well), can the individual capitalize such ties and resources” (p.25).   56  The post-secondary institution services such as faculty-student interactions, employer networking events, volunteer experiences and club activities along with relationships with individual faculty members and fellow students provide opportunities to assist students to assess, build and strengthen a student’s social network.  As well Co-op programs, internships or practicums provide a means for a student to build relationships within the profession they seek.      Embedded in this model is the institutional support given to the student.  While a student requires bounded agency to create human, symbolic and social capital, he or she is influenced by the institutional support provided by their institution.  The first role of the institution is in assisting the student to create human capital, for example by creating curriculum which conveys skills required for specific professions, such as accounting, computing science or teaching.  Second, the institution has a role in creation of a student’s social capital through career services and other means.  For example, Co-op programs, internships or practicums provide a means for a student to acquire relationships within the profession they seek.  Faculty-student interactions, employer networking events, volunteer experiences and club activities further allow a student to build social capital.  Third, the institution has a role in creation of a student’s cultural capital by providing opportunities for international students to learn the Canadian ways of doing things and the Canadian ways of communicating.  Fourth, the institution has a role in creating symbolic capital by building an overall reputation which is recognized by employers.   Another difference between Adamuit-Trache’s model and mine is that in Adamuti-Trache’s model, the immigrant has already made the decision to stay in Canada, and thus has higher motivation to transform their skills to fit the needs of the Canadian labour market.  Adamuti-Trache uses embodied cultural capital, along with habitus and bounded agency, to explain different immigrants’ actions in transforming themselves once they arrive in Canada.  57  Thus, differences in habitus and bounded agency between different immigrants result in some immigrants choosing to attend post-secondary institutions to transform their credentials while other immigrants do not take equivalent actions to capitalize on their human capital.  On the other hand, not all international students arrive in Canada with the goal of immigrating.  While some may wish to immigrate, I conjecture others make the decision during the period of their academic studies or even near to, or after graduation.  Regardless of whether a student wishes to immigrate or not, she or he will acquire capital during their time at a Canadian post-secondary institution.  I would argue how motivated a student is to staying in Canada will affect how actively he or she is in creating human, social, cultural and symbolic capital they think are of value in the Canadian labour market.   A student who is successful in acquiring capital might gain more confidence to stay.  Therefore, there is an interaction between a student’s acquisition of human, social, cultural, and symbolic capital and her or his decision to remain in Canada and seek career-related work after graduation. 58  Chapter 4: Research Methodology In this chapter, the research methodology used to address the four main research questions is outlined.   A mixed method research approach consisting of an on-line survey and subsequent focus groups was selected.  Both surveys and focus groups have been used to research transitions from school to work through the framework of human and social capital (Støren & Wiers-Jenssen, 2010; Villar, 2010; Waechter, 2009; Darchen, 2010; Jackling, 2007). First, I discuss why an on-line survey was chosen, and how the survey operationalizes the four research questions. The selection and recruitment of survey participants is discussed, along with the resulting survey response rates and subsequent quality of the data.  Second, I discuss reasons for choosing focus groups, the construction of the focus group questions, and how the focus groups were selected.  Finally, challenges encountered during implementation of the on-line survey and focus groups, as well as strengths and weaknesses of the resulting data, are discussed. Only human and social capital were explicitly operationalized through questions in both surveys and focus groups, with the hopes data relating to cultural and symbolic capital would emerge.  4.1 Rationale for On-line Survey The newness of the CEC and PNP programs means little is known of international students uptake of these programs, and if so, what strategies students have for transitioning to the Canadian labour market as a requirement to use CEC and PNP.  An on-line survey was used as a tool to collect basic information about international students’ knowledge of CEC and PNP, their plans after graduation and their use of their post-secondary’s career services.  For example, do international students even want to gain career-related work in Canada after graduation?  Greenback states a positivist approach to research “is a belief in a single independently existing 59  reality that can be accessed by researchers” (Greenback, 2003, p.792).   As a Co-op Coordinator, I facilitate students in undertaking conventional actions as part of their career development, including gaining work experience, creating a resume, attending job interviews, networking with employers and gaining knowledge of the labour market.  During my practice as a Co-op Coordinator, I have seen students use conventional actions of finding employment such as learning to write a resume, networking with employers and participating in a Co-op program with considerable success.  While I do not believe obtaining employment is prescriptive, in that I do not believe there is a specific set of steps which guarantees the desired outcome, I have witnessed the benefits of students undertaking a range of concrete, measurable actions as part of their plan of obtaining career-related work after graduation.  I also believe obtaining employment requires action, whether that be gaining work experience while in school, building relationships, applying for jobs, obtaining skills or learning how to demonstrate appropriate work place behaviour. Thus, I see the appropriateness of a quantitative questionnaire to obtain a baseline of information on what international students are doing to create various types of capital they think will be useful in obtaining career-related work in Canada after graduation. An on-line survey specifically was chosen as the survey method for a number of reasons.  First, the international students were scattered throughout the institution.  There was no specific class where all of international students could be found, making hand delivering surveys problematic. Second, online surveys have been shown to be comparable to paper based surveys.  In a comparison of web and paper surveys by first year university students, Sax, Gilmartin and Bryant (2003) found there was a 22% response for paper surveys, and 17% and 20% response for web responses, with and without incentives (p.417).  Similarly, in a study involving 19,890 60  students from Michigan State University, Kaplowitz et al. found an email survey on its own produced response rates of 20.7% with a standard deviation of 0.405 (2004, p.98).     Third, the international students in this current research study were already contacted regularly by their institution through on-line means.  They were familiar with being sent information and were already expected to use email and the internet to communicate with faculty and staff at their post-secondary institution.  Further, the on-line survey tool chosen, Vovici (2013), was already used by the post-secondary institution.  Email communication with the institution where the on-line survey was conducted confirmed student surveys using institutionally-issued email addresses and Vovici as a survey tool had an average response rate of 19% (minimum 9%, maximum 31%).  Institutionally-issued email addresses were also used for this current research project because those were the ones available from the institution based on privacy laws.  Fourth, the on-line survey allowed for tracking of student responses as well as follow up email reminders.  It also allowed only one survey response per student, and only from those who had an email survey link.  Hence, I chose the Vovici on-line survey tool because it had proven effective previously at the institution.  Based on others’ research and the institution’s experience with on-line surveys, I undertook the on-line survey with the hopes of achieving about a 20% response rate for the survey.    4.1.1 On-line Survey Design The four research questions are addressed within five sections of the on-line survey (Appendix A: On-line Survey Questions).  The “Demographic Section” (Q2 to Q12) focused on student demographics (Q1 is a question on informed consent).  The “Career Plan Section” (Q13 to Q19) asked questions on why students were studying their specific programs, what the plans 61  are at the completion of their program, as well as their awareness of CEC and PNP.  This section also asked what factors students thought were important in obtaining career-related work in Canada.  The “Human Capital Section” (Q20 to Q22) asked about human capital in the form of Canadian paid work and volunteer experiences as well as English language skills.  The “Social Capital Section” (Q23) asked questions related to international students’ relationships.  The “Career Services Section” (Q24) focused on international students’ use of career services.   Questions Q25 and Q26 were part of another study and will not be examined in this thesis.  The question Q27 ‘Do you have any additional comments?’ gave students an additional opportunity to provide input. The “Demographic Section” provides information to address my second research question to measure what non-Canadian education and work experience bring with them to Canada.  The “Career Plan Section” addresses my first research question to establish a baseline of international students’ goals after graduation.  The “Human Capital Section” and “Social Capital Section” addresses my third research question to assess what students are doing, and want to do, during their time at a Canadian post-secondary institution to acquire capital (human, social) they believe will assist them in their transition to the Canadian labour market.  Cultural and symbolic capital were not directly assessed, but rather inferred from short answer questions.  The “Career Services Section” addresses my fourth research question of assessing what career services international students used within the post-secondary institution to acquire various types of capital. The first purpose of the “Demographic Section” (Q2 to Q12) was to collect data to determine whether the students who responded to the survey were a statistical representative group of the overall group of international students at the institution based on gender, country of 62  origin and program of study.  Hence, there was a question on gender (Male, Female, and Other) (Q2).  there were questions on country of citizenship, as well as country the student had lived the longest before coming to Canada (Q3, Q4) based on the United Nations list of countries.  There was a question on program area of study based on the program areas of study available at the post-secondary institution as specified on the institution’s website for international students (Table 1), as well as a question on the student’s current academic year, planned year of completion and planned level to be achieved (Q5, Q7, Q8, Q9).  Program Areas of Study at Post-Secondary Institution (list based list on institution’s website for international students) English as a Second Language Business Administration Computing Science & Technology Science & Environment Tourism & Hospitality Liberal Arts & Journalism Education Fine Arts Social Work & Human Services Health Sciences Interdisciplinary Studies University Preparation Other (please specify) Table 1: Program areas of study at post-secondary institution 63  The second purpose of this section was to differentiate between students who had just arrived and those who had been in Canada longer, as well as differentiating between students at different points in their program of study, as well as identifying exchange students, who are typically at the post-secondary institution for only a short period of time (one or two semesters) and do not finish their program at the institution (Q6, Q7, Q8, Q9, Q10).  The third purpose of this section was to determine what non-Canadian human capital, as operationalized in the form of non-Canadian education and non-Canadian work experience, the international students had prior to coming to the institution (Q11, Q12).  The “Career Plan Section” (Q13 to Q19) establishes a baseline of international students’ goals after graduation.  The first purpose of the “Career Plan Section” is to determine a student’s career readiness with respect to knowing what jobs or careers their program of study prepared them for (Q13).  Students were asked to enter “Do not know” if they could not list specific jobs or careers. The second purpose of this section was to determine why international students were studying at the post-secondary (Q14).  Little is known about whether international students even want to obtain career-related work in Canada after graduation or not.  In Australia, Jackling (2007) found international students studying accounting choose their program of study for a number of reasons including interest in the program, desire for a program leading to a career, because of pressure from family and ease of immigrating to Australia at the end of their program.  Other studies have found international students choose to study abroad for a variety of reasons such as ties with family or friends in the host country or previous vacations (Hiebert, 2004).   In the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada, immigrants to Canada were asked a range of reasons why they came to Canada, including both non-career-related reasons such as “to join family or close friends”, and “accepted by Canada”, as well as some which are career focused 64  such as “better job opportunities”, and “to start a business” (n.d.).  In the same way, survey questions were formulated from the perspective there are a range of reasons, both career-related and non-career-related, which motivate international students to choose to study at a Canadian post-secondary institution (Table 2). “Why are you studying at <post-secondary institution’s name>?  I chose my program of study because” My parents wanted me to A friend suggested I choose the program A school counsellor or faculty suggested I choose the program I was accepted into the program I am interested in the program I am interested in a career this program prepares me for There are good prospects in this career in Canada I want to get career-related work in Canada after graduation I want a better future I joined or accompanied family or close friends to Canada I want to start a business in Canada after graduation I want to start a business outside of Canada after graduation I want to immigrate to Canada after graduation Table 2: Why are you studying at <post-secondary institution’s name>? The third purpose of this section was to determine international students’ plans with respect to staying in Canada after graduation (Q15).  Students were also asked about their awareness of the CEC and PNP programs (Q16), and whether they plan to apply to one or both of these programs (Q17.1).  Since the CEC and PNP programs both require an international 65  student to obtain career-related work in order to qualify, students were also asked if they have a plan for how they will try to get career-related work in Canada after graduation (Q17.2).  Students are then asked to rank how important they think various factors are in obtaining career-related work in Canada (Q18).  The final question in this section (Q19) asks what the student has done which they think will help them find career-related work in Canada after graduation. The purpose of the “Human Capital Section” (Q20 to Q22) was to collect data on Canadian country-specific human capital, operationalized as English language skills, Canadian work experience and Canadian volunteer experience, international students have acquired or built on since arriving at the post-secondary institution.  In Q20, respondents were asked to assess their own English skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening.  In Q21, respondents were asked if they had done various types of volunteer work in Canada.  In Q22, respondents were asked if they had done various types of paid work in Canada, including Co-op work, which can also be seen as an academic program. The purpose of the “Social Capital Section” (Q23) was to collect data on international students’ social capital.   Social capital was operationalized as a student’s relationships with faculty or staff, others at the institution (e.g. friends, mentors, coaches, etc.), people the student knows who are not at the post-secondary institution, as well as people the student knows outside of Canada.  The students were asked to rank how well the student and others knew each other.  .  The students were also asked “If I needed help preparing for my career, I would ask the following people for help”.  Both these questions are modeled after the work of Lin (2001), in which he created a model to show how a person’s relationships, defined as both weak and strong ties, provides economic opportunities, such as access to the labour market.  Lin argues weak ties can extend social capital (p.68), which is especially important to international students who 66  arrive in Canada with a limited social network in this country.  The purpose of the “Career Services Section” (Q24) was to collect data on what career development activities, especially those related to the post-secondary institution, the international students had undertaken, and how important these activities were to their plan of obtaining career-related work after graduation.  Within the survey, three types of questions were used: multiple choice, Likert scale and short answer.  Multiple choice questions were used when there were a finite number of responses, such as for gender or country of citizenship (Q2, Q3, Q4, Q5, Q7, Q8, Q9, Q10, Q11, Q12, Q21, Q22).   In some cases, an additional choice was added, such as “Other” for country of citizenship, “Do not know” for current academic year, or “Not sure” for question on paid worked experience.  A Likert scale was used for questions where there could be a range of agreement with the answer (Q14, Q15, Q16, Q17, Q18, Q20, Q23, Q24).  Open-ended survey questions were used when the student could enter any answer (Q6, Q13, Q19, and Q27).  All of the questions, except Q27 (additional comments), required an answer to be entered for the survey to progress from one section to the next, and for the survey to be submitted. 4.1.2 Selection and Recruitment of Participants The on-line survey was conducted in the 2012 Winter semester (January to April) at a primarily undergraduate BC post-secondary institution of which approximately one-fifth (1/5) of the student body on campus that semester was international students, and over the course of the entire year made up approximately one in eight unique students attending the institution, and as such had one of the highest ratio of international students at a BC post-secondary institution that year (Appendix B: International Student Demographics).  The target population for the on-line 67  survey was all international students at that post-secondary institution enrolled in undergraduate, post-baccalaureate and graduate level academic programs.    A request was made to the institution for a list of all international students enrolled in academic programs in the 2012 winter semester.  In total, information on 1680 international students was obtained including information on Student Name, Student Number, Institution Issued Email Address, Gender, Country, Citizenship, Degree, and Registration Date (Table 3).   Level Males Females Total # males  % of total % of males only # females + others† % of total % of females only total % ESL or university prep 15 0.9 1.3 11 0.7 2.1 26 1.5 Diploma (1 to 3 years) 56 3.3 4.9 42 2.5 7.9 98 5.8 Bachelor 822 48.9 71.6 326 19.4 61.3 1148 68.3 Post Baccalaureate & Pre-MBA 202 12.0 17.6 110 6.5 20.7 312 18.6 Masters 26 1.5 2.3 16 1.0 3.0 42 2.5 Other 27 1.6 2.4 27 1.6 5.1 54 3.2  Total 1148 68.3 100.0  532 31.7 100.0  1680 100.0 Note. † = others are those for whom no gender was specified. Table 3: Number of international students at post-secondary institution, by academic level. A subsequent request to the institution was made to obtain Legal Citizenship, Current Program of Study, Original Start Date at the Institution, and Current Year Level (Table 4) resulted in 27 other international students being identified (bringing the total number to 1708), but these 27 were not surveyed as considerable time had elapsed.  The institution’s stable enrollment for international students for the semester was 1455.  The on-line survey, and all subsequent analysis, was conducted with the initial 1680 students (Table 3).  Of the 1680 68  students, about 1% were enrolled as English as a Second Language (ESL) students.   Of the 68.3% in Bachelor programs, about two-thirds (2/3) were classified as “entry” students to a Bachelor program, meaning either they were taking both academic courses and higher level ESL courses at the same time, or they had not yet selected a specific major.  About one in five international students were in post-Baccalaureate, pre-Masters of Business Administration (MBA) or Masters programs, while one in ten were in a diploma program not requiring a prior baccalaureate degree.     69  Field Comment Initial fields obtained  Student Name This field was used to personalize emails sent to students Student Number This is a unique identifier for every student Institution Issued Email Address Every student at the institution is issued an institutional email.  While used for a number of purposes by the institution, not all students choose to activate this email account.  However, as discussed above, in the “Rationale for On-line Survey” section, responses for other surveys using this email address averaged 19%.    Other student emails (i.e. students’ personal email addresses) were not available because of privacy laws.   Gender One letter code: M, F, N, or “ ” (blank) Country Three letter code, equivalent to “Country of Citizenship” Degree Two to six letter code.  In the end, this field was not used as it proved meaningless because 55.1% of the international students had the value “000000” assigned.  This field was replaced with “Current Program of Study”. Registration Date YY-MM-DD.  In the end, this field was not used as it means the date of registration into a specific program, not registration at the institution.  Because of laddering of programs at the institution (ESL, university preparation, 1 to 3 year diploma, bachelor, post-baccalaureate and masters), and because a student may take multiple programs, the registration date does not equal the date the student started studying at the institution.  This field was replaced with “Original start date at the institution”. Subsequent fields obtained  Legal Citizenship Common name for country, e.g. “India”, “China” Current Program of Study Two to 12 alphanumeric code for student’s current program of study Original Start Date at the Institution “Semester” plus “year” (e.g. “Summer 2011”) Current Year Level Numeric: 1 to 4, plus “GR” and “” (blank).  This number proved problematic as it appears to be applied inconsistently across the data set.  For example, Masters students might have a value of 1, 2, 3, 4, GR.  Post- baccalaureate students had values of 1, 2, 3 or 4.  There was no consistency between registration date in a program, length of program and current year level. Table 4: Information obtained from post-secondary institution.  70  The on-line survey was created in Vovici and tested on various browsers (e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox).  Test emails were sent from Vovici to a number of email platforms (e.g. Gmail, GroupWise, etc.) to ensure the emails asking the international students if they wanted to participate in the survey could be viewed and the internet links to the on-line survey worked.    The survey was sent out by email to each of the international students up to four times over a 14 day period using Vovici.  Each email contained information about the survey including the benefits to the student, the amount of time it will take, who the researchers are, and information about consent.  A chance to win a $100 prize was offered to students who completed the on-line survey.  Emails were successfully sent to 1674 of the 1680 email addresses, and 6 emails returned undeliverable messages.  As well as direct email, to raise awareness of the on-line survey, an advertisement was distributed through the institution’s social media and websites, on-line course tools (Blackboard and Moodle) and institutional video displays.  The advertisement was also given out as a handout at a job fair where about 2000 students (both international and domestic) attended and at the institution’s career service office.     At the end of the 14 day period, 163 of the 1680 (9.7%) students had completed the survey, with an additional 149 (8.9%) individuals clicking on the survey’s link but not completing it (Table 5).  The 9.7% response rate was well below the hoped for response rate of 20.0%.  As well, while responses by gender were comparable with survey population (61% of respondents were male compared to 68% of survey population), there was a wide difference in response rates based on citizenship (Table 6, Appendix C: Survey Response by Gender and Country).  Russian and Indian students had a response rate of 19.5% and 17.7% respectively, while, China, Saudi Arabia, and Nigeria, the other three countries with largest student numbers, had response rates between 4.3% and 7.6%.  Because of the low response rate from Chinese, 71  Saudi and Nigerian students, the decision was made to do a second round of surveys, with targeted contacts with these student groups both directly by email and through the student clubs which catered specifically to these students (e.g. Chinese student club, Saudi Arabian club, and African student club).  As well, all students who had clicked on the survey but had not completed it were sent a final reminder to complete the survey.  After the second round of the survey, the response rate increased to 12.0% (Table 6). If the 202 respondents are considered a random sample of the population of 1680 students, then for a response rate of 12% there would be a confidence interval of 6.47, 95% of the time (Creative Research Systems, 2013).72          Table 5: Response rates of first and second rounds of on-line survey.    1st round of on-line surveys 2nd round of on-line surveys Response type # responses % responses # responses % responses Email undelivered 6 0.4 6 0.4 Completed on-line survey 163 9.7 202 12.0 Clicked on survey but did not complete 149 8.9 303 18.0 Did not respond 1362 81.1 1168 69.5 Total 1680  1680  73    Table 6: Response rates to first and second survey rounds by citizenship.  At institution 1st Round 2nd Round Total  # students % students # responses Response rate by country # responses % of responses by country % of all survey respondents Response rates of students from top 10 citizenships at institution China 488 29.0 30 6.1 45 9.2 22.3 Saudi Arabia 417 24.8 18 4.3 25 6.0 12.4 India 231 13.8 41 17.7 47 20.3 23.3 Nigeria 79 4.7 6 7.6 10 12.7 5.0 Russia 77 4.6 15 19.5 16 20.8 7.9 Taiwan 49 2.9 2 4.1 3 6.1 1.5 Japan 27 1.6 1 3.7 1 3.7 0.5 Hong Kong 20 1.2 4 20.0 4 20.0 2.0 Korea 20 1.2 1 5.0 2 10.0 1.0 Ukraine 20 1.2 3 15.0 3 15.0 1.5 Sum of top 10 countries 1428 85.0 121 8.5 156 10.9 77.2 All other citizenships (66 countries, of which 45 had 3 or fewer students)  252 15.0 42 16.7 46 18.3 22.8 Total 1680 100.0 163 9.7 202 12.0 100.0 74  4.1.3 Statistical Methodology Throughout the remainder of this thesis, Pearson’s Chi-Square test will be used to measure how much the observed frequency of the data collected deviates from the expected frequency of the population of 1680 international students.  This is appropriate both for variables which are ordinal, such as those variables in a Likert scale, or categorical such as multiple choice questions.  Cross tabulations will be used for analyzing and comparing the values of different variables.  As well, the Pearson’s Correlation test is used for the comparison of two ordinal variables. 4.1.4 On-line Sample versus Overall Population: A Statistical Comparison In this section, using data from Q2, Q3, and Q5 as well data from the post-secondary institution’s registrar’s office, I will argue that when the survey response of 12% of the overall international student body is compared to the overall international student population at the post-secondary institution, there were no statistically significant differences between the on-line survey respondents and the overall population in terms of gender, and program of study.  On the other hand, there were statistically significant differences between the on-line survey respondents and the overall population in terms of region or level of academic studies.     4.1.4.1 Country Groupings In all, the international student body with citizenship from 76 countries representing eight country groupings: Eastern Asia; Southern Asia; South Eastern Asia; Latin America and the Caribbean; Arab; Africa; Former Eastern Bloc; and UANWE (Appendix D: Country Groupings).  For this research project, country groupings were defined by the two main criteria.  First, geographical criteria were used.  Second, shared culture, such as linguistic, religious or historical, was also used.  The United Nations’ (2013) macro geographical (continental) regions 75  and sub-regions were used to define the country groupings of Eastern Asia, Southern Asia, South Eastern Asia, as well as the group of Latin America and the Caribbean.  The Arab country group comprises of Arabic speaking countries within the United Nations’ sub-regions of Northern Africa and Western Asia with the addition of Turkey.  While Turkey does not share the Arabic language, it is predominantly Muslim and has close ties with neighboring Arabic countries. The country group of Africa comprises of the United Nations’ sub-regions of Eastern, Middle, Southern and Western Africa.  The country group of Former Eastern Bloc contains countries of the former Warsaw Pact.  This grouping was chosen because these countries previously operated with similar political and economic systems, and quite similar educational systems.  The country group UANWE comprises of the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Western European countries which were not part of the Former Eastern Bloc.  This country grouping was devised based on two reasons.  First the UANWE countries, similar to Canada, want to attract international students as migrants through favorable immigration policies (Kemal, 2008).   Second, because of the history of colonization by Western European countries, Canada is a white settler society, meaning a racial hierarchy intersects the experiences of an international student as migrant (Razack, 2002).   As a result, students from Western European countries may fare better in the Canadian labour market because the cultural and symbolic capital they bring with them may be valued by the dominant Canadian culture (Oreopoulos, 2009; Støren & Wiers-Jenssen, 2010).  At this post-secondary institution, the majority of the students within each country group are students from one country (Appendix D: Country Groupings).  For example, China comprises of 488 of the total 609 students from Eastern Asia.  Saudi Arabia comprises 417 of the 440 students in the Arab grouping, while India comprises of 231 of the 269 students from 76  Southern Asia.  Nigerian students comprise 79 of 118 African students, while Russian students comprise 77 of 108 from the Former Eastern Bloc.  No individual country in the groupings of United States, Australia, New Zealand and Western Europe (UANWE), Latin America and the Caribbean or South Eastern Asia has more than 13 students.   The Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence indicates there is statistically significant difference between regions for the respondents of the on-line survey (Q3) and the overall international student population at the post-secondary institution  (Table 36, Appendix D: Country Groupings).  Specifically, the response rates vary significantly from 3% for students from Latin America up to 30% for students from South Eastern Asia.  The two country groups with the largest numbers of students, Eastern Asia and Arab, had two of the lowest response rates, significantly impacting the overall response rate of the survey (Table 7).    Country Grouping Overall Population % of Population Survey Responses % of Responses Eastern Asia 609 36.3 56 9.2 Arab 440 26.2 26 5.9 Southern Asia 269 16.0 53 19.7 Africa 118 7.0 19 16.1 Former Eastern Bloc 108 6.4 19 17.6 UANWE† 74 4.4 20 27.0 Latin America & Caribbean 34 2.0 1 2.9 South Eastern Asia 27 1.6 8 29.6 Not Specified 1 0.1 0 0.0 Total 1680 100.0 202 100.0 Note. † = United States, Australia, New Zealand and Western Europe. Table 7: Respondent distribution by country compared to entire population 77  4.1.4.2 Academic Level The Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence indicates there is statistically significant difference between responses to Q9 “What level will you achieve at the end of your program of study at <post-secondary> institution?” and current academic levels of the overall population when Bachelor and non-Bachelor students are compared (Table 36, Appendix E.1: On-line Survey Responses versus Overall Population).  Lower level of Bachelor students, and corresponding higher number of post-Baccalaureate and Masters students responded to the survey than would be expected if the survey responses represented a random sample from the overall population (Table 8).  Therefore conclusions cannot be made based on the survey regarding differences between students in different academic levels.  The higher response rates of post-Baccalaureate and Masters students in comparison to Bachelor students could point to an increased interest in the topic of careers for students in higher level programs as compared to students in lower academic levels.  As well, some students interpreted “the highest level” to be what would be achieved at the end of their studies, as opposed to the data from the institution’s registrar which is students’ current academic program, which would have increased the number of responses for post-Baccalaureate and Masters programs.78     Overall population Survey responses  Males Females Total Total Academic Level # males % total % males only # females + others % of total % of females + others only #  % #  % ESL or university prep 15 0.9 1.3 11 0.7 2.1 26 1.5 0 0.0 Certificate or Diploma (1 to 3 years) 56 3.3 4.9 42 2.5 7.9 98 5.8 24 11.9 Bachelor 822 48.9 71.6 326 19.4 61.3 1148 68.3 107 53.0 Post Baccalaureate 114 6.8 9.9 63 3.8 11.8 177 10.5 35 17.3 Masters or pre-MBA 114 6.8 9.9 63 3.8 11.8 177 10.5 31 15.3 Other (Exchange, visiting, unknown) 27 1.6 2.4 27 1.6 5.1 54 3.2 5 2.5  Total 1,148 68.3 100.0  532 31.7 100.0  1,680 100.0 202   Table 8: On-line survey response versus overall population by academic level.79  4.1.4.3 Gender In the overall international student population at the post-secondary institution, there are 68% males, 31% females and 1% unknown or other.  In comparison, in the on-line survey, the response rates by gender (Q2) were 59% males and 41% females, but this varies greatly by region and country (Q3) (Table 9).  For the Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence of the hypothesis the on-line survey is a random sample of the overall population, ρ-value = 0.002, indicating if the number of males and females responding were a random sample of the overall population, there is only a 0.2% likelihood the observed response rates of males versus females would have occurred in a random sampling of the overall population  (Table 27, Appendix E.1: On-line Survey Responses  versus Overall Population).  Hence, if only the overall population is considered, the on-line survey responses are not a good representation of the overall international student population at the post-secondary institution.80    On-line Survey Responses Overall Population  Male Female Total Male Female Other Total Region # % # % # Response Rate by Region (%) # % # % # %  East Asia 28 50.0 28 50.0 56 9.2 370 61.0 233 38.0 6 1.0 609 Arab 21 81.0 5 19.0 26 5.9 371 84.0 66 15.0 3 1.0 440 South Asia 40 75.0 13 25.0 53 19.7 204 76.0 63 23.0 2 1.0 269 Africa 10 53.0 9 47.0 19 16.1 73 62.0 45 38.0 0 0.0 118 Former Eastern Bloc 9 47.0 10 53.0 19 17.6 52 48.0 55 51.0 1 1.0 108 US, Aust, NZ  & Western Europe 7 35.0 13 65.0 20 27.0 39 53.0 35 47.0 0 0.0 74 Latin America & Caribbean 0 0.0 1 100.0 1 2.9 26 76.0 7 21.0 1 3.0 34 South East Asia 4 50.0 4 50.0 8 29.6 13 48.0 13 48.0 1 4.0 27 Unknown Country - - - - - - 1 100.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 1 Total 119 59.0 83 41.0 202 12.0 1,149 68.0 517 - 14 - 1,680 Table 9: On-line survey response by gender and region versus overall population. 81  However, what must be kept in mind is the gender balance varies greatly from region to region, whereby, while the number of males in the overall international student population at the post-secondary institution was 68%, the numbers of males varied from 48% for students from both the Former Eastern Bloc and South Eastern Asia regions, to 84% of international students from the Arab region.  When the response rates to the on-line survey of males versus females are reviewed by region, results are more positive.  Using the Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence, there is no statistically significant difference in response rates of males and females when compared to the overall population for the Eastern Asia, Africa, Former Eastern Bloc or UANWE regions, or for the combination of the Arab and Southern Asia countries (Tables 28 through 33 in Appendix E.1: On-line Survey Responses versus Overall Population).  The Arab and Southern Asia regions were combined for the Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence because they had comparable numbers of males and females in the overall population, and because the Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence could not be used for the Arab region on its own because the number of female respondents in the Arab region (5), was too low.  For Latin America and the Caribbean region, as well as the South Eastern Asia region, there were too few respondents to calculate the Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence.  For South Eastern Asia there was a male response of 50% (4 respondents) which is comparable to 48% males for this region. 4.1.4.4 Program of Study At the post-secondary institution, the majority of the international students were enrolled in Business Administration, either at the diploma, Bachelors, post-Baccalaureate or Masters level (Appendix F: Students by Program Area).  Second and third most popular are Science and Environment programs and Computing Science and Technologies.  It should be noted 186 of 198 82  of Science & Environment students are classified as “Bachelor of Science (entry)”.  Although it cannot be determined from the institutional data if these students will choose computing science or some other field of science, based on previous behaviour of international students at the post-secondary institution, it is expected the vast majority of “Bachelor of Science (entry)” students will select Computing Science as their major after first or second year, rather than Biology, Chemistry, Physics or any other science option.  For this research, Registrar’s data specified Social Work and Human Services had zero (0) students while within the survey respondents 2 students indicated this as their field of study.  However at the institution first and second year Social Work students are enrolled in the Liberal Arts program.  Therefore, the Social Work students were combined with the Liberal Arts program. The Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence also indicates there is no statistically significant difference between the program of study (Q5) for the respondents of the on-line survey and the overall international student population at the post-secondary institution  (Table 10 and Table 35, Appendix E.1: On-line Survey Responses versus Overall Population).  In the on-line survey, 115 or 56.9% of 202 international students who responded to the on-line survey indicated they were in a Business program compared to 1060 or 63.1% in the overall population.  There were 41 or 20.2% of respondents to the on-line survey who indicated they were in Computing Science and Technology, or Science and Environment programs compared with 317 or 18.9% of the overall population.  Of the 317 Science & Environment enrollments, 186 were enrolled in "Bachelor of Science (entry).  Based on past experience at this institution, the majority of these will stream into Computing Science and Technology programs.  Therefore, the programs "Computing Science & Technology" and "Science & Environment" were merged.  Of 83  the respondents, there were 16 (7.9%) who indicated they were in a Tourism program compared to 108 or 6.4% of the overall population.  Program Overall Population Survey Responses N % # % (Rate by program area) % (All responses) Business Administration 1,060 63.1 115 10.8 56.9 Computing Science/ Science/ Environment 317 18.9 41 12.9 20.3 Tourism & Hospitality 108 6.4 16 14.8 7.9 Liberal Arts & Journalism/ Social Work & Human Services 78 4.6 10 12.8 5.0 English as a Second Language 20 1.2 9 45.0 4.5 Health Sciences 13 0.8 2 15.4 1.0 Education 12 0.7 2 16.7 1.0 Fine Arts 9 0.5 1 11.1 0.5 University Preparation 6 0.4 4 66.7 2.0 Interdisciplinary Studies 3 0.2 1 33.3 0.5 Other 54 3.2 1 1.9 0.5 Total 1,680 100.0 202 12.0 100.0 Table 10: On-line response rates versus overall population.   4.1.5 Strengths and Limitations of On-line Survey Method In this section, the validity of the on-line survey results will be examined.  Whether the data collected is useful to the study will be examined.  Limitations of the methodology will be presented, along with supporting data from the focus groups. 84  A strength of the on-line survey was it allowed potential contact of all international students enrolled at the post-secondary institution where the research took place. Given international students were enrolled in 78 different programs in university preparation, certificates, diplomas, Bachelor, post- Baccalaureate, pre-Masters, Masters programs across nine faculties and schools, it provided an effective method of contacting the largest breadth of the population.  Another strength of the survey was it provided baseline data on students’ career plans within the framework of the CEC and PNP policies. The biggest limitation of the on-line survey was the low response rate compared to the hoped for response rate, especially for students from the Eastern Asia and Arab regions. The response rate of 12% was below the hoped for response rate of 20%, but within the range of response rates of on-line surveys conducted by the institution, for the same year, which ranged from 9% to 31% with an average response of 18%.  A number of reasons could have contributed to why the response rate was only 12%, or why there were an additional 18% who clicked on the survey but did not complete it.  First, if the response rate was calculated based on the post-secondary institution’s stable enrollment numbers of 1455 for the Winter 2012 semester, the response rate changes from 12.0% to 13.9%.  Second, the two country groups with the largest numbers of students, Eastern Asia and Arab, had two of the lowest response rates, significantly impacting the overall response rate of the survey, whereas the next three largest regions (Southern Asia, Africa and Former Eastern Bloc) with response rates between 16 and 20% were much closer to the hoped for 20% response rate.  While it is speculative, one reason for lower response rates from Eastern Asia and Arab is students from China and Saudi Arabia, which represent the majority of these students of these regions, may have a distrust of surveys, given their countries’ top 15 ranking as repressive regimes (Freedom House, 2013)..  Also, students 85  from these two countries may have less interest in careers in Canada after graduation in comparison to other students.  In the case of Saudi Arabia, these students are on full scholarships from their government and are expected to return to their country after graduation.  Chinese students may not be focused on career issues until the end of their studies as described by one of the focus group participants (see Appendix G: Overview of Focus Groups for list of pseudo-names of focus group participants). My father has lots of students go abroad, and he told me most Asian students don’t think about their future, just study for one semester and the next.  Like, sorry.  They only think about days, and finally, most times it is too late. 1st year ESL/pre-TESL, Eastern Asian female (Tr.) In the case of Chinese students, some (though not all) students may come from very rich families and wish to return to China.  I know lots of people, they told me they will come back after they graduate...  And of course, most of their families are very, very rich and they have the advantage rights in their home country.  They needed need to wait.  And they have, they could, they have servants and all the others.  1st year ESL/pre-TESL, Eastern Asian female (Tr.) In comparison, international student advisors from this post-secondary institution verbally told me students from two other of the largest countries by region, India and Russia, for which there were considerably higher response rates, are highly motivated to stay in Canada after graduation.  Therefore, while the survey data cannot be considered representative of the international student body as a whole, there is some confidence the results represent views of students from countries more inclined to consider immigrating to Canada after graduation. 86  Third, prior to being deployed, the on-line survey was reviewed by a member of the institution’s institutional research department who was familiar with the Vovici survey tool to ensure the survey was set up correctly.   Even though the survey was reviewed by a member of the institution’s research department and I tested the survey on a number of internet browsers, what I did not think about was students might be replying to the survey on their smart phones.  Subsequent to the deployment of the survey, I noticed the survey design was not particularly user friendly for smart phone interfaces.  Apart from general survey fatigue, this may have been one of the most significant reasons 18% of the students clicked on the survey but choose not to complete it. The remaining 1168 (69.5%) who did not even click on the survey, is comparable with the minimum non-response rate of institution’s surveys given the maximum response rate to institutional surveys is 31%.   Fourth, based on conversations with staff who interact with international students at the post-secondary institution where the research took place, many students may not use their institutional email issued by their institution on a regular basis.  This was a risk I was aware of going into the survey.  However, these were the email addresses made available to me, so I decided to use them as a starting point, coupled with a promotion campaign through handbills and social media.  There are likely other factors which impacted the response rate as well, since other studies found response rates of about 20% for on-line surveys of students (Kaplowitz, 2004). Despite the limitations of the on-line survey, its results do provide a starting point for examining international students’ desires and strategies to obtain career-related work in Canada after graduation.  The data can be better extrapolated to Southern Asian and Former Eastern Bloc students, but based on my experiences working with international students, is also applicable to 87  African students.  Because of Saudi Arabia’s funding of their students, this group has a much higher incentive to return to their home country, and the data is not likely not applicable.  In the case of Eastern Asian students, especially Chinese, the data is not as definitive.  I have worked with many Chinese students who do stay and try to obtain career-related work in Canada after graduation.  However, as discussed previously, for Chinese students from richer families with business interests in China, the attraction from Canada may be less. The survey questions were also reviewed by a number of people including an ESL instructor from the post-secondary institution where the students attended to minimize ambiguity for persons for whom English is not their first language.  Vocabulary was modified to better match ESL students’ understanding of terminology.  Even so, a number of questions (Q3, Q4, Q6, Q7, and Q10) proved ambiguous and led to issues with the data.  First, because the United Nations list of countries was used to create the survey, Taiwan was missed from the list of countries for Q3 “What is your citizenship” and Q4 “Which country did you live in the longest before coming to Canada?”  Three of the respondents entered “Other” and then entered “Taiwan” in fields Q3 and Q4.  This corresponds to a response rate of 6.1% for the 49 students from Taiwan in the overall survey population. It is not known if there are other respondents from Taiwan, who selected another country instead (e.g. “China”) or perhaps clicked on the survey but did not complete it because Taiwan was not listed as a country.  I proceeded with the assumption all of the respondents from Taiwan who completed the survey selected “Other” for Q3 and “Taiwan” for Q4.  Second, the data for Q6 “When did you arrive in Canada?” could not be directly be compared to the data from the registrar, which recorded the start date of the student’s most recent program.  The data for Q6 will still be presented, but the results were not compared statistically against the overall population.  Third, the data from question Q7 was not used as it 88  proved ambiguous: Q7 “What is your current Academic Year?” was interpreted a number of ways by students, such as the number of years a student had studied at the institution or their academic year.  For example, a student entering a Bachelor program at the 3rd year level might answer “1” (as in 1 year of studies at institution) or “3” (as in 3rd year of a 4th year program).  At the same time, the data from the post-secondary institution’s registrar for students’ academic years was equally ambiguous, sometimes relating to the total number of years a student had studied at the institution, and sometimes relating to the number of years in a specific program. Fifth, the data for Q10 “Are you at <post-secondary institution> as part of a visiting student/student exchange program?” was ignored because it was ambiguous.   Twenty students with 11 different citizenships answered “Yes” to this question.  However, the data from the registrar’s office indicated only 10 of the 20 students had citizenships from countries with exchange students at the institution.  While the response rate was lower than expected, because the demographics of the surveyed population is known, as previously demonstrated through Pearson’s Chi-Square calculation the sample of 202 can be considered a random sample of the overall population of 1680 for gender and program of study, though not for region or academic level.  The confidence interval for a random sample of this sample size is +/- (plus or minus) 6.47% 19 times out of 2  4.2 Rationale for Focus Groups After the on-line survey was completed, and reviewed for preliminary results, focus groups were conducted.  While the goal of the on-line survey was to collect preliminary information on the four research questions from the overall international student body, the goal of the focus groups was to understand more deeply individual students’ reasons for their 89  strategies of obtaining career-related work in Canada after graduation.  Paired with the on-line survey, qualitative research, in the form of focus groups of international students, was conducted.  Two students may both take the same action for different reasons.  Alternatively, two students may choose different paths to reach the same goal.  Focus groups were chosen as a way to collect qualitative data to lessen the perception by the students of the authority of the researcher and research assistant, and because, as students at the same institution, the participants had many shared experiences (Kamberelis, 2005).   4.2.1 Focus Group Design A series of small focus groups was conducted to engage international students in peer-based discussions around their plans for career-related work after graduation.  Emails, through Vovici, were sent to all of the on-line survey respondents inviting them to participate in a follow up focus group.  An incentive of a $20 gift certificate to the institution’s book store was offered to students who participated in a focus group.  Students were given the choice of five possible times.  Because of possible conflict of interest with some of the researchers, students in Computing Science programs were specifically excluded from the focus groups.  The research plan was to have about 25 participants in five sessions.  While 33 students signed up to participate over the course of five sessions, in the end, none of the scheduled students showed up for the first session, and 20 students participated in the remaining four sessions, with each session having 4 to 6 students each.   Of the 20 students, there were 6 men and 14 women (Appendix G: Overview of Focus Groups).  All six men were in Business programs, while of the 14 women, seven were in Business programs, three in Tourism, and one each in Education, Nursing, English as a Second 90  Language (bridging to Teaching English as a Second Language), and Bachelor of Arts/pre Bachelor of Social Work.  There were nine students from Eastern Asia, five from the Former Eastern Bloc, four from Southern Asia (one of whom identified themselves as Southern Asian but had spent considerable time in an Arab country) as well as one student from UANWE and one from Africa.  While there was gender balance of participants from Business programs, with six men and seven women, there were no men represented in any other program areas. The Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence indicates there is no statistically significant difference between the number of male business students in the focus group (6 of 20) and either the survey respondents, or the total  overall international student population at the post-secondary institution (Table 37, Appendix E.1: On-line Survey Responses versus Overall Population).  Missing from the focus groups were male non-Business students.  Five other male respondents were willing to participate in focus groups, however, all were Business students and four were from Southern Asia, which would not broaden the diversity of the groups in terms of program of study. Because computing science students were deliberately excluded from the focus groups, there were only 18 other male non-Business, non-Computing students who completed the on-line survey, but none volunteered to participate in a focus group.   The researcher (myself) and an assistant, in the role of a participant observer, conducted each focus group.  My role was to explain the purpose of the focus group to the participants, describe the consent form, describe the option to withdraw and ask all questions.  The participant observer collected and verified consent forms, and operated recording equipment.  Open ended interview questions were developed based on the findings of the on-line survey responses (Appendix H: Focus Group Questions).  All questions were asked verbally, however participants were also given a written copy of the questions to aid in comprehension.  Participants were also 91  given the option of formulating their thoughts in writing prior to sharing them verbally if it assisted them.  Each of the focus group session lasted from 80 to 100 minutes and included time to collect demographic data and obtain student consents.  The recordings of the students’ verbal answers were then transcribed and analyzed using inductive analysis (Thomas, 2006).   Similar to the work of Shen and Herr, who used inductive data analysis and a phenomenological framework to who examine international students’ career placement concerns (Shen, 2004; Thomas, 2003; Thomas 2006).  in my research project, the focus group data was transcribed and  analyzed using inductive data analysis to discern themes relating to students’ strategies on gaining various types of capital (human, social, cultural, symbolic), as well as students’ use of the post-secondary career services.  4.2.2 Strengths and Weaknesses of Focus Groups A strength of the focus groups was while the on-line surveys provided basic data on students’ strategies, the focus groups provided more information on why specific strategies identified in the on-line surveys were undertaken and what the students thought were the advantages of these strategies.  Since the focus groups were voluntary, the students were motivated to participate and contribute to the discussions. A weakness of the focus groups was having no males from non-business programs.  Selecting focus group participants from the overall population rather than from the on-line survey respondents might have mitigated this.  However, of the 1148 males in the overall population, only 14% were neither business students nor science students (which were primarily computing science students, who were excluded from the focus groups because of conflict in interest).  If male non-business students were represented 92  in the focus groups proportionally to the overall population, there would have been two such students, which would have resulted in some but not a large change in the overall data collected.  93  4.3 Summary of Research Questions As a summary, Table 11 briefly outlines which on-line survey and focus group questions relate to each research question.  The complete questions can be found in Appendix A: On-line Survey Questions and Appendix H: Focus Group Questions.  While data was explicitly collected in the On-line Survey for human and social capital, no data explicitly collected for cultural and symbolic capital.  Participants could provide data on cultural and symbolic capital for Q19 and Q27 where participants were able to provide open-ended answers.  Similarly, there were no specific questions relating to cultural and symbolic capital in the Focus Group Questions, but the hope was that themes relating to cultural and symbolic capital would emerge from students’ comments. Research Question Data Collected most related to Research Question 1st Research Question: What are international students’ goals after graduation? On-line survey questions Q14, Q15, Q16, Q17.1, and Q17.2 (Appendix A):  Q14: Why are you studying at <post-secondary institution’s name>?  Q15: What were your plans when you came to <institution>? and What are your plans now?  Q16: Please indicate how familiar you are with these programs (CEC, PNP).  Q17.1: I plan to apply for the CEC and/or PNP after graduation.  Q17.2: I have a plan for how I will try to get career-related work in Canada after graduation Specific questions include Focus Group Questions 6, 8, 10, 11 and 12 (Appendix A), plus other focus group comments relating to the themes of student goals, whether it was transition to career-related work in Canada or otherwise, as well as students’ understanding of CEC and PNP.   2nd Research Question: What non-Canadian education and work experience international students bring with them to Canada? On-line survey questions Q11, Q12, Q18, and Q22 (Appendix A)  Q11: What is the highest level of education you completed prior to coming to Canada?  Q12: Before coming to Canada, how many years of paid work had you done?  Q18: To what extent are the following factors important for you to get career-related work in Canada? (non-Canadian education and work, English skills, Canadian education and work, people you know, Career Education Department programs and services).  Q22: Since coming to Canada, have you done paid work? Focus group comments relating to the themes non-Canadian work or education.   94  Research Question Data Collected most related to Research Question 3rd Research Question: What students are doing and want to do, during their time at a Canadian post-secondary institution to gain capital they believe will assist in their transition to the Canadian labour market? On-line survey questions Q13, Q17.2, Q18, Q19, Q20, Q21, Q23.1, and Q23.2 (Appendix A).  Q13: What jobs or careers will your studies at <institution> help prepare you for?  Q17.2: I have a plan for how I will try to get career-related work in Canada after graduation.  Q18: To what extent are the following factors important for you to get career-related work in Canada? (non-Canadian education and work, English skills, Canadian education and work, people you know, Career Education Department programs and services).  Q19: Since coming to <institution>, what have you done which you think will help you find career-related work in Canada after graduation?  Q20: How would you assess your English skills?  Q21: Since coming to Canada, have you done volunteer work?  Q23.1: The follow people and I know each other this well.  Q23.2: If I needed help preparing for my career, I would ask the following people for help Specific questions include Focus Group Questions 5, 13, 15, 16 and 17 (Appendix I), plus focus group comments related to the themes of language skills & communication, Canadian education & other credentials, Canadian paid work experience, Canadian volunteer experience, and relationships. 4th Research Question: How international are students using their post-secondary institution’s career services On-line survey questions Q19, Q24.1 and Q24.2 (Appendix A).  Q19: Since coming to <institution>, what have you done which you think will help you find career-related work in Canada after graduation?  Q24.1: While at <institution>, I have done the following.  Q24.2: The following activity is an important part of my plan of preparing for my career after graduation. Specific questions include Focus Group Questions 7, 14 and 19 (Appendix I), plus focus group comments related to the themes of use of post-secondary institution’s career services as well as other activities they think are aiding in preparing for their career.   Table 11: How research questions are operationalized in on-line survey and focus group questions    95  Chapter 5: Research Results: International Student Career Strategies In this chapter, the analysis of the collected data will be discussed as it relates to the four main research questions.  First, data related the first research question on students’ goals after graduation is presented.  Second, data related to the second research question on what types of education and work experience international students bring with them to Canada is presented. Then, data related to the third research question on students’ strategies for obtaining career-related work in Canada after graduation are described.  Finally, the fourth research question on students’ use of the post-secondary institution’s career services as part of their strategy to obtain various types of capital is described. 5.1 Why Do International Students Study in Canada?  The first question of this research is to establish a baseline of international students’ goals after graduation.  It is not a given international students want to transition from a post-secondary institution to full time work in the Canadian labour market at the completion of their studies.  In this section, data related students’ goals after graduation are presented including motivations for studying at the Canadian post-secondary institution, their plans for remaining in Canada after graduation, their understanding and plans with respect to CEC and PNP, and the students’ career goals are presented.  Data is drawn primarily from on-line survey questions Q14, Q15, Q16 and Q17, along with responses from the focus groups to describe international students’ goals, whether to transition to career-related work in Canada or otherwise, as well, the students’ understanding of CEC and PNP, which are avenues to stay in Canada and work after graduation.  5.1.1 On-line Survey Responses On-line survey respondents ranked two other factors higher than reasons related to career or immigration for why they chose to study their program of study at the Canadian post-96  secondary institution (Q14) (Table 12):  93.0% respondents strongly agreed or agreed they chose their program of study because “I want a better future”; 87.1% strongly agreed or agreed “I am interested in the program”.  The next five highest responses all related to career, with the desire for a career inside of Canada stronger than outside of Canada, while the desire for a career, in Canada or elsewhere, was stronger than the desire to immigrate to Canada.  There were 82.6% who strongly agreed or agreed with the statement “I am interested in a career this program prepares me for”; 74.2% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement “I want to get career-related work in Canada after I graduate”; 65.9% with the statement “There are good prospects in this career in Canada’; 56.9% for the statement “I want to get career-related work outside of Canada after graduation”.   51.0% with the statement “I want to immigrate to Canada”.  Just over half strongly agreed or agreed with “I was accepted into the program”.  Comparable numbers (one-third, 1/3) strongly agreed or agreed they wanted to start a business in Canada or outside of Canada after graduation.   Just over half of respondents strongly agreed or agreed with “I was accepted into the program”.  Respondents ranked reasons related to relationships lowest for why they choose their program of study.  97  I chose my program of study because % Responses within question Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree or Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree I want a better future 65.8 27.2 5.4 0.5 1.0 I am interested in the program 47.5 39.6 10.4 1.5 1.0 I am interested in a career this program prepares me for 46.0 36.6 12.9 3.0 1.5 I want to get career-related work in Canada after I graduate 46.0 28.2 17.8 6.4 1.5 There are good prospects in this career in Canada 34.7 31.2 27.7 4.5 2.0 I want to get career-related work outside of Canada after graduation 25.2 31.7 29.7 10.9 2.5 I want to immigrate to Canada after graduation 20.8 30.2 34.2 9.4 5.4 I was accepted into the program 19.3 34.2 24.3 10.4 11.9 I want to start a business outside of Canada after graduation 13.4 21.3 42.6 14.4 8.4 I want to start a business in Canada after graduation 10.9 21.3 40.6 15.8 11.4 My parents wanted me to 7.4 23.3 25.7 16.3 27.2 I joined or accompanied family or close friends to Canada 7.4 14.4 29.2 21.3 27.7 A school counsellor or faculty member suggested I choose the program 4.0 18.3 23.3 24.3 30.2 A friend suggested I choose the program 2.5 17.8 21.3 25.2 33.2 Table 12: Reasons for studying and choosing post-secondary institution Students’ plans after graduation shifted  from the time the respondents arrived at the post-secondary institution and the time of the survey (Q15.1 versus Q15.2), with an increasing number of students wanting to stay permanently in Canada, as well as more wanting to live in 98  both Canada and another country.  While about one-third (1/3) of the respondents wanted to stay either 1 to 3 years or permanently when they first arrived at the post-secondary institution, almost two-third (2/3) indicated that was their goal at the time of the survey.  Further, those who wanted to live in both Canada and another country increased from 13.4% to 21.3%.   The categories which shrank were “Leave Canada immediately after graduation” which fell from 21.8% to 11.9% and “I am not sure” which fell from 18.3% to 11.9%.   There is a strong correlation between reasons for studying in Canada related to a career in Canada (Q14) with those who wanted to stay in Canada after graduation (Q15.2).  For example, while 128 respondents indicated they both choose to study in Canada because they wanted to obtain career-related work in Canada after graduation (Q14) and want to stay (Q15.2), there were only two students who wanted to stay in Canada after graduation who did not want to obtain career-related work in Canada after graduation.  A similar numbers of students who want to stay in Canada after graduation agreed or strongly agreed they studied in Canada because there are good prospects for careers in Canada and because they wanted to immigrate to Canada after graduation.  Likewise only a handful of students who wanted to immigrate to Canada after graduation disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statements “There were good prospects in this career in Canada” and “I want to immigrate to Canada after graduation”.  The weakest correlation, though still significant, was between those wanting to stay and those planning to start a business in Canada.  This is not surprising, since not all individuals want to be self-employed.    99    Plans to stay in Canada after graduation Pearson’s Chi-Square Test Sig. (2-tailed) N There are good prospects for this career in Canada 56.96 .000 178 I want to get career related work in Canada after graduation 74.21 .000 178 I want to start a business in Canada after graduation 38.37 .000 178 I want to immigrate to Canada after graduation 100.32 .000 178  Table 13: What were your plans when you came to <institution>? and What are your plans now? N=178   100   5.1.2 Focus Group Responses As with the on-line survey respondents, in the focus groups, there was often a shift in plans between when the students first arrived to the time of the focus group, as well as a variety of responses in terms of careers goals, but the majority of the focus group participants wanted to both reside for some period of time in Canada after graduation and to obtain career-related work (Table 14).   Table 14: Focus group students’ plans to stay in Canada and to obtain career-related work after graduation.  Seventeen of the 20 very much wanted to stay, and two somewhat wanted to stay in Canada and obtain career-related work after graduation.  Only one of 20 students had no interest in career-related work in Canada after graduation.  While only 5 of the 20 students came to Canada with the intention of staying permanently, now they had been in Canada, 8 of the 20 wanted to stay 101  permanently.  Only two students indicated they were currently not sure what they wanted to do, although both still wanted career-related work, implying they wanted to remain at least some period of time in Canada.  I don’t think that from any of my friends, I have friends who have already graduated from <post-secondary institution>.  Nobody wants to go back to India.  3rd year BBA, Southern Asian female (Pr.) I just want to say, I don’t know any international students who want to come back home after graduation.  But they would, I know somebody who, like moved, like left Canada before graduation even.   I think that is because of the difference between the education here and education in Russia.  It is much more complicated to study here, when you arrive from a smaller city, because there, education is easier, much easier. Maybe the students, when they face with huge assignments or something like that, they just fear that the more they study here, the more difficult it will be here for them.  So that’s why they just leave and that’s all. 1st year BBA, Former Eastern Bloc female (A.) I know lots of people, they told me they will come back after they graduate, first they think that Canada is so boring, so boring, couldn’t find so many huge malls, and they couldn’t find any interesting pubs like Shanghai  Hong Kong shopping malls.  And of course, most of their families are very, very rich and they have the advantage rights in their home country. 1st year ESL/pre-TESL, Eastern Asian female (Tr.) Between the times of their arrival until the time of the focus groups, there were also an increase number of students, from 2 to 6 wanting to live in both Canada and another country.  For these 6, based on their comments, it appeared as they gained information on opportunities and confidence in their abilities as well as assessed the relative value of their global skills and 102  multi-lingual skills, they broadened their career aspirations.  Goals for careers in international business, seeking the best possible job opportunity, plus family obligations and a love of travel were some of the reasons given for choosing to live in both Canada and another country.   I have a dream to travel all over the world so I need a job that all the countries need. 1st year ESL/pre-TESL, Eastern Asian female (Tr.) That is mostly important, I enjoy life so much here, and I have friends here so it’s not a strange city for me, and I have colleagues, used to be my colleagues so will be my friends here and that would be my reasons to stay in Canada  but if I have a chance to work abroad, and outside of Canada, my work requirements or job requirements push me to do that, I will just leave Canada, and because I think work is part of important things for lady as well, so if the location the is one of the requirements I would  just leave Canada as well. Pre-MBA, Eastern Asian female (Lo.)  Just as in the on-line survey, in the focus group, career was not the only motivator for what students wanted to do after graduation.  One student talked about her dream of traveling around the world:   For me, I’m planning to travel around the world (laughter), in maybe in 20 years.   And I come to here first, because I need to improve my English because most countries use English as an official language, in India, in Hong Kong.  So, when I would graduate, I hope I can hope I can find work in Canada for 1 to 3 years. Then, if it is possible, if I can find a job in Japan or Korea or some countries like that.  It’s a dream. (laughter) - 1st year ESL/pre-TESL, Eastern Asian female (Tr.) 103  Other than reasons besides career for why focus group participants would want to stay in Canada included desire to assist family members to immigrate; Canada was seen as a safe country; familiarity or preference to the Canadian culture. Some of the cultural aspects, some people might like it ‘cause they have been here for so long, they’re already used to it.  And I think the other aspect would be ‘cause some students they want to apply their families come over here so their families can have like pensions and benefits from this country, so I think that would be one of the reasons. 2nd year Nursing, Eastern Asian female (K.) And after they stay Canada 7 or 8 years, then their habits are, have been changed.  When they come back to China, all of them say “Oh what’s happened”.  They couldn’t be used to be in China anymore because of the habits and the cultural rules and the people.  1st year ESL/pre-TESL, Eastern Asian female (Tr.) Safe environment, good job opportunities, high wages. Post-bacc, Tourism, Former Eastern Bloc female (Ta.)  Canada. Here it is good to be here.  Post-bacc, Business, Southern Asian male (B.) I think the major reason is also that they like the country.  It is not only that it’s career-related, they just like it here and just stay here. 2nd year BBA, UANWE male (Nk.) Canada is like welcoming so many cultures, so like if you are, you know the Indian culture, or the Saudi Arabian culture, if you are familiar with all the cultures, you will do well here. Pre-MBA, African student female (E.) Similarly, focus group participants also specified reasons other than career for why they or other students they knew would want to leave Canada after graduation.  Participants raised the possibility of international students returning to their home country and entering into a business.  104  Others noted the pull of family in their home country, homesickness, obligations in their home country, and preference of their own culture, as well as the difficulty in finding work in Canada and subsequent financial difficulties of staying if a job was not obtained soon after graduation. Some students, some parents they send their children to get experience here and return to apply knowledge in their own business.  So if they own business there, there is no reason to stay here because they have future in their country.  Post-bacc, Tourism, Former Eastern Bloc female (Ta.) The first problem is just like the family problem, the family wants after the children graduated from Canada  they wants them to go back.  Pre-MBA, Eastern Asian female (G.) Well, like if your employer sponsors your education you have to bring your knowledge back to your company. Pre-MBA, African student female (E.) Some students even after graduation don’t feel like part of Canada, or Canadian, they want their own culture but some students are getting into the culture and feel part of Canada, attached to Canada.  1st year Bachelor of Arts (Pre Bachelor of Social Work) Former Eastern Bloc female (Mr.) Maybe the conditions the students, they can’t get enough financial support.  Like they do have money to live in Canada because of higher expenditures.  I see some students can’t get a job immediately. 3rd year BBA, Eastern Asian female (Mi.) Although the Canadian federal and provincial governments have implemented policies within the CEC and PNP programs to make it easier for international students to obtain permanent residence status in Canada if they obtain career-related work, there was not a strong understanding of the CEC or PNP programs among either the on-line survey respondents or the 105  focus groups.  In response to Q16, half (1/2) responded they knew “Very little” or “Not at all” while one-third (1/3) responded “Somewhat”.  Only 1 in 6 of the on-line survey respondents said they knew “A great deal” about either of the programs.  Students who stated they wanted to stay in Canada (permanently, 1 to 3 years, or both in Canada and another country) were more likely to state they knew “A great deal” or “Somewhat” than those who either planned to leave immediately or stated they were not sure, and 70% of those wanting to stay permanently in Canada knowing either “A great deal” or “Somewhat”, compared to only 33% of those wanting to leave immediately.   There are very few people who plan to apply to either the CEC or PNP programs (Q17.1) who don't have a plan to get career-related work in Canada after graduation (Q17.2).  The reverse is also true; there are very few people who have a plan to get career-related work in Canada who don't plan to apply to one of the two programs (Table 15).  106    I have a plan for how I will try to get career-related work in Canada after graduation I plan to apply to [programs] after graduation Strongly disagree Disagree Neither Agree nor Disagree Agree Strongly Agree Grand Total Strongly Disagree 8 1 2 1 - 12 Disagree 1 9 2 2 1 15 Neither Agree or Disagree 1 5 28 23 6 64 Agree 1 5 15 33 11 65 Strongly Agree - 1 15 16 14 46 Grand Total 11 22 62 75 32 202 Table 15: Plans to apply to CEC and PNP programs and p to get career-related work in Canada after graduation. Plans to stay or not stay in Canada after graduation (Q15.2), knowledge of the CEC and PNP programs (Q16),  plans to apply to the CEC and PNP programs (Q17.1), and having a plan for obtaining career-related work after graduation (Q17.2) were compared (Table 16).  There is a significant correlation between plans to stay in Canada after graduation, familiarity with the CEC and PNP immigration programs, plans to apply to the programs, and having an overall plan to get work in Canada after graduation.  In general, people who planned to stay had a plan for obtaining career-related work.     107   Knowledge of programs Plans to apply to programs Have plan to obtain career related work in Canada after graduation Plans to stay in Canada after graduation  Pearson’s Chi-square test  31.18 114.28 78.39 Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000 N 178 178 178  Table 16: Plans to stay in Canada, knowledge and plans to apply to CEC/PNP, and plans to obtain career-related work in Canada after graduation. In the focus groups, none of the 20 participants stated they knew “A great deal” about the CEC or PNP programs, 8 said they knew “Somewhat”,  8 said “Very little” and 4 said “Not at all”.  Students viewed the process as complicated and the students’ answers of what they knew also revealed only partial understanding of the programs. It’s somewhat complicated. 4th year BBA, Former Eastern Bloc male (Mk.) I only know that for the CEC – there is something like, I don’t know, your employer has to give a labour market opinion or something that is proven that they couldn’t employ Canadian.  I don’t know if I am right. Pre-MBA, African student female (E.) The consensus of students in the focus groups was while there were resources available both on-line and in face-to-face seminars, the information around the programs was still difficult to understand.  Part of the confusion came from rules which were changing quite frequently.  At the same time, students’ circumstances varied: Because if you go on line, even you read it is quite hard to understand all the rules,   but it is still not enough because if you listen to this workshop like each student has a different story and of course you have your kind of question of how it works for me.   And that is 108  where the problems come, not problems but issues. 4th year BBA, Former Eastern Bloc male (Mk.)  5.2 International Students’ non-Canadian Work Experience and Education The second main research question explores what types of education and work experience international students bring with them to Canada.  Data is drawn primarily from on-line survey questions Q11, Q12, Q18 and Q22, along with responses from the focus groups.  Of the respondents to the on-line survey, 71% had one or more types of work experience prior to coming to Canada.  About half (1/2) had an average of two or more years full-time work experience, about half (1/2) had an average of up to one year part-time work experience, and about one-third (1/3) had an average of up to one year of Co-op work experience (Figure 5, Table 17).    Figure 5: Non-Canadian Work Experience before coming to Canada (Q12), N=202. No matter the type of non-Canadian work experience (full-time, part-time or Co-op), similar patterns emerged.  The non-Canadian work is most frequently seen as “Important” as 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80%0 yearsup to 1 yearup to 2 yearsup to 3 yearsup to 4 yearsmore than 4 years% of responsesFull-time Co-op or internship Part-time109  opposed to “Very Important” (Figure 6).  At the same time, 77% indicated they had some type of paid Canadian work experience at the time of the survey (Q22) (Table 18).    Figure 6: Importance of factors in getting career-related work in Canada.  The respondents ranked their Canadian work experience as far more important than their non-Canadian work experience in response to Q18: “To what extent are the following factors important for you to get career-related work in Canada”8).   Type of Work Experience (Q12) Very Important Important Somewhat Important Not Very Important Not Important At All No work outside Canada 10 16 20 8 5 Non-Canadian Co-op Work 12 24 17 6 1 Non-Canadian Full time Work 20 39 27 7 2 Non-Canadian Part time Work 17 34 27 11 2 Non Canadian Work (any) 36 69 65 25 7 Table 17: Type and importance of non-Canadian work experience in getting career-related work in Canada after graduation. While half of the students ranking their Canadian work experience as “Very Important”, only 17% ranked their non-Canadian work experience in a similar way (Figure 6).  One puzzle is the ranking by students with no non-Canadian work experience.  There were 59 students who 020406080100120VeryImportantImportant SomewhatImportantNot VeryImportantNotImportant AtAllNon Canadian Work - Q18Canadian Work - Q18110  said they had no paid work experience prior to coming to Canada., but of these, ten still responded “Very Important”, and 16 responded “Important” to their non-Canadian work experience’s importance as a factor obtaining career-related work in Canada (Q18) (Figure 7).  Figure 7: Importance of factors in getting career-related work in Canada and type of non-Canadian work experience.  About 2/3 of the on-line respondents had completed more than high school prior to coming to the post-secondary institution, with over 1/3  having completed a Bachelor, Masters or professional degree (Table 18) . While the Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence indicates there is a higher likelihood international students with a previous Bachelor, Masters or professional degree rank their previous education as either a “Very Important” or “Important” factor in obtaining career-related work in Canada (see Table 41 in Appendix E.2: Previous Non-Canadian Education versus Importance to Student), even for those with a previous degree, fewer than 60% felt their non-Canadian education was “Very Important” or “Important”.  051015202530354045VeryImportantImportant SomewhatImportantNot VeryImportantNotImportant AtAllNo work experience outsideCanadaNon-Canadian CoopNon-Canadian Full time WorkNon-Canadian Part time Work111   Level of Education # respondents % of respondents  Secondary school diploma 77 38.1 Less than Bachelors degree 50 24.8 Completed Bachelors Degree 62 30.7 Completed Masters Degree 8 4.0 Completed Professional Degree  5 2.5 (e.g. medicine; law; engineering)    Table 18: Level of education prior to coming to the post-secondary institution (Q11), N=202. Members of the focus groups also proposed their non-Canadian education and work experience was less valuable than that acquired in Canada. When you want to apply for a job, they expect you to have experience here in Canada, not outside your country because the environment is different” Post-bacc, Tourism, Former Eastern Bloc female (Ta.) I am not going to jump into my history, but for example, my degree is completely zero here.  There is nothing I can work for, even though I have a degree.  1st year Bachelor of Arts (Pre Bachelor of Social Work) Former Eastern Bloc female (Mr.)  5.3 Strategies for Obtaining Career-Related Work The third main research question is to assess what students are doing and want to do, during their time at a Canadian post-secondary institution (prior to graduation) to acquire capital (human, social, cultural, symbolic) as part of their strategy for transitioning to the Canadian labour market after graduation.   In the section above, both in the on-line survey results, and in focus groups, significant numbers of international students indicated they wanted to stay in Canada after graduation and obtain career-related work.  Further, in the case of the on-line 112  surveys, students who indicated they wanted to stay after graduation also indicated they had a plan for obtaining the work.  In this section, on-line and focus group data will be analyzed to determine what students are actually doing.  As discussed above, human capital has been operationalized as English language skills, Canadian education, Canadian work experience, and Canadian volunteer experience.  Social capital is measured in terms of the students’ relationships.  Data is drawn primarily from on-line survey questions Q13, Q17.2, Q18 and Q19, Q20, Q21 and Q23, along with responses from the focus groups.  There are no direct questions related to symbolic and cultural capital.  This data will be derived from student responses to other questions.  5.3.1 International Students’ Career Goals versus Strategies Prior to developing strategies for obtaining career-related work, the first step is often knowing what careers are possible.   An international student (or any student) may or may not have a clear idea of what careers a specific program of study will prepare them for.  Strategies may be linked to specific career goals.  As stated above, many of the international students arrive with little or no work experience, and even fewer have Co-op or intern experience, suggesting no direct knowledge of career opportunities in the labour market, and even less of the Canadian labour market.  Of the 202 respondents to the on-line survey, 84% (169) could list specific careers their program of study could prepare them for (Q13), and the remaining 16% specified “do not know” (32) or another non-specific answer (1).   These ranged from students who listed only one specific career such as “computer programmer” and “accountant” up to students who specified multiple possibilities.  Of the 169, half (88) listed specific actions they had done which they thought will help them find career-related work in Canada after graduation (Q19), while on 113  the other hand, only 8 of the 33 (24%) who could not list specific careers could list specific actions they had taken (Figure 8).  This suggests a number of things.  First, knowing what careers one is preparing for does not always mean a student can specify actions they are undertaking to assist themselves in obtaining career-related work, however, those students who were able to specify one or more careers were also more likely to have taken actions.    Figure 8: Jobs students’ studies will prepare students for and preparation for finding career-related work in Canada.  Students who were able to specify something they had done to help themselves find career-related work in Canada after graduation (Q19) were also more likely to agree with “I have a plan for how I will find career-related work in Canada after graduation?” (Q17.2).  Of the 101 respondents who specified one or more things they had done which would help themselves, 61.4%  “Strongly Agreed” or “Agreed” with Q17.2, compared to 48.5% of respondents who responded “Do not know” to Q19 (Figure 9), suggesting that when international students do things such as attending a Job Fair, getting work experience or preparing a resume makes it 114  easier for an international student to formulate a plan for how to get career-related work in Canada after graduation.  Figure 9: Plans for and actions related to finding career-related work in Canada  5.3.2 What Do Students Think is Important for Obtaining Career-Related Work In response to the question “To what extent are the following factors important for you to get career-related work in Canada?” (Q18), the international students who responded to the on-line survey did not consider all of the items listed in the survey as equally important (Table 19).  Students ranked English language skills, as well as Canadian education, work experience and volunteer experience as the most important, followed by use of the institution’s career services.  Students ranked relationships and non-Canadian work experience lowest.   115   Very Important Important Somewhat Important Not Very Important Not Important At All My English skills 61.4% 30.2% 5.9% 1.0% 1.5% My Canadian education 55.0% 30.7% 10.9% 3.0% 0.5% My Canadian paid work experience (on-campus, off-campus, or Co-op) 50.0% 24.8% 17.8% 4.0% 3.5% My Canadian volunteer experience 43.1% 30.2% 17.3% 6.4% 3.0% My use of Post-Secondary’s Career Education Department programs or services (e.g. Co-op, Job Fair, Employment Workshops) 36.2% 33.2% 21.6% 4.5% 4.5% Faculty or staff I know at <post-secondary institution> 21.8% 37.6% 30.2% 6.4% 4.0% Others I know at <post-secondary institution> (e.g. friends, mentors, coaches, etc.) 19.8% 37.1% 33.2% 7.4% 2.5% People I know in Canada, who are not at <post-secondary institution> 18.8% 40.6% 29.2% 9.9% 1.5% My non-Canadian work experience 17.8% 34.2% 32.2% 12.4% 3.5% My non-Canadian education 15.8% 34.2% 32.7% 13.4% 4.0% People I know outside of Canada 10.4% 29.7% 31.7% 20.3% 7.9% Table 19: Importance of factors for getting career-related work in Canada? (Q18), N=202.  5.3.3 Strategies Related to English Language Skills Language skills are one of the most valued skills in the labor market.  Among immigrants to Canada, proficiency in English or French is the key determinant of earnings (Thomas, 2006).  The international students in this study also ranked proficiency of English language as an important skill.  When asked to rate the importance of various factors to getting career-related work in Canada, English language skills ranked the highest with 61.4% of respondents ranking “my English Skills” as “Very important”, and 30.2% ranking them as “Important” (Table 19).  116  While only 4% of the respondents came from countries where English was a dominant language (United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Jamaica), in general the on-line survey respondents had a strong assessment of their own English language skills (Figure 10).  For listening skills, 84.6% of respondents ranked their skills as moderate or high; for speaking 81.2%; for writing 77.7%; for reading 85.7%.    Figure 10: Q20: Respondent assessment of English language skills  Despite on-line survey respondents ranking English skills as most important for obtaining career-related work after graduation, only 9 students specified improving their English language skills as something they had specifically done to help themselves find career-related work in Canada after graduation (Q19).   In the focus groups, there were 45 comments by 17 of the 20 participants in the focus groups related to English language skills and communication skills.  Eleven of the 20 students mentioned English language skills and communication skills multiple times, six mentioned the skill once, and 3 of the 20 students did not mention English language skills or communication 0%10%20%30%40%50%60%Listening Speaking Writing Reading% of ResponsesNo proficiency/fluency Basic proficiency/fluencyModerate proficiency/fluency Highproficiency/fluency117  skills at all.  Improving English language skills was seen as one of the first actions to take as a strategy to obtaining career-related work after graduation, both for students who might not have used English frequently prior to coming to Canada, such as those from Eastern Asia or the Former Eastern Bloc, but also from countries where English might be more prevalent in daily life or schooling, such as in many Southern Asian countries.  Lack of sufficient “Canadian” English language skills was seen as a barrier to gaining career-related work: I have just been here for several months and first I am in the ESL department to improve my English and ask for some advice from my academic advisor.  1st year ESL/pre-TESL, Eastern Asian female (Tr.) I think I can start from the basic, we are all international and English is not our first language of course, and first of all improve our language each year,  and the longer we are here we can speak better, and the better we know the language, the best chance you have to get the job because it is very important and of course we all understand the difference between for example, domestic students and international students, of course, like if you have good English it is definitely going to help you. 1st year Bachelor of Arts (Pre Bachelor of Social Work) Former Eastern Bloc female (Mr.) If you want a job here you must speak very well English.  Masters of Education, Eastern Asian female (Lu.) Students wanted not only the ability to speak English but also proof of their ability. I would want to like include in my resume is something about my English knowledge.  Like certificate for example. 1st year BBA, Former Eastern Bloc female (A.) English language skills were also seen as a barrier to accessing the institution’s career services: 118  Maybe because of language barrier they are shy to go to like career service at <institution’s name> and to ask for more information. 1st year BBA, Former Eastern Bloc female (A.) For international students in the focus groups, English language skills went beyond basic language and also encompassed business communication skills and culturally based Canadian communication skills through working, volunteering and interacting with Canadians.  Class projects with Canadian students were mentioned as a means of improving their English skills.  International students differentiated between doing well in the classroom, and being able to communicate effectively in the workplace:   For me, job project in class, working together with local Canadian students really helps me a lot to get familiar with culture locally originally.  Because the behaviour and culture background is different and communication behaviour is different when we think about the same topic.  This will just help me get used to the life here.   Pre-MBA, Eastern Asian female (Lo.)   And as I know there are lots of Chinese students who could not find a job not because they don’t study well but just because the employer, the boss, the employers think that they couldn’t communicate with the national people.  We have the culture shock with them and that we will make us lots of problems.   4th year Tourism, Eastern Asian female (Tm.)  I have expanded English, cultural confidence, something like that for the International students is very, very important. 1st year ESL/pre-TESL, Eastern Asian female (Tr.) One student noted the level of competency in English language required to be successful in the classroom was not sufficient to be successful in the Canadian workplace, because additional 119  cultural awareness was required in the workplace.  Another noted studying alone was not sufficient to understand the cultural differences of Canada.  A third stated it was important to get outside of the campus to observe how Canadians communicate. “Just stay with Chinese and for, and they don’t have a really good English. They just could pass their course, but they do not know how to communicate with other cultures’ people.” 1st year ESL/pre-TESL, Eastern Asian female (Tr.) Yeah, it’s sometimes language barrier is the thing, and sometimes there is even after two or three years of studies, the students are not able to cope up with that culture and environmental conditions which makes it difficult for them to adjust in that culture and it’s difficult for them to find the Co-op then, work . 2nd year BBA, Southern Asian male (Pu.) For me it was helpful just to observe the life, what people do and how they do it and how they communicate and then catch this little stuff that I call for me I call it how Canadian behave if it’s really helpful as well if you don’t want to communicate and you are in a way shy. 1st year Bachelor of Arts (Pre Bachelor of Social Work) Former Eastern Bloc female (Mr.) The students used a number of non-academic methods for improving their English and communication skills, including getting paid work and volunteering. So I guess, getting working experience and volunteering experience to learn my English and some network skills.  3rd year BBA, Eastern Asian female (Mi.) Like if I want to do, like be a sales superintendent, I need to like increase my communication skills.  So I am trying to increase or develop my communication skills.  I want to do part-time job in sales.   Post-bacc, Business, Southern Asian male (B.) 120  International students also wanted to take advantage of being multi-lingual in their goal of obtaining work after graduation: Can I add something to that too?  It is true of the job fair, I think there are not enough like multinational corporations where your strength in your language because you speak two language fluently or in the best case three or four.  That’s where like in multinational corporations are looking for that because they have to interact with customers from Europe, from Africa, from Asia, from all over the world and I think that is where we really find our niche to get in.  2nd year BBA, UANWE male (Nk.)    5.3.4 Strategies Related to Canadian Education and other Canadian Credentials Although respondents to the on-line survey ranked Canadian education second, after English language skills, as a factor important in obtaining career-related work in Canada (Table 19), with 55.0% of respondents ranking “my Canadian education” as “Very important”, and 30.7% as “Important”, only one-third (1/3) of the 98 (of the 202 total) respondents who specified things they had done which would help themselves obtain career-related work in Canada after graduation (Q19), specified something educational, including credentials, they had specifically done.  Respondents’ words used included “education”, “study hard”, “getting good grades”, “learn lots from classes”, “my Canadian education”, “studying English very hard” and “finding a program I really like”.  Credentials included “MBA”, “taking courses related to the society”, “taken courses to improve my skills both technical and organizational”, “leadership program”, “industry related courses”, “professional designation”, and ”Food Safe and Serving it Right”.  Nineteen of the 20 participants in the focus groups mentioned their Canadian education and credentials within over 80 of their comments.  The focus group members’ comments can be 121  grouped into five major themes: credentials; Leadership courses; academic programs; relationships with faculty members; and experiential learning which was not Co-op. Students in focus groups made over 25 comments relating to gaining credentials such as a high grade point average (GPA), faculty references, professional credentials, and academic competitions as a part of their strategy.  Of these, half the comments related to obtaining a high GPA.  When speaking about their GPA, the students did not speak of the knowledge they wanted to gain in their programs, only that a high mark was important.  Half of the focus group members mentioned obtaining references from faculty as an important strategy.   A similar number of students specified they wanted to obtain credentials necessary for certain types of professions, such as an accounting designation, or as proof of a competency, such as a TESL certificate: First study hard, achieve my highest score for GPA Pre-MBA, Eastern Asian female (Lo.) I would say one of the first things that we international students do here is like get the professor’s reference letter, the ones who teach us, because it’s not like I mentioned earlier since we don’t have previous job experience, getting a reference letter from someone who has taught us, it’s an advantage.  Post-bacc, Business, Southern Asian male (Su.) For me I chose TESL, teaching English as a second language, so I can be, if I graduate successfully, I can get TESL certification, then I can teach everywhere. 1st year ESL/pre-TESL, Eastern Asian female (Tr.) I take some academic competitions in my majors, financial majors. 3rd year BBA, Eastern Asian female (Mi.) 122  Also to be the competitive with the Canadian graduated student because um, in the same level GPA, also the same level experience, the company will prefer the Canadian student. 3rd year BBA, Eastern Asian female (Mi.) As well, fourteen of 20 students in the focus groups made additional comments about the non-academic Leadership course their post-secondary institution offered as being part of their strategies.  The Leadership course was the most frequently mentioned course (academic or non-academic) which was referred to specifically by students: The leadership program.  I hear a lot of international students do that.  Because it is short and even for just exchange students, because they have time limited, so they can do that. 2nd year BBA, UANWE male (Nk.) I did like the student leadership certificate which like will gonna help me with my business program.  Pre-MBA, African student female (E) As for me, I just know the career centre, the leadership workshop, and the Co-op program.  Just those three.  Among the three, I think the leadership would be the most useful, for me I think.... Because leadership really plays an important role in education.  And, among, throughout the learning process of learning, the leadership workshop, I learned a lot about what leadership is, and it can be useful in my studies I think. Masters of Education, Eastern Asian female (Lu.) There were only fifteen comments, relating to students’ academic programs including comments on the importance of gaining career-related skills and knowledge through their course work, and the benefits of class group work and projects. Yes, since it is my first year here in Canada, I am just trying to combine courses from business department and computer science department in order to, in order to, in order to 123  get a mix of knowledges in businesses and in  IT field, and that is how I think it will help me. 3rd year BBA, Former Eastern Bloc male (I.) For  me, job project in class, working together with local Canadian students really helps me a lot to get familiar with culture locally originally.  Because the behaviour and culture background is different and communication behaviour is different when we think about the same topic.  This will just help me get used to the life here. Pre-MBA, Eastern Asian female (Lo.) A comparable number of comments were made relating to students seeking labour market information and career advice from their faculty members.  Faculty members were seen as being knowledgeable about the Canadian labour market, connected to possible opportunities, and able to direct students to specific companies needing their skills. And faculty members, what kind of companies are related to our major because actually, I don’t know what companies is, what companies is in Canada, so I need a, I need a company information.  Post-bacc, Business, Eastern Asian female (J.) Also having good relationships with professors can also help, because in Tourism department professors, they often say “this resort hires students, this resort hires students” so it is good to know instructors and they will give you good advice. Post-bacc, Tourism, Former Eastern Bloc female (Ta.) There were 10 comments by students specifying strategies of linking their classroom learning with experiential learning, such as through a practicum or Service Learning course, both to gain experiences and knowledge which cannot be gained in the classroom, and to gain cultural understanding of Canada work places.  The nursing student mentioned the importance of her practicum a number of times.  Another student specified the importance of a Service Learning 124  course, where a student can take on a specific project in their community.  A number of students specified they would want to take advantage of an internship option, regardless of whether it was or was not available in their program. Cause I’m in nursing, so I just know like what is going on in nursing, I just feel the clinical practice it can well prepare you for the future career, it give you time to get used to the work environment. 2nd year Nursing, Eastern Asian female (K.) And also, the service learning elective course.  I think it is so helpful to the international students, especially for the new comers, the first arrived here to have a chance to be close to the Canadian and also they have a chance to see the all different community. Pre-MBA, Eastern Asian female (G.) I can get TESL certification, then I can teach everywhere, and of course the TESL program has the internship, then it can give me to choice to work as a real teacher and it can help me to, help me after I graduate because I can tell “I have some experience in teaching” 1st year ESL/pre-TESL, Eastern Asian female (Tr.) Like Vancouver Island University, for their Masters program, they provide a 4 month internship, but for our MBA we don’t provide anything like that.  But, I would say that is definitely something that could be improved, it would really help us. Post-bacc, Business, Southern Asian male (Su.) Students unable to work off campus specified they relied more heavily on classroom learning to gain skills, but there was also a recurring theme among students in the focus groups as to the limitations of classroom learning, and the importance of working and volunteering, especially off campus. 125  Just achieve enough knowledge and experience about my accepted major. Masters of Education, Eastern Asian female (Lu.) Well, in my situation, when I can’t work right now, I can only connect my theoretical experience and my practice.  For example, last semester I had marketing research class and our final project was to conduct marketing survey for one of the shops here, so our instructor give us such an opportunity and that’s all I can do right now.  1st year BBA, Former Eastern Bloc female (A.) Of course, it’s like it’s opposite you are going to be more like of course studying but also discover the community, the way of life, the career options and how it works in Canada.  That is why you should more concentrate to at least to get some experience of the job, like volunteering to be, to feel the Canada, to understand Canada, in Canada.  1st year Bachelor of Arts (Pre Bachelor of Social Work) Former Eastern Bloc female (Mr.) At the same time, focus group members worried whether the credentials of a small post-secondary institution would be recognized abroad. I would like to see <institution> be part in a ranking, maybe, so employers in the home country can know more about <institution>, because right now, they ask like where is this and what do they do.  Maybe like a ranking would be that. 2nd year BBA, UANWE male (Nk.) Finally, students in the focus group did not see Canadian education as an end to itself, but as a way of being able to do things and fulfill dreams: My goal is to um, to finish bachelor of social work maybe and if I have time and money, Masters degree and after I’m planning on being a social worker and concentrating on 126  working with the elder people.  1st year Bachelor of Arts (Pre Bachelor of Social Work) Former Eastern Bloc female (Mr.) 5.3.5 Strategies Related to Canadian Paid Work Experience While international students come to Canada to study, they also want to obtain Canadian work experience during the time they are studying and see it as key to transitioning to career-related work in the Canadian labour market after graduation.  Respondents to the on-line survey ranked Canadian paid work experience third in importance as a factor in obtaining career-related work after graduation (Table 19) with 50.0% of respondents ranking “my Canadian paid work experience” as “Very important”, and 24.8% ranking them as “Important”.  Of the 48% (98 of 202) of respondents who specified things they had done which would help them obtain career-related work in Canada after graduation (Q19),  one-third (1/3, 36 comments) specified some type of paid Canadian work experience, including Co-op, on-campus, off-campus, or general work experience.  Only volunteering was listed more frequently than paid work as a strategy in response to Q19.   Within the focus groups, students made more comments about acquiring paid Canadian work experience during the course of their studies as part of an overall strategy of gaining career-related work after graduation, than any other strategy.  All of the students in the focus group mentioned some form of paid work.  There were 107 comments relating to paid Canadian work experience, whether Co-op, on-campus, off-campus or general work experience, with 3 to 11 comments per student.   No matter the type of Canadian paid work experience (Co-op, on-campus, off-campus, or work experience in general), a number of themes emerged from the focus groups’ comments.  First, all of the students considered gaining some type of paid work experience during the time 127  they were completing their studies as important.  Those students who had not yet worked because they did not yet qualify for an off-campus work permit or had not obtained work yet were still planning on working in the future.   I did a Co-op course and I just finished a workterm and I just got off another Co-op.  4th year BBA, Former Eastern Bloc male (Mk.) I volunteered and I participated in other club activities, student club activities, and attended the job fairs and obtained an on-campus job.  Pre-MBA, African student female (E.) For me, I got this work permit, so I am looking for a job outside of campus.... Maybe (off campus work) it’s important for getting a job after completing graduation.  Post-bacc, Business, Southern Asian male (B.) Second, students differentiated between theoretical knowledge learned in the classroom and experience acquired through working and saw the work experience enhancing the degree they were obtaining: I have worked for McDonalds for about a year and which I think will be a great work experience for me towards my graduation in business. 2nd year BBA, Southern Asian male (Pu.) Third, gaining Canadian experience through paid work was seen as a key requirement to transitioning to career-related work after graduation. I want experience.  I know that employers doesn’t want to hear this part.  But that’s the main part for finding a job.  4th year Tourism, Eastern Asian female (Tm.) So before graduation, if someone can experience, so that will definitely help to get a job. Post-bacc, Business, Southern Asian male (B.) 128  The lack of Canadian experience, when you want to apply for a job, they expect you to have experience here in Canada, not outside your country Post-bacc, Tourism, Former Eastern Bloc female (Ta.) More than half of the comments about paid work related directly to Co-op.  The remaining comments were divided about evenly between comments on work experience in general, and specific comments about either on-campus or off-campus work experience.  Although participation in a Co-op work term is a form of experiential learning, and thus a type of educational strategy, within the framework of this research it will be discussed as a form of paid Canadian work experience.  The comments from students in the focus groups overwhelmingly spoke about wanting to do Co-op to gain work experience, as opposed wanting to do it to enhance their academic program. International students differentiated Co-op from other paid work as part of their strategies.   Of the 36 mentions of paid work, in response to Q19, half listed Co-op work exclusively, while two others specified both Co-ops and some other type of paid work.  In the focus groups, 59 of the 108 comments relating to paid work included mention of Co-op.  In general, Co-op was seen as a very favorable option: I think they are coming here to Co-op.  Co-op it is a great program for international students to get an experience like on a first step, but it is quite hard to get a job even through Co-op.  1st year Bachelor of Arts (Pre Bachelor of Social Work) Former Eastern Bloc female (Mr.) And then Co-op of course, I saw some international students in my class that participated and they really should because they help international students to go out there and apply for jobs.  2nd year BBA, UANWE male (Nk.) 129  Students valued the assistance the Co-op program provided in finding career-related positions including the pre-Co-op work term course, assistance from Co-op coordinators with resume and interview preparation, and access to job postings from employers both locally and nationally.  Students also valued Co-op because it allowed them to gain career-related work experience and to build a professional network, both locally and outside the city where their post-secondary institution was located.   Students saw Co-op employers as being able to provide career-related work after graduation, in contrast to on-campus or off-campus employers, which were typically entry level service industry positions, and were not mentioned as places of potential future employment: Co-op.  Because it is work, working for 4 months.  Actually, it is somewhat better because you can try different stuff that you wouldn’t settle for but you can just try. 4th year BBA, Former Eastern Bloc male (Mk.) I was only thinking about Co-op programs, so yeah.  Because, my friends use it.  Maybe, good opportunities, not only <city name>, but somewhere else.  For example, my friend goes to Toronto next semester.  And one of my friends is in Calgary now for Co-op program.  1st year BBA, Former Eastern Bloc female (A.) It’s not just about studying it’s the Co-op really, the work experience and providing, the network experience. It’s a really good link between the students and the employers because the <post-secondary institution>Career Service Department helps Students to seek opportunities in work for 8 months or 12 months which is really good experience. And after students graduate, those employers come back and they ask you for permanent job if they like your work.   2nd year BBA, Southern Asian male (Pu.) 130  Nineteen of 20 focus group participants mentioned Co-op in their comments, even though only five of the 20 focus group participants were currently Co-op students, and only one of the five had already completed previous Co-op work terms.  Another four students were in programs which offered Co-op but were not currently in Co-op. Of the 19, all but one spoke favorably of Co-op.  The ten students in programs where Co-op was not offered as an option all stated they would want to participate in it if the option was available to them.  Co-op has limitations, meaning although favored by most students, not all students participated in Co-op.  First, at the post-secondary institution where the study was conducted, Co-op was available to some but not all Bachelor programs, and one diploma program.  Co-op was not available in other Bachelor and diploma programs, nor in any post-Baccalaureate and Masters programs.   So I also want to join the Co-op program but my program also doesn’t have a Co-op program, so I had to find a job and I went to the career center but still I don’t know how to get the job.  I don’t know what I should ask.  What is a question for it?  Post-bacc, Business, Eastern Asian female (J.) Co-op has admission requirements (typically grade point average) and typically extends the time period of the academic program 4 to 12 months longer.  Students are also restricted to when they can do Co-op work terms. For me, it was a problem that you can graduate with a Co-op term because otherwise, I would have done a third one, and now I can only do two and I don’t know why, what the reason for that was, I am sure they had one.  But ya, with more Co-op opportunities with more flexibility, then you can gain even more work experience. 2nd year BBA, UANWE male (Nk.) 131  Finally, while an international student might be admitted to a Co-op program, a Co-op job is not a guarantee.  Also, while the Co-op jobs are paid, international students must pay academic fees to participate in Co-op, which can be seen as a barrier to some students.  The first example below is a student who could do Co-op but choose not to, while the second example is a student who would have liked to do Co-op, but was not able to in their program of study: I know a lot of people have talked about Co-op or even think about it.  Even myself.  But I ended up refusing it because of my situation.  Not everyone come here is super rich.   Like we have a financial debt where parents can only pay for your four years.   That’s it. If join the Co-op, we have to waste a semester and also pay for the Co-op and that is a lot of, like, most of my friends talk about this.  It is one of the problems.  Like we couldn’t waste our tuition. We have to finish it in four years for our degree.  So people are kind of refusing even if they think it is probably opportunity and then they think “Oh, Co-op doesn’t guarantee a job, why would you join?”  Like that is what their questions is.  Even people, my friend who already joined it, he thinks that um, yeah, he doesn’t think it’s guaranteed thing, and not willing to waste time on it.  Yep.   4th year Tourism, Eastern Asian female (Tm.) It’s a bit difficult for post-bacc students as they don’t have the option of doing Co-op.   That is why those students they struggle more than bachelor degree students   because all they can do is  apply for the off campus work permit after they study here more than six months and then to get their post graduate permit and then apply for job.  Which means that prior to applying for job they have to volunteer as much as possible, just to get people notice you.  Post-bacc, Tourism, Former Eastern Bloc female (Ta.) 132  Co-op jobs typically pays higher than non-Co-op jobs, however only one student mentioned earning money as one of the reasons they wanted to obtain Co-op work, whereas one other student stated earning money was not a reason they wanted to work, regardless of whether it was Co-op, on-campus or off-campus.  Students who had on-campus or off-campus work stated employers such as Tim Horton’s or McDonalds, as compared to Co-op employers such as Blackberry, Syncrude, major hotels and major financial institutions. There were also comments on the desire to work, but limitations of the type of work international students could do during their studies. That’s my 2nd semester at <post-secondary institution>, and I took 2 ESL courses in the previous semester and that means that  I can’t work right now because I don’t have my work permit outside the campus.  1st year BBA, Former Eastern Bloc female (A.) I think if I had more opportunity to work on campus like as the part time job, as human resources is a good idea.  1st year BBA, Former Eastern Bloc female (A.) Finally, a number of students raised concerns that even with Canadian work experience, employers would still prefer Canadians. To be honest, I think some employers still only looking for Canadians, even if they accept your resume, even if they interview you.  But they will, the first pile on the top is Canadian.  4th year Tourism, Eastern Asian female (Tm.)  5.3.6 Strategies Related to Canadian Volunteer Experience Respondents to the on-line survey ranked Canadian volunteer experience fourth in importance as a factor to obtaining career-related work (Table 19) with 43.1% of respondents ranking “my Canadian volunteer experience” as “Very important”, and 30.2% as “Important”.  133  The sum of these values, 73.3%, is comparable to responses for “my Canadian paid work experience”.  While ranked lower than English skills, Canadian education and Canadian paid work experience, volunteering was the most frequent response to on-line survey question Q19, “Since coming to <post-secondary institution> what have you done which you think will help you find career-related work in Canada after graduation?  If you do not know, answer “Do not know”.  Specifically, 43 of 98 who had a response to Q21 specified volunteering.  Six of these 43 respondents as well as one other individual also specified they were active in one or more student clubs.  Two-thirds (2/3) of the on-line respondents specified they had done some type of volunteering during their time at the post-secondary institution with one –half (1/2) stating they had done two types or more of volunteering.  Students most frequently volunteered with a club (31%), other group at the post-secondary institution (42%) or the institution’s international department (31%).  About 31% also volunteered off campus. In the focus groups, fifteen 15 of the 20 participants mentioned volunteering within 42 of their comments while five of the 20 participants never mentioned volunteering.  There were a number of reasons the 15 focus group participants gave for why volunteering was important.  First, a number of students in the focus groups cited limitations of working off campus as the reason they choose to volunteer.   I volunteer ...you can’t work off campus unless you are here for more than 6 months, so I would then do volunteer in finance related industry so that I will get like a feel of how the Canadian finance industry is.  Pre-MBA, African student female (E.) All they can do is apply for the off campus work permit after they study here more than six months and then to get their post graduate permit and then apply for job.  Which 134  means that prior to applying for job they have to volunteer as much as possible, just to get people notice you.  Post-bacc, Tourism, Former Eastern Bloc female (Ta.) It would be good to have some partnerships with businesses within Kamloops for volunteering for students who don’t have the off campus work permit so they can gain work experience and they also can recommend themselves for future.  Post-bacc, Tourism, Former Eastern Bloc female (Ta.) Prior to 2014, an international student must have been a full-time student for at least six of the 12 months proceeding to be eligible for an off-campus work permit (Shen & Herr, 2004; Thomas, 2003, 2006).  Individual schools could also impose further restrictions.  For the post-secondary institution where the research was performed, an off campus work permit was not available for newly arrived students, students enrolled in English as a Second language courses, or for students who had a low grade point average.  Prior to 2014, international students would have still been eligible for paid, on-campus work, but the number of on-campus positions at any post-secondary institution is limited.   As of 2014, an international student at a Canadian post-secondary institution will be eligible to work both on and off campus for the duration of her or his study permit (Chiswick & Miller, 2003), suggesting this reason given by international students for volunteering would disappear. However, there were other reasons, aside from ineligibility to work off campus which the international students in the focus groups gave for wanting to volunteer.  For a nursing student, a social work student and a tourism student, volunteering gave them career-related experience which would benefit them in obtaining career-related work after graduation: I have been volunteering at the hospital and I have been taking courses at school, like here and then they provide me with opportunity to do my practicum at the hospital to get 135  some experience and I have like um, created a resume with an assistant of the Career Department at <post-secondary institution>.  2nd year Nursing, Eastern Asian female (K.) It’s all about volunteering for me for social worker and probably the most important for me is volunteering.  1st year Bachelor of Arts (Pre Bachelor of Social Work) Former Eastern Bloc female (Mr.) I want to get work as like event marketing or promotion, so I try to find some volunteering for event management or something like that, ya.  1st year Bachelor of Tourism Management, Eastern Asian female (H.) A number of students in the focus groups specified volunteering, including through student clubs and activities, would help them build a valuable social network with others which would help them transition to employment after graduation: And then maybe student clubs, the international student association is good I think.  I am not in there but I could imagine that they have good contacts with the city and maybe through the student clubs get into contact with employers.  And then volunteering, there are so many opportunities to volunteer somewhere.  And through volunteering get in contact with employers as well.  2nd year BBA, UANWE male (Nk.) One thing would be to build a network, like to know people, like sometimes your friends or your professors could be the ones to tell you what to do, like they could give you advices. ... Volunteering and one-to-one so you can build networks.  Post-bacc, Business, Southern Asian male (Su.) Volunteering more and try to get more social network within the city, at least within the city because the way people recommend you, it will play a huge role when you apply for a job.  Post-bacc, Tourism, Former Eastern Bloc female (Ta.) 136  Students also mentioned the importance of learning more about Canadian culture and ways of doing things through volunteering:   For me I think volunteer is best way to get Canadian culture and the best way to get opportunity work in Canada.  Pre-MBA, Eastern Asian female (G.) Of course, it’s like it’s opposite you are going to be more like of course studying but also discover the community, the way of life, the career options and how it works in Canada.  That is why you should more concentrate to at least to get some experience of the job, like volunteering to be, to feel the Canada, to understand Canada, in Canada.  1st year Bachelor of Arts (Pre Bachelor of Social Work) Former Eastern Bloc female (Mr.) Students cited volunteering as important as a means of gaining experience, as well as demonstrating their skills to others.  They also saw volunteering as a way of obtaining a reference, or of being seen favorably by future employers.  For some, volunteering was seen as a type of work which would be valued by others. Volunteer. ...  Just because I want to have the reference and experience.  2nd year Nursing, Eastern Asian female (K.) Like getting some experience with Co-op or internship and doing some volunteer work, so that they become more, like look good to the um employers.  Huge.  1st year BBA, Former Eastern Bloc female (A.) The students saw volunteering as a way to get off-campus and interact with the wider community. The way of getting the volunteering I think everybody have a first year of volunteering in Canada or campus.  It helps you like help this step and maybe after you are coming out of 137  campus.  1st year Bachelor of Arts (Pre Bachelor of Social Work) Former Eastern Bloc female (Mr.) And also volunteer within the city, not just on the campus, but in the city as well. Post-bacc, Tourism, Former Eastern Bloc female (Ta.) Finally students saw volunteering as a way of proving to themselves that they had the necessary skills to succeed in the Canadian labour market. Also volunteering, I think at least it is a good thing to establish yourself in yourself’s mind, just to prove to yourself that, okay, I can do this.   I can reduce this language barrier, barrier or this psychological barrier, when you’re in another country with another people with the people from other countries, so that’s the way it is.  3rd year BBA, Former Eastern Bloc male (I.)  5.3.7 Strategies Related to Relationships International student made use of relationships in three main ways as part of their strategy for transitioning to career-related work in the Canadian labour market after graduation.  First, students wanted to build a network of relationships which could provide links to employment opportunities.    Second, students wanted to make use of their relationships with people who could provide information such as potential employers, job opportunities, labour market information and career skills such as how to write a resume, how to do an interview, or how to build a professional network. Third, students wanted relationships with people who could provide references. Approximately 60% of students ranked either “Very Important” or “Important” relationships with three groups as a factor important in obtaining career-related work in Canada 138  (Table 19): faculty or staff they know, others they know at the post-secondary institution, and others in Canada not at the post-secondary institution.  Meanwhile, only about 40% of students similarly ranked people outside Canada.  In response to Q19, there were 25 students who made comments related to relationships, such as “going to networking event”, “create a network”, “connected with my education program; to meet people involved in adventure tourism”, “getting a Co-op in area of my interest and making relations with people in my organization”, “making friends and trying to improve English”, with terms “network” and “connect” used half the time.  Students ranked how well they and others knew each other, as well as how likely the student would be to ask for help for their career from the those individuals (Table 20 and Table 21).   Respondents most often ranked three groups as being ones whom they and others knew each other “To a great extent”: “friend and acquaintance at <post-secondary institution>”, “a fellow class mate”, or “a friend or family member not in Canada”, but only about 1/3 of students indicated it would be “Very Likely” they would ask for help in preparing for their career (Table 20 and Table 21).   Students most often to indicated “Very Likely” they would ask help from their international student advisor, a faculty member in their program of study, or a student employment coordinator Table 20 and Table 21).  Of these 45% stated they knew their international student advisor “To a great extent”, while only 35% and 16% respectively stated the same for a faculty member in their program of student or a student employment coordinator, suggesting there were other factors other than the amount the students and others knew each other influencing who the students would ask for help.     139   The following people and I know each other this well. To a great extent Somewhat Very little Not at all Total N % N % N % N % N At least one <post-secondary institution> faculty member in my program area 71 35% 83 41% 32 16% 16 8% 202 At least one <post-secondary institution> faculty member in another program area 35 17% 88 44% 44 22% 35 17% 202 A <post-secondary institution> Co-op Coordinator 32 16% 45 22% 45 22% 80 40% 202 A <post-secondary institution> Student Employment Coordinator (Career Education Department) 33 16% 49 24% 47 23% 73 36% 202 My <post-secondary institution> International Student Advisor 91 45% 72 36% 30 15% 9 4% 202 A <post-secondary institution> Academic Advisor 57 28% 86 43% 41 20% 18 9% 202 A member of the <post-secondary institution> student club or sport group I am in 55 27% 54 27% 36 18% 57 28% 202 A fellow class mate 102 50% 73 36% 18 9% 9 4% 202 A friend or acquaintance at <post-secondary institution> 100 50% 74 37% 16 8% 12 6% 202 A current or former employer (Co-op, on-campus or off-campus) 48 24% 51 25% 35 17% 68 34% 202 A Non-<post-secondary institution> person I have met at career related events (e.g. <post-secondary institution> Accounting Night, <post-secondary institution> Job Fair, CIPA, HRMA) 25 12% 56 28% 51 25% 70 35% 202 A Non-<post-secondary institution> Person I have met through a non-<post-secondary institution> activity (e.g. ethnic association, sports, spouse's work) 36 18% 66 33% 45 22% 55 27% 202 A friend or family member in Canada who does not go to <post-secondary institution> 79 39% 51 25% 26 13% 46 23% 202 My home stay family or landlord 51 25% 47 23% 38 19% 66 33% 202 A friend or family member not in Canada 110 54% 44 22% 25 12% 23 11% 202 Table 20: How well respondents know individuals    140  If I needed help preparing for my career, I would ask the following people for help Very likely Somewhat likely Not likely Never Total N % N % N % N % N At least one <post-secondary institution> Faculty member in my program area 97 48% 77 38% 21 10% 7 3% 202 At least one <post-secondary institution> Faculty member in another program area 52 26% 88 44% 44 22% 18 9% 202 A <post-secondary institution> Co-op coordinator 80 40% 67 33% 32 16% 23 11% 202 A <post-secondary institution> Student Employment Coordinator (Career Education Department) 91 45% 65 32% 21 10% 25 12% 202 My <post-secondary institution> International student advisor 100 50% 69 34% 20 10% 13 6% 202 A <post-secondary institution> Academic advisor 83 41% 71 35% 30 15% 18 9% 202 A member of <post-secondary institution> student club or sport group I am in 47 23% 74 37% 42 21% 39 19% 202 A fellow class mate 74 37% 87 43% 25 12% 16 8% 202 A friend or acquaintance at <post-secondary institution> 70 35% 95 47% 22 11% 15 7% 202 A current or former employer (Co-op, on-campus or off-campus) 59 29% 81 40% 37 18% 25 12% 202 A Non-<post-secondary institution> person I have met at career related events (e.g. <post-secondary institution> Accounting Night, <post-secondary institution> Job Fair, CIPS, HRMA) 52 26% 83 41% 34 17% 33 16% 202 A Non-<post-secondary institution> person I have met through a non-<post-secondary institution> activity (e.g. ethnic association, sports, spouse’s work ) 52 26% 78 39% 37 18% 35 17% 202 A friend or family member in Canada who does not go to <post-secondary institution> 71 35% 73 36% 28 14% 30 15% 202 My home stay family or landlord 47 23% 55 27% 43 21% 57 28% 202 A friend or family member not in Canada 73 36% 64 32% 34 17% 31 15% 202 Table 21: Likelihood of asking those individuals (Table 20) for help 141   For every type of relationship, the more a student and another individual know each other, the more likely the student is to state they would ask the other individual for help with their career.  There are significant relationships between familiarity with various individuals (Q23.1) and likelihood another individual would be asked for help (Q23.2) (Appendix I: Question 23 Correlations).  For the most part, there is a significant correlation between a student’s plans to stay in Canada after graduation (Q15.2) and familiarity with various individuals who are in Canada (Q23.1).  That is, students who are planning on staying in Canada after graduation (Q15.2) are more likely to indicate they and other individuals in Canada (whether at the institution or off campus) know each other “Somewhat” or “To a great extent”(Q23.1).     142    Plans to stay in Canada after graduation How well does student and others know each other Pearson’s Chi-Square Test Sig (2-tailed) My International Student Advisor **24.84 .003 At least one <post-secondary institution> Faculty member in my program area *21.00 .013 A <post-secondary institution> Student Employment Coordinator (Career Education Department) 15.48 >.050 A <post-secondary institution> Academic Advisor **28.16 .001 A <post-secondary institution> Co-op Coordinator 8.23 >.050 A fellow classmate *18.07 .034 A friend or family member not in Canada 8.50 >.050 A friend or acquaintance at <post-secondary institution> **24.38 .004 A friend or family member in Canada who does not go to <post-secondary institution> 7.95 >.050 A current or former employer (Co-op, on-campus or off-campus) **23.22 .006 At least one <post-secondary institution> Faculty member in another program area *21.38 .011 A non-<post-secondary institution> person I have met at career related events (e.g. <post-secondary institution> Accounting Night, <post-secondary institution> Job Fair, CIPS, HRMA) 7.74 >.050 A non-<post-secondary institution> person I have met through a non-<post-secondary institution> activity (e.g. ethnic association, sports, spouse’s work) 7.95 >.050 A member of <post-secondary institution> student club or sport group I am in **26.39 .002 My home stay family or landlord 11.70 >.050 Note. * P < .05; ** P < .01; *** P < .001 Table 22: How well respondents know others and plans to stay in Canada, N=178. Focus group participants specified many ways they made use of relationships.  The first strategy was building a social network.  Even though as focus group facilitator, I did not ask any 143  questions about relationships in general, or building a network specifically, until more than half way through each focus group session, 13 of the 20 participants, sometimes multiple times, discussed the importance of building a network prior to any questions being asked on relationships or networks.  They saw the benefits of building networks both on and off-campus and having a weak network as a barrier to entering the Canadian labour market.   Make good networks in and outside of <post-secondary institution> or in the Canadian workplace. 2nd year BBA, Southern Asian male (Pu.) I think the social relations are important in terms of the career development too because if you know someone and someone just introduce you a job, that might enhance the probability of getting it. 2nd year Nursing, Eastern Asian female (K.) I heard in Canada it is very important to connection when we get the job.  So we still have a small connection, but it is not to, it is not enough to get a job related to my major or something. Post-bacc, Business, Eastern Asian female (J.) You need to network, you need to look for opportunity yourself and help yourself.  ‘Cause Canada is more individualism.  You should either, if you want something, you help yourself.  4th year Tourism, Eastern Asian female (Tm.) In order to link to employment opportunities, students saw the value of building a network of relationships primarily with faculty, advisors, and friends as well as people they met through volunteering, Co-op work experiences, and employers at job fairs.  Maybe one more thing, sometimes I get emails from International Advisors here at <post-secondary institution>.  And sometimes they give some information about jobs offered somewhere.  (Yes, I’ve gotten one too) (Me too) (Me too).  1st year BBA, Former Eastern Bloc female (A.) 144  One things would be to build a network, like to know people, like sometimes your friends or your professors could be the ones to tell you what to do, like they could give you advices....Volunteering and one-to-one so you can build networks. Post-bacc, Business, Southern Asian male (Su.) It’s not just about studying it’s the Co-op really, it’s the work experience and providing, the network experience. It’s a really good link between the students and the employers.  2nd year BBA, Southern Asian male (Pu.) So first, thing, a lot of international students should or they already attend job fair, because that is where you get contact with employers, the local employers as well.  2nd year BBA, UANWE male (Nk.) While students in the focus groups mentioned a host of other people such as faculty members in their programs, their international student advisors, their friends, people they met through volunteering, and employers who they met at various career-related events as being important links to employers, there was a decided lack of mention of the career education department members (as in student employment coordinators and Co-op coordinators) being part of students’ strategy of building up a network.  Rather, the primary role of the career education department was to provide “how-to” skills, in the form of resume writing, cover letters, interview skills, as well as “how to look for a job in Canada”, as well as source of information, including job postings, information on work visas, and Canadian labour market information.   Career education department probably in general I am going to ask about some general question about career, how to do resume. 1st year Bachelor of Arts (Pre Bachelor of Social Work) Former Eastern Bloc female (Mr.) 145  There were events, such as the job fair, mentoring programs and networking events, which the career education department organized, which students specified as being important places for connecting with people, however the career education department coordinators themselves were not identified as being the individuals the students wanted to connect with. I think <post-secondary institution> Career Education Department has a Co-op education program for tourism, business, IT and those are really good opportunities because they help you connect with the employers and get a good job and good experience.  Not only after, within the studies, but also after graduation, these Co-op workers, those employers come back and they take you in. 2nd year BBA, Southern Asian male (Pu.) While students most frequently stated they would ask student employment coordinators and Co-op coordinators from the career education department for career information and advice, they made use of other relationships as well. The international advisor gave me some information on how to find a job in Canada. 1st year Bachelor of Tourism Management, Eastern Asian female (H.) They (ISAs) help with your visa and your legal status work.  But, I really don’t think they provide career-related work, I mean advice or anything. Post-bacc, Business, Southern Asian male (Su.) I take a class and our instructor talk about how to get a job or, and he also invite some speaker from how to say, get a job related to human resources. Post-bacc, Business, Eastern Asian female (J.) What I have done so far is I talked to the families and friends and professors who are in nursing that know more.   2nd year Nursing, Eastern Asian female (K.) 146  Help or career opportunities often came from others rather than by the students seeking out information or assistance: Also having good relationships with professors can also help, because in Tourism department professors, they often say “this resort hires students, this resort hires students” so it is good to know instructors and they will give you good advice.   Post-bacc, Tourism, Former Eastern Bloc female (Ta.) They go to parties, that is very important.  It’s like I cannot understate the importance of a party.  Parties can find me a job. 4th year BBA, Former Eastern Bloc male (Mk.) Eight of the 20 focus group members specified the importance of utilizing relationships to obtain references, which they saw as being important to obtaining career-related work in Canada.  Students wanted references from faculty members who had taught them, and people they met through volunteering and work.  Not having someone to ask for a work reference was seen as a barrier. How about the, like, references from your professors?   It can proof that you are competent of doing something. 2nd year Nursing, Eastern Asian female (K.) Focus group members also relied on their strong ties to assist in understanding Canadian culture. Friends and family in Canada.  The cultural differences, they show you how people live in Canada and what their culture is, and maybe do some sightseeing with you, or trips where you kind of learn the Canadian culture.   2nd year BBA, UANWE male (Nk.) Some focus group members felt their connections in Canada along with Canadian-focused skills would make it difficult to return to their home country. I am studying tourism, if I go back to home in Hong Kong, I don’t know what to do... And I think I am out of connection in Hong Kong already.  Like, as they said, after you 147  been here four years, you have more connections here. 4th year Tourism, Eastern Asian female (Tm.) 5.4 Use of Post-Secondary Career Services The fourth research question is to understand students’ use of the post-secondary institution’s career services as part of their strategy to acquire various types of capital.  Data is drawn primarily from on-line survey questions Q19, and Q24, along with responses from the focus groups.  Respondents to the on-line survey ranked use of their post-secondary institution’s career education department services as the fifth most important factor in getting career-related work in Canada, with 36.2%  respondents ranking this factor“ Very important”, and 33.2%  as “Important” (Table 19).  For both on-line survey respondents and focus group participants, Co-op was the most frequently mentioned service.  Of the 98 of 202 on-line survey respondents who specified things they had done which would help them obtain career-related work in Canada after graduation (Q19), 28 specified using career education department services, with 20 of these naming Co-op (2 of these also specified attending a job fair).  Four of the remaining 8 specified they attended a job fair, while 7 of these same 8 specified a range of services from mentoring programs, networking events, one-on-one appointments and workshops.   As well, the survey asked which of a number of activities a student had done during their time at the post-secondary institution, and how important these activities were in preparing for their career after graduation.  A range of career services were ranked either “Very Important” or “Important” by 63% to 84% of respondents, with 13% to 66% of respondents having partaken one or more times in each of the type of career education department services listed.  Web based services were ranked highest; about two-thirds (2/3) respondents specified they had accessed job postings and career information on the institution’s website with four-fifths (4/5) stating this was “Very Important” 148  or “Important” to preparing for their career.  About half (1/2) of respondents specified they had attended a workshop, visited the career education department, or met with an employment coordinator, while four-fifths (4/5) still ranked these activities as “Very Important” or “Important”.  Although only 9 of 202 specified attending job fair was something they had done which they thought would help in finding career-related work in Canada after graduation (Q19), half (1/2) of the respondents stated they had attended a job fair one or more times, and three-quarters (3/4) ranked the activity “Very Important” or “Important” to preparing for their career.   About one-quarter (1/4) had either applied, been accepted or done a Co-op work term, while almost three-quarters (3/4) stated it was “Very Important” or “Important” to preparing for their career. There is a significant correlation between students who have used a career service or program at the post-secondary institution (Q24.1) and their perceived importance of the career-related activity in a student’s plans for their career (Q24.2).  This is true for all of the activities which were listed in Q24 with Pearson Correlation values ranging from 0.216 to 0.465 with correlations significant to the 0.01 level (2-tailed).  There is also a significant correlation between the perceived importance of career-related activities (Q24.2) and plans to stay in Canada after graduation (Q15.2).  That is, students who indicated they were planning on staying in Canada are more likely to rank career-related activities as an important part of preparing for a career after graduation (Appendix J: Question 24 Correlations). In the focus groups, the Co-op program was mentioned more frequently than any other service, about 60 times.   Aside from Co-op, which was discussed in a previous section, the career education department services the focus group participants discussed most frequently were the post-secondary institution’s job fair, assistance with resume, cover letter and interview 149  preparation, Career Education Department workshops, meeting with an individual coordinator, and the departmental mentorship program.  While accessing job postings and career information on the institution’s website-line were ranked highly by on-line survey respondents, focus group participants mentioned web resources very infrequently. Focus group members mentioned job fairs about 40 times, with 12 students specifically stating they had attended job fairs as part of their strategy, and another 6 mentioning job fairs, but not stating they had specifically attended.  Students gave a number of reasons to attend the job fairs.  First, students saw the job fair as a way to become familiar with different companies and different career options.  Second, students see the job fair as a way to connect with potential future graduate employers. Third, students said the job fair was a way to learn the process of how companies hire employees. Attending Job Fair just to get familiar with future career opportunities.  Post-bacc, Tourism, Former Eastern Bloc female (Ta.) I have attended <institution’s> Job Fairs in 2011 and 2012 in March which, uh, where I have talked to employers all over Canada and I think that I can get a job with one of those employers.  2nd year BBA, Southern Asian male (Pu.) Today’s there are not a lot of the people that are hiring, the companies and how, how is the process of hiring, hard to learn. Post-bacc, Business, Southern Asian male (B.) A lot of international students should or they already attend job fair, because that is where you get contact with employers, the local employers as well.  2nd year BBA, UANWE male (Nk.) Some students had criticism for the job fair.  Four students felt the jobs were too focused on jobs for business students at the expense of students from other programs. Another student wanted 150  more global companies in attendance who might want to recruit international students because of their global competencies and multiple languages.  A number of students wanted more jobs available and a larger job fair. I don’t think a job fair help to everybody because I went to job fair and I just disappointed because they just have jobs positions for some business.  My major is tourism, right?  So, I didn’t get any idea from there. 1st year Bachelor of Tourism Management, Eastern Asian female (H.) It is true of the job fair, I think there are not enough like multinational corporations where your strength in your language because you speak two language fluently or in the best case three or four.   That’s where like in multinational corporations are looking for that because they have to interact with customers from Europe, from Africa, from Asia, from all over the world and I think that is where we really find our niche to get in.  2nd year BBA, UANWE male (Nk.) Focus group members mentioned using the career education department for assistance in writing resumes, cover letters and interview preparation with an equivalent number of times as job fair, with mentions of help with resumes making up well over half of the mentions.  Focus group members wanted help “creating”, “checking” and “fixing” their resume and cover letters, and to make their resume “stand out” with employers.  The difference between a Canadian and non-Canadian resume were mentioned, and the importance of having a resume which met Canadian standards in terms of format and content.  Students mentioned asking the career education department for assistance in doing mock interviews, and providing tips on how to behave in an interview.  Within the focus groups, the career education department was mentioned exclusively in providing assistance with resumes, cover letters and interview preparation.   151  Students in the focus groups also accessed the career education department for host of other reasons including assistance on “how to find a job in Canada”, information on the labour market,  information on work visas, advice on what type of career to pursue, how to find out or research job opportunities and creating a career plan.  The Career Education Department, I know it was, like, went there for help with their resume, myself I’ve gone there.  Student employment coordinator, the first thing was the job search, like the basic steps on where to look and what is to be done.  And, second, they kind of advice on, focusing on what or how to focus on career-related work that you’re looking at.  Post-bacc, Business, Southern Asian male (Su.) Students did not use the career education department exclusively for this type of assistance, but also sought out assistance from faculty members in the program, academic advisors, international student advisors, family and friends.  The assistance was sought in three ways from the career education department:  through workshops; in one-on-one appointments; and from the department’s website.  Students saw workshops were seen as a way of gaining general information, first hand experiences of other students, and, when employers were involved, such as networking and mentoring events, to build connections.  Students saw one-on-one appointments as important in gaining information specific to their circumstances.  Students stated they accessed the career services website most often for job postings specifically, as well as upcoming events.  However, students also wanted more information on the website of local part-time job opportunities.  Although both on-line survey respondents and focus group members mentioned accessing information, in general, on creating or changing their resume as part of their strategy, no one specifically mentioned of accessing the website’s resources on resume writing, cover letters or interview preparation.  Students complained it was difficult to get an appointment 152  or an email response from the career education department because it was “too busy”.  While students saw Co-op as providing assistance in finding a job in Canada, not all students accessing non-Co-op career education department services felt they received enough information to know how to find a job in Canada, and ended up seeking help elsewhere. So I also want to join the Co-op program but my program also doesn’t have a Co-op program, so I had to find a job and I went to the career centre but still I don’t know how to get the job.  I don’t know what I should ask.  What is a question for it?  So, I also talked international friends, but some international friends they don’t interested in get a job in here so it is hard to get connection.  Post-bacc, Business, Eastern Asian female (J.) As well, students in some programs with non-Co-op, required work experience felt there was not enough support from the institution in obtaining work experience. Something I don’t understand.  In my major, I have to give 500 hours’ work experience but they don’t provide any program, but I have to get a job right if I want to graduate?  So, I don’t know? 1st year Bachelor of Tourism Management, Eastern Asian female (H.) 5.5 Multifaceted Strategies In the preceding sections, students’ strategies such as English language skills, Canadian education and credentials, Canadian work experience and volunteer experience, post-secondary career services and relationships were presented individually.  However, both in on-line surveys and focus groups, students choose multifaceted strategies.  In the on-line surveys, about 1/3 of the respondents ranked between 9 and 11 of the 11 factors in Q18 as either very important or important, with the almost half of these ranking all 11 factors as very important.  About 1/3 of respondents ranked 6 to 8 of the 11 factors in Q18 as either very important or important.  The remaining 1/3 of respondents ranked 0 to 5 factors as being important or important, with most 153  selecting 3 to 5 factors.  Only 5 of the 202 respondents ranked none of the factors listed in Q18 as “Very Important” or “Important”.  Half of students who specified only one action they had done which they thought would help them find career-related work in Canada after graduation (Q19), while the other half specified between 2 and 7 actions, with most listing 2 or 3.  There is a strong correlation between students who plan to stay (Q15.2) and those students undertaking multiple activities related to the post-secondary institution’s career services (Q24.1) (Table 23).   154  While I was at <post-secondary institution>, I have done the following Plan to stay in Canada after graduation Pearson Correlation Sig. (2-tailed) N Viewed career information at <post-secondary institution> website .238** .003 156 Viewed job postings at <post-secondary institution> website .296** .000 152 Visited <post-secondary institution> Career Education office .197* .013 157 Met with <post-secondary institution> Student Employment Coordinator .272** .001 151 Applied to <post-secondary institution> Co-op program .175* .028 158 Been accepted to <post-secondary institution> Co-op program .148 .067 154 Done one or more <post-secondary institution> Co-op work terms .163* .044 154 Done a practicum or internship in my program of study .215** .008 151 Asked one of my professors for help with my career .119 .131 161 Asked an International Advisor for help with my career .249** .001 164 Asked an Academic Advisor for help with my career .233** .003 165 Gone to a <post-secondary institution> Job Fair .189* .016 161 Volunteered at the <post-secondary institution> Job Fair -.020 .808 156 Attended a workshop, class or course on resume or interview skills .175* .027 159 Attended a job finding club at <post-secondary institution> .133 .101 153 Attended employer even on-campus (e.g. Accounting Night, Delta Hotels) .119 .140 154 Attended a meeting of an off-campus group related to your career path (e.g. CGA, CIPS or HRMA) .127 .117 154 Joined a <post-secondary institution> club related to your career path (e.g. SIFE, BUGS) .048 .561 152 Been a <post-secondary institution> Career Ambassador .165* .040 155 Attended a <post-secondary institution> Employer Mentoring event .146 .069 156 Note. * P < .05; ** P < .01; *** P < .001 Table 23: Respondents’ desire to remain in Canada after graduation and completion of career-related activities.     155  In general, students in focus groups, students also listed multiple strategies: So I joined the Co-op program in <post-secondary institution> and I take some academic competitions in my majors, financial majors.  Also is I volunteers and get a part-time job in Canada. 3rd year BBA, Eastern Asian female (Mi.) I volunteered and I participated in other club activities, student club activities, and attended the job fairs and obtained an on-campus job. Pre-MBA, African student female (E.) As well as having multiple strategies, students often wanted to obtain multiple things from the same strategy.  For example, a student may want to gain off-campus work experience to build up relationships off-campus as well as to improve their English language skills and enhance their resume. In the next section, I will discuss what type of capital (human, social, cultural, symbolic) the students want to acquire based on the strategies they employ.   156  Chapter 6: Linking Strategies to Capital 6.1 Overview In this chapter, the research findings outlined in Chapter Five will be considered within theoretical framework outlined in Chapter Three.  An individual international student arrives at a BC post-secondary institution with human capital including previous non-Canadian education and work experience, as well as some level of English language skills, but little, if any, country specific human capital, little social capital within Canada, little cultural capital, in the form of understanding the Canadian way of doing things, and limited symbolic capital, as assets recognized by the Canadian labour market.  During their time at a BC post-secondary institution, they have the opportunity to gain Canadian academic credentials, as well as work and volunteer experience, and additional language proficiency.  In the proposed theoretical framework, based on an individual’s habitus and bounded agency, an international student will endeavor to acquire human, social, cultural and symbolic capital they think will assist in gaining career-related work after graduation.  As outlined in Chapter Five, there are many activities beyond their academic studies international students in this study considered important in pursuing their goals of career-related work in Canada or elsewhere.  In this chapter, I will discuss students’ strategies to obtain various forms of human, social, cultural and symbolic capital as part of their goal to obtain career-related work in Canada after graduation.  Second, I will discuss the role of the institution’s career services in students’ strategies of acquiring various types of capital. In this research, country specific (i.e. Canadian) human capital was operationalized in the form of English language skills, Canadian education, work and volunteer experiences.  Non-Canadian human capital was operationalized in the form of non-Canadian education and work experience.  Social capital was operationalized as students’ relationships both on and off-157  campus, including relationships with faculty and others at the institution, others in Canada, and, people outside of Canada.  Neither cultural capital nor symbolic capital were specifically operationalized; there were no direct questions about culture or related to symbolic capital asked in either the on-line survey or focus groups.  However, through the inductive data analysis of themes of the focus groups, the hope was data on cultural and symbolic capital would emerge.   6.2 Plans to Stay or Leave The majority of the students clearly demonstrated the desire to seek career-related work in Canada after graduation.  In the on-line survey, 74% strongly agreed or agreed with the statement “I want career-related work in Canada after graduation”.  At the same time, 40% indicated they want to stay in Canada permanently, 15% want to stay from 1 to 3 years, and 21% want to live in both Canada and another country.  There were only 12% who want to leave Canada immediately after graduation and 12% who indicated “I am not sure”.  The students wishing to stay also want to obtain career-related work. . Students are willing to contemplate career-related work in Canada without fully understanding the CEC and PNP programs.  Only one-sixth (1/6) of students indicated they knew “a great deal” about the programs.  One-fourth (1/4) of students “Strongly agree” they plan to apply for the programs.  Hence, for the most part, the students’ plans for career-related work in Canada after graduation might come prior to considering the logistics surrounding permanent residence status.  Students are eligible to work for 3 years prior to gaining permanent residence status, so they may think this is sufficient for the short term.  As well, as noted in the focus groups, the rules for CEC and PNP are constantly changing, so not knowing a great deal is not 158  surprising.  The remainder of the thesis will focus on the students who want to stay and obtain career-related work in Canada after graduation regardless of the programs available for them to stay in Canada.  6.3 Non-Canadian Work Experience and Education On-line respondents ranked non-Canadian education and work experience lowest of all factors except for relationships outside of Canada.  The Canadian human capital was favored over non-Canadian specific capital by on-line respondents despite two-thirds (2/3) of the respondents having some level of post-secondary education and two-thirds (2/3) having some non-Canadian work experience.  The students’ discounting of their non-Canadian education and work experience makes sense given other research findings such as Adamuti-Trache who found earnings of visible minority immigrants with education credentials from countries which are not primarily English or French speaking had significantly lower wages than either non-visible minority immigrants or those educated in United States or the United Kingdom (Adamuti-Trache, 2010).  No respondents to the on-line survey groups made mention of non-Canadian work or education as being part of their strategy (Q19).  Within the focus groups, only one participant made mention of previous non-Canadian work experience as something they thought was significant to their capabilities.  Another student mentioned their previous education but completely dismissed it.  The students were not looking to leverage their previous education or work experience in gaining career-related work in Canada.  Even so, there were frequent mentions of creating a resume, especially with assistance of the post-secondary institution’s career services department.  If a student employment coordinator was assisting, then it would be likely the students’ non-Canadian experience and education would be part of their resumes.  159  Therefore, their non-Canadian work experience or education will still be part of their strategy for finding career-related work in Canada.  6.4 English Language Skills On-line survey respondents ranked English language skills, a form of human capital, as the most important factor in obtaining career-related work in Canada after graduation. International students’ favoring of English language skills as the most important factor for gaining career-related work makes sense given Hiebert’s (2009) findings that well-educated immigrants with little or no English had incomes comparable to immigrants who arrived with just a high school education.  While on-line respondents ranked English language skills highest, their high self-assessment of their English language skills, matched with the very low numbers who specified actions related to improving their language skills, might suggest students felt, while language skills were important, their own skills were sufficient, and thus further action unnecessary.  This was not quite the case in the focus groups.  Focus groups discussed English language skills at about the same frequency as volunteering, though only half as much as Canadian education and Canadian work experience, suggesting an awareness of the importance of improving their English language skills as part of their strategies for obtaining career-related work after graduation.  Focus group participants emphasized the importance of improving their English language skills early in their academic studies, especially through English as a Second Language courses and utilizing the institution’s writing center afterwards.  Outside of ESL courses however, academic courses were rarely cited as a means of gaining further English language skill, partly because focus group participants did not see English language skills acquired through their academic classes as sufficient to transition to the 160  Canadian labour market.  Rather, students in focus groups repeatedly identified strategies of increasing their English language skills outside of the classroom through work experience, volunteer experience, and friendships with others not from their country or language group.   Focus groups did not just see English language skills as only human capital but also symbolic and cultural capital as well.  Students identified the importance of accumulating credentials as proof of English language proficiency, a form of symbolic capital, than the actual abilities to use English.   Culturally based Canadian communication skills was one of the most frequently mentioned types of cultural capital by students in the focus groups.  While linked to English language skills, the ability to communicate effectively in Canada went beyond language.  There were repeated mentions of speaking to Canadians, both on-campus and off-campus as the way to improve not only their English language skills, but also as a way of gaining an understanding of how Canadians communicated.  Focus group participants most often mentioned workplace interactions, volunteering, classroom group work, and friendships with Canadians as ways they improved their English speaking and listening skills and gained an understanding of how to communicate effectively with Canadians.   Students’ wanted to improve their English writing skills to reflect Canadian norms by utilizing the institution’s career services to learn how to write a “Canadian” resume.  Students spoke of learning how to interact with their Canadian peers in class projects.  But in many cases, the students stated culturally based Canadian communication skills were best learnt outside of the classroom, in social situations, in the Canadian work place or while volunteering.  Off-campus paid work (including Co-op) and volunteer experience were seen as a better way, than in the classroom, for learning how to communicate effectively in Canada.  One student stated the importance of getting off the “campus bubble” to improve 161  communication skills.  On the other hand, not obtaining sufficient English language skills, linked with cultural understanding was seen as a barrier to the labour market. Hence, international students identified the importance of cultural capital in their strategies, and how they worked to acquire it.  “Canadian” English skills, especially the way Canadians communicate, and more broadly understanding the ways things are done in Canada, were identified as important in their strategies to transition to the Canadian labour market.    6.5 Canadian Education and Other Canadian Credentials International students favoured human capital in the form of Canadian education over non-Canadian education credentials as a factor they thought was important to getting career-related work in Canada.  This parallels Adamuti-Trachi’s findings showing 46% of adult immigrants pursue some form of post-secondary education within 4 years of immigrating to Canada.   Further, principal applicants in the skilled class, who would be expected to already have non-Canadian post-secondary credentials, had an even higher participation in post-secondary education with a rate of 60% (Hiebert, 2009, p.83), suggesting well-educated immigrants see obtaining further education in Canada as an important strategy for transitioning to the Canadian labour market.   While Canadian education was ranked highly in this study, few of the on-line respondents or focus group participants mentioned specific knowledge or skills they wanted to gain through their education which would assist them in obtaining career-related work.  Rather, the bulk of the comments related to symbolic capital in the form of credentials students wanted to earn such as high GPAs or credentials for specific professions, such as accounting.  Other comments around courses focused on social capital such as social relationships students could obtain with 162  professors and professors’ contacts.  Finally, students say academic courses as a way to acquiring cultural capital by gaining an understanding of Canadian culture through class group projects with Canadian students.  The specific course which was mentioned the most frequently was a non-credit Leadership course which focuses on giving students experiences in leadership roles within the post-secondary institution.  The next most frequently mentioned course was a Service Learning course which gives students experiential learning opportunities in their field of study on and off-campus.  For both these courses, the students looked at gaining cultural capital in ways Canadians manage groups as well as social capital through relationships.  When other courses within a program of study were mentioned, it was in the context of specific experiences within the classroom, such as gaining communication skills through group work, and learning about labour market opportunities from guest speakers. Experiential learning opportunities, including Co-op, Leadership courses, Service learning and practicums, as well as class group project work were seen as key to building international students’ cultural capital, including Canadian communication styles, social capital, in terms of relationships both on and off-campus, and symbolic capital, in the form of “Canadian” experience.  Although for students who took on Canadian cultural ways of doing, there was also a fear it would be difficult to go back to their home country, but at the same time, a belief this cultural capital would make it easier to transition to the Canadian labour market. In terms of education, international students wanted to gain symbolic capital through Canadian educational credentials.  Despite two-thirds (2/3) of respondents having some form of non-Canadian post-secondary education prior to coming to Canada, on-line respondents ranked non-Canadian post-secondary education second lowest as a factor to obtaining Canadian work after graduation, while at the same time ranking Canadian education second highest in importance 163  (Table 19).  Students believed Canadian credentials to have much higher symbolic capital than non-Canadian credentials in the Canadian labour market.  Second, along with degrees and diplomas, Canadian education was seen as providing other types of symbolic capital through credentials such as grade point average, supplementary credentials such as Leadership certificates, and achievement in academic competitions.  Many students felt if they could achieve a high grade point average (GPA), it would assist in overcoming the barrier to the labour market of being a non-Canadian.  Third, the students saw education providing the ability to create symbolic capital through their relationship with faculty members, who could provide references, which were seen as a way of proving competency.  While the students valued Canadian educational credentials in general, they also considered the relative value of the ranking of their institution compared to other larger, and internationally ranked Canadian post-secondary institutions.  One student raised concerns employers doing international business would be more likely to seek hiring international students from larger, higher ranked post-secondary schools.  This same student also raised concerns about whether the post-secondary institution reputation would hinder their ability to acquire work outside of Canada:  6.6 Canadian Paid Work Experience The international students favored their Canadian work experience over their non-Canadian work experience as a factor they thought was important to obtaining career-related work in Canada.  This is a reasonable strategy given the conclusion of Oreopoulos that employers favor foreign born applicants with Canadian work experience.  For applicants with only foreign education, employer callback rates rose from 5% to 8% when applicants had one previous job at a company in Canada (Oreopoulos, 2009, p.38). 164  The international students wanted to acquire symbolic capital was through gaining Canadian work experience.  Despite comparable numbers of respondents having worked inside and outside Canada, on-line respondents ranked Canadian work experience higher in importance than non-Canadian work experience.  Gaining Canadian work experience prior to the completion of an academic program was seen as key to gaining career-related work after graduation.    The work could be part-time, in the service sector, such as at Tim Horton’s, or full-time, career-related, such as through Co-op.  While focus group participants clearly differentiated and favored work available through Co-op programs from other types of work, there was little evidence the cachet of “Co-op” was considered to be symbolic capital.  Rather it was because of the nature of the work, and the relationships the work gained the students available through Co-op, as opposed to the type of work or types of relationships afforded through on-campus or off-campus work. Students in the focus groups spoke of getting career-related work after graduation as a competition.  The students wanted to acquire symbolic capital to make themselves more competitive, especially to prove competence in academic subjects, competence to speak “Canadian” English, and competence to work in a Canadian work place. Canadian work experience was also seen as a way to counter another type of symbolic capital, which international students stated they had no way of gaining in the short term: being Canadian.  A number of students voiced concerns employers are more inclined to hire Canadian students over international students, so that they would need to work harder to be hired for a position.   6.7 Canadian Volunteer Experience Volunteering was seen in a similar way as experiential learning opportunities, as a way for students to gain social, cultural and human capital.  The majority of students’ comments 165  focused on relationships they could develop, the opportunities to learn “Canadian” ways of doing things, and skills they could gain.  The social capital they wanted to gain from volunteering was limited to “building up one’s resume”.  Familiarization with and being comfortable in Canadian culture was seen as important to attain if one wanted to obtain career-related work in Canada after graduation.  Here, participating in off-campus activities with Canadians played a role. At the same time, becoming acculturated to Canada was also seen as a reason a student would choose to stay on as well as not return to their home country: While prestige or recognition coming from volunteering for specific organizations or causes can be considered symbolic capital, students in the focus groups did not mention either as reasons for volunteering.  6.8 Relationships The relationships will be reviewed using Lin’s perspective of strong and weak ties in transitioning to the labour market (Lin, 2001).  The first relationships to be considered are strong ties, as defined by Lin (friends and family not in Canada, classmates, and friends on and off-campus in Canada).  These relationships provide encouragement, advice and information to the international students.  The encouragement offered to a student can be seen as personal symbolic capital, in that it is given value by those who receive it, but may have far less, if any, value to anyone else.  The advice and information can be seen as human capital.  Focus group members gave examples of relying on strong ties for direct links to job opportunities.   Students in the focus groups made it clear their families influenced not only their careers but also their decision to stay in Canada or leave.  Close personal relationships have some influence on whether a student remains in Canada.  A student might be influenced but not 166  completely swayed by advice to stay in Canada or leave.  In the end, the student determines both the career path taken and the choice to stay or leave.   While students knew these people best, they were not the most frequently asked for career assistance (Q23).  This concurs with Lin’s findings that strong ties are not always as beneficial as weak ties for one’s career.   The second relationship to consider is of an international student with their International Student Advisors (ISA).  This relationship can also be considered a strong tie.    The relationship was ranked as strongly as friends and family in Canada, while at the same time, being ranked first as someone an international student would ask for assistance (Q23).   This may be because, for the majority of students at the post-secondary institution where the research took place, an international student’s ISA will be from the same country and speak the mother-tongue of the student.  International student advisors provide a bridge between the culture of a student’s home country and Canada.  The focus groups specified ISAs provide international students with human capital in the form of useful information about visas and work permits.  In general, focus groups did not see ISAs as being as useful as other faculty or staff with regards to career information and advice, but noted ISAs were a source of information on employers who were favorable to hiring international students from a specific country or region.  Although not seen as a source of career information in general, the ability to communicate in a student’s own language plus being the source of specific information on visas and work permits made ISAs a strong favorite.    The third relationships to consider are of an international student with four types of faculty and staff at the institution.  A faculty member in the student’s program, a student employment coordinator, a Co-op coordinator and an academic advisor.  International students specified they were more likely to ask for assistance about their career from these faculty and staff than they were of friends and family who they knew better (Q23).   More specifically, the 167  faculty member was seen as a source of specific social capital in the form of employer and industry knowledge, plus as a source of symbolic capital as a source of a reference.  A student employment coordinator and Co-op coordinator were also a source of social capital in the form of contacts with employers, but less so than the faculty member.  As well, the student employment coordinator and Co-op coordinator were also seen as the primary source of human capital in the form of “Canadian” resume writing and interview skills.   The student’s relationships with faculty, student employment coordinator and Co-op coordinator can be considered weak ties, by Lin’s definition, whereby these relationships are not as strong as other relationships but have connections to “better social capital” (Lin, 2001, p.67).  Although international students also ranked academic advisors highly as being someone who they would ask for assistance, no specific comments on the type of assistance sought were made in either surveys or focus groups.  It seems unlikely international students would seek social capital, in the form of employer contacts, from the advisors.  Perhaps the students considered it important to discuss one’s career choice with one’s academic advisor to ensure the correct courses were taken.   The fourth group of relationships have the weakest ties in terms of those to be asked for assistance, but are also weak in terms of how well they are known to the international students.  This includes a current or former employer, a faculty member in another program, a person not from the institution the student met at a career-related event or other event, a member of a post-secondary institution club, or the student’s homestay or landlord.  In general, the students did not know these people very well and were least likely to ask for assistance.  The one which is the most puzzling is the former employer for which for the overall population, only 29% of international student said they would “Very likely” and 40% would “Somewhat likely” ask for 168  assistance.  However, for the 18 students who indicated they had done a Co-op work term, 44% said they would “Very likely” and 50% said they would “Somewhat likely” ask a former employer for assistance.  Just as Co-op is preferred by international students, asking former Co-op employers is more likely as well.  Co-op employers were seen as a more likely to be connected to beneficial career options than perhaps an employer from Tim Horton’s for example. Having looked at the relationships using Lin’s framework, it should be kept in mind that for every type of relationship, the more a student and another individual know each other, the more likely the student is to state they would ask the other individual for help with their career.  However, this research has found that students prefer those individuals who have beneficial social capital.  For example, student employment coordinators and Co-op coordinators are two of the least well known by students, but some of the most likely to be asked for assistance.  Viewed through the lens of Lin’s weak and strong ties, it makes sense international students considered their weak ties valuable.  For example, the Co-op coordinator acts as a bridge between the student and companies.  Without the Co-op program, the student would have the same human, cultural and symbolic capital.  But without the Co-op program, it would be difficult for a student to extend their social connections to Co-op employers.  Faculty members in their program also provide a bridge to employers.  Similarly company representatives met at job fairs, Co-op employers and individual students meet through volunteering provide a bridge not accessible by only relying on on-campus relationships.  Both on-line and focus group participants actively created bridges to create weak ties through activities such as attending job fairs, networking, and volunteering.  While friends and family are strong ties who provide international students with direct connections with job opportunities, as Lin contends, these opportunities are not at the same professional level as Co-op opportunities.  While international students had strong ties with 169  friends, family, classmates and international student advisors, as Lin contended, the students did not see the opportunities accessed by these ties at the same professional level.   6.9 Interaction of Human, Social, Cultural and Symbolic Capital In terms of factors important to getting career-related work (Table 19), on-line survey respondents ranked English language skills highest followed by Canadian education, Canadian paid work and Canadian volunteer work above social relationships and non-Canadian education and work experience highest.  If these rankings were considered without taking into account the focus groups’ input, then one might conclude strategies that international students use for obtaining career-related work after graduation most highly favored acquiring Canada specific human capital over both social capital and non-Canadian human capital.  The students’ lower ranking of factors related to social capital in comparison to country specific human capital also concurs with Lin’s conclusion on the interaction of human and social capital: “when social capital is high, attained status will be high, regardless of the level of human capital; and when social capital is low, human capital exerts a strong effect on attainment” (Lin, 2001, p.95).  At least initially, international students have little or no Canadian social capital, especially in comparison to Canadian students.  However, as discussed above, embedded within students’ strategies of gaining country specific human capital are also strategies for acquiring social, cultural and symbolic capital.  Data from both the on-line survey and focus groups showed students saw the importance of social capital, and took deliberate actions to obtain and use social capital as part of their strategies for acquiring career-related work after graduation. Lin proposed a number of different scenarios for “better access to social capital” (2001, p.63).  First, his Social-Capital proposition states the better access to social capital, the more 170  successful the outcome.  Second, he theorized that while social capital was more easily accessible through strong ties, such as ties of close family and friends, more advantageous social capital could be accessed through weak ties, especially if those weak ties afforded more direct access to opportunities and information (Lin, 2001).  Lin’s first proposition suggests there is an incentive to create social capital to increase the chances of a successful outcome, while his second proposition suggests weak ties can be more valuable than strong ties. As well, although cultural capital was not specifically operationalized, there was a recurring theme among both on-line respondents and focus group participants with respect to the importance of accumulating cultural capital as a strategy for transitioning to the Canadian labour market.  Three on-line respondents also specifically stated they were learning more about Canadian culture as a way to help themselves find career-related work in Canada after graduation.  Focus group comments relating to culture capital related to culturally based Canadian communication skills, understanding Canadian job search skills, Canadian work experience, Canadian volunteer experience, relationships with Canadians, both on and off-campus, and, to the least extent, academic courses.   As with cultural capital, even though symbolic capital was not specifically operationalized, international students in the study specified numerous ways they wanted to acquire and mobilize symbolic capital as part of their strategy to gain career-related work after graduation, including through education, work and volunteering.  6.10 Institutional Impact on Acquisition of Capital Students considered the post-secondary institution where the research was undertaken as both an aid and a hindrance to their strategies for gaining capital. 171  The single largest hindrance identified was the lack of Co-op programs across all academic programs.  The Co-op program was cited most frequently as the program which students felt would assist international students the most in obtaining career-related work after graduation.  However, the institution only offers in a specific number of Bachelor degree programs, and one diploma program.  Students stated Co-op work was preferred because of support provided by the post-secondary institution in obtaining the work, the career-related work opportunities available through Co-op, and the contacts they could make, and, in the case of one student, the higher level of wages.  Non-Co-op students did not have the means to access the types of opportunities available through the Co-op program on their own.  International students in other programs, including other diploma, post-baccalaureate and Masters programs could not do Co-op, or equivalently, an internship.  Other hindrances included when a student could or could not undertake a Co-op work term in their program.   Certain programs required the student to complete a practicum, in terms of a number of hours, but students perceived obtaining limited support to obtain the position.  6.11 Habitus and Bounded Agency There are many examples of habitus and bounded agency on students’ strategies to obtain career related work after graduation can be seen in a number of ways.  First, students’ desire to stay in Canada or leave is dependent on their bounded agency.  First, students ‘exerted their bounded agency by choosing their program area of study not only for career-related reasons but also because they were interested in the program area and because they wanted “a better future” or had a “dream”.  The students also exerted their bounded agency by changing their plans from the time they arrived to the time of the survey or focus groups.  Finally, the students exerted their 172  bounded agency by considering others’ wishes or advice, be they their parents, friends, and school counsellor or faculty member as less importance than their own desires.  The students also demonstrate bounded agency by being willing to come to another country to study and contemplate immigration prior to understanding the CEC and PNP program.  All of these things show the students’ ability to make decisions about their career plans and where they would like to live after graduation.   Second, while in their home countries, now they are in Canada, most students discount their non-Canadian work and academic experience.  Thus, the students adjust their habitus based on a new environment.   The valuing of a high GPA for their Canadian studies reflects the habitus of students.  Putting a high emphasis on GPA may benefit students, by giving them more understanding of subject content, but may also hinder students who then have less opportunities of work, volunteering and relationship building. There is the favoring of certain types of work experience, such as Co-op, over other types, with Co-op work valued far higher than other types of work experience.  Their willingness to volunteer when off-campus work is not available, or to gain skills not otherwise attainable, such as when they do not qualify for Co-op, shows students willingness to take action and their bounded agency.  Students also demonstrate their bounded agency by how they look for ways to gain English skills and Canadian communication skills, both on and off-campus.  Students seek out non-classroom learning opportunities to expand their learning opportunities.  The favoring of faculty members as a source of knowledge about employers and industry, over student employment coordinators and Co-op coordinators, could reflect students habitus, whereby faculty are held in higher esteem in terms of the assumed greater knowledge they possess.  173  6.12 Summary of Findings The study produced 11 key findings, as outlined below. The first finding is international students want to obtain career-related work and remain in Canada after graduation.  There were 74% of the on-line survey respondents and 17 of 20 focus group participants who wanted to acquire career-related work in Canada after graduation.  The largest number wanted to remain permanently (over 3 years), with a sizable number also wanting to remain 1 to 3 years.  Not all students came with the plan on staying.  However, having spent time in Canada, the number increases.  Over time, another group which saw an increase was those students who wanted to be both in Canada and in another location.  However even these students wanted career-related work in Canada.  International students can no longer be viewed as taking their education back to their home countries.   Because they want to stay, there will be more and more international students seeking out ways to prepare for careers in Canada after graduation.  There will be increasing demands by international students for programs and services related to preparing for and obtaining career-related work after graduation.  Simply because they want career-related work does not mean the students want to immigrate, or understand fully the programs available to them if they do choose to immigrate.  Immigration and career-related work are correlated but many students want to remain for less than three years. The second finding is international students want to stay in or leave Canada after graduation for both career and non-career-related reasons.  Students may remain because they feel they now have more opportunities in Canada than in their home country, because their education is not as recognized elsewhere, and they have acquired country-specific skills and contacts which may not be ask valued elsewhere.  Depending on their family’s situation, they 174  may return to their home country, such as if their family has a business or contacts.  Some students, such as Saudi Arabia face very strong pressure to return, because their government is paying for their education.  Students may remain because of family pressures to do so, and equally there may be pressure to return.  Students may have dreams or goals which go beyond Canada, such as graduate school in another country, or travelling the world.  While these things may change an individual’s decision, the majority indicate they plan to stay. A third finding is international students employ a variety of ways to gain not only human but also social, cultural and symbolic capital throughout their time at a post-secondary institution.  The students actively try to acquire capital through both on-campus and off-campus activities.  A very limited number of activities students mentioned focused on traditional classroom teaching.  International students do not feel they can accumulate sufficient capital within on campus, classroom based, academic courses to transition to career-related work in Canada after graduation.   Rather, they want to gain capital from both formal experiential learning opportunities such as Co-op, and non-formal experiential learning opportunities such as volunteering and part-time work. The fourth finding is international students consider Canadian human capital gained through Canadian education and work experience more valuable than non-Canadian capital from previous non-Canadian work experience and education as key to transitioning to the Canadian labour market after graduation.  Where this is not quite the case is in how the international students view their resumes and preparing for interviews.  The students are utilizing the post-secondary institution’s career services to make their resumes more “Canadian” and prepare for “Canadian” interviews.  Though not directly referred to, one can deduce a student employment coordinator or Co-op coordinator would be assisting the students to present their education and 175  experiences from both Canada and elsewhere as favorably as possible.  As such, while the students may discount their non-Canadian experiences, through the assistance of their post-secondary career education department, their experiences are not being completely discarded.   Fifth, international students value Canadian education and academic credentials for a number of reasons.  First, there are specific skills which are acquired.  These were mentioned infrequently.  Second, students consider credentials as symbolic capital, such as in a high GPA or as a requirement for a specific profession, such as accounting.  Third, Canadian education can be seen as cultural capital.  One of the most frequent activities mentioned was class projects, as a means of learning how to do things.  Fourth, students consider Canadian credentials as symbolic.  Otherwise, there would be no reason to deeply discount their non-Canadian education as both symbolic (as in high GPA) and human capital (as in the skills gained). Sixth, international students considered English language skills, and more broadly culturally based Canadian communication skills as being key skills to obtaining career-related work after graduation.  Within the institution, the formalized focus of English acquisition was within the English as a Second Language near the start programs.  The vast majority of students at the institution choose programs in Business, Computing Science, Science and Environment where there are limited numbers of courses in English required.  Even so, when other academic courses are mentioned, the opportunities to obtain communication skills are ones which were mentioned. Seventh, international students consider a range of experiential learning through Co-op, practicums, part-time work and volunteering as key ways of acquiring a range of capital they consider important to their strategies of obtaining career-related work in Canada.  Experiential learning opportunities include class projects, Co-op, Leadership, Supplementary Learning, and 176  volunteering.  Similar skills are developed and there are opportunities to build relationships; students learn the “Canadian” way of doing things; they gain skills and experiences valued by employers.   Eighth, international students view different types of paid work or volunteer experiences as providing opportunities to gain a range of types of capital.  In terms of human capital, paid work, including Co-op, on-campus and off-campus, as well as volunteer work on and off-campus were all seen as providing opportunities to develop skills, such as communication skills, and to prove one’s abilities.  Students felt social capital could be acquired from all the activities, though Co-op and off-campus volunteering was often seen as providing the most useful contacts.  Cultural capital, including the ways of doing thing the Canadian way and communicating in a Canadian manner, was seen as been obtained through “doing”, hence the emphasis on these activities. Ninth, international students make use of a wide range of relationships on and off campus, and even outside of Canada, as part of their strategies for obtaining career-related work in Canada after graduation.  Students who are interested in remaining in Canada after graduation are also likely to have stronger relationships than those who are not planning on staying.  The two are correlated, though it is not clear if there is a causal relationship.  What it suggests, along with the focus groups’ input, is the international students’ awareness of the importance of building and utilizing social capital as part of their career development.  One set of relationships for which international students often underutilize is their relationships with their student employment coordinator and Co-op coordinator.  The students spoke of accessing their expertise with regard to resumes and interview skills, but not as people who could link them to others for 177  possible jobs.  This is in contrast of faculty members and international student advisors who they saw as having direct access to employers and job opportunities. The tenth finding is international students are aware of which of their post-secondary’s career services and programs are or are not available to them, and choose their strategies accordingly.  The students are most comfortable utilizing the programs and services related to “doing”, such as creating resumes, preparing for interviews, and information on job postings.  They also value the Job Fair organized by the career services department.  In general, international students are aware of career services and programs, but underutilize relationships within the career services department as part of their overall strategy.  That is, while the career services coordinators have many contacts with employers, the international students were far more likely to list faculty members in their own programs as sources of contacts.  International students are aware of services and programs which are not delivered by their post-secondary institution’s career education department to still be career services and programs.  This includes for example Co-op for specific program areas, and internships. The eleventh finding is international students are utilizing multi-faceted approaches in their goal to obtain career-related work in Canada after graduation.  If a specific option is not available to them, such as paid work, then another option, such as volunteering is undertaken.  Students do not see their being only one action as being sufficient. The theoretical framework aided in interpreting both the on-line survey results and the data from the focus groups.  Most importantly, the framework helped to illustrate the international students were seeking more than just human capital in the form of Canadian academic credentials during their time at a BC post-secondary institution.  As well, the framework was useful in showing international students use of bounded agency to make both 178  academic and non-academic choices they felt would aid them in transitioning to the Canadian labour market, as well as in the decision remain or not in Canada and seek career-related work after graduation.  Where the theoretical framework was not as useful was in determining why some students had a stronger understanding than others of the types of positions their program of study was preparing them for.  Similarly, the model does not explain why some students are better able to list what they had done to prepare for career-related work after graduation.  This may because students are at different points of learning the process of transitioning from school to career.  6.13 Conclusion Based on this study’s findings, I conclude the international students want to gain far more than only human capital related to academic credentials. The international students in the study viewed their time at a Canadian post-secondary institution as an opportunity to also gain other types of human capital as well as social, cultural and symbolic capital through a host of non-academic activities both on and off-campus as well, and these forms of capital are seen as equally important to gaining career-related work after graduation.  Students in focus groups spoke little of their skills gained from their academic programs, but instead spoke of many other things including getting higher GPAs, improving their English skills, understanding how Canadians communication, especially in the work place, gaining Canadian work experience, participating in experiential learning and building networks through volunteering. Finally, while students in the focus groups raised many concerns about gaining career-related work after graduation, many also considered being an international student to not be a 179  disadvantage, but possibly an advantage for those employers who sought out diversity in their workplaces: There are motivations beyond students simply wanting to acquire various types of capital to aid in obtaining career-related work in Canada or elsewhere: “I want a better future” and “I am interested in the program” were the top two reasons students stated they came to Canada to study.  Within the focus group students voiced reasons for their choice of studies related to their preferences and dreams for the future rather than simply obtaining an educational credential: 180  Chapter 7: Summary, Recommendations and Conclusions 7.1 Summary The principal purpose of this research was to investigate whether, within the framework of Canadian and BC CEC and PNP immigration policies, international students want to obtain career-related work in Canada after graduation, and if so, what strategies they use to acquire capital as part of their goal to get work.  Second, the research examined a post-secondary institution’s role within these strategies, especially career services and programs.  The research was framed around four questions.  First what are international students’ goals, especially around career, after graduation?  Second, what is the impact of non-Canadian work and education?  Third, what specific strategies do students use to obtain career-related work after graduation?  Fourth, how do international students use their post-secondary institution’s career services?  The research was carried out at a primarily undergraduate BC post-secondary institution in the Winter 2012 semester.  The study uses a mixed methods research design of an on-line survey and focus groups.  The on-line survey provided an overview of international students’ career goals and strategies, while the focus groups provided a deeper understanding of the reasons for students’ strategies.  Information from the post-secondary institution’s registrar allowed statistical analysis of the on-line survey in comparison of the demographics of the student body.  Focus group sessions were recorded and transcribed, and then analyzed thematically.  A theoretical framework which encompassed human, social, cultural and symbolic capital was used to make meaning of the data.  This research expanded on research into immigrant success in the Canadian labour market, international students as migrants, international students’ transition to work and career services for international students.  181  Before even making the transition as an immigrant in the Canadian labour market, the international students were anticipating some of the challenges they would encounter.  The international students’ discounting of their own non-Canadian education and experience matches the experiences of highly educated immigrants to Canada who struggle to find work at a level matching their non-Canadian education and work experience. (Mata, 2008; Schaafsma & Sweetman, 1999).  The students want to acquire capital such as Canadian academic credentials, English language skills, Canadian work experience and volunteer experience to make the transition easier.  While at the post-secondary, the students also want to build a social network which would likely help to offset the labour market hurdle of “small social network” of many new immigrants (Kazemipur, 2004, p.16).  Just as Granovetter (1995, p.43) found only 11% of those who grew up outside of the U.S. used family or social contacts to obtain their jobs, this study found international students considered those (including relatives) outside the country least important in helping them obtain career-related work in Canada.  On the other hand, the international students in this study viewed the relationships acquired while in Canada such as those with student employment coordinators, Co-op coordinators, faculty members in their program of study, international student advisors and off-campus contacts as important.  Strategies which international students use to gain cultural capital such as culturally-based Canadian communication skills in the workplace and symbolic capital such as Canadian academic credentials may make them more attractive to Canadian employers (Oreopoulos, 2009; Støren & Wiers-Jenssen, 2010).  Hence, whereas Grenier and Xue’s (2009) study was limited to how human capital such as Canadian job experience and education as well as English or French could assist in getting career-related work after graduation, the current study shows how during their time at the post-secondary institution, the international students create human, social, 182  cultural and symbolic capital as part of their strategy of obtaining career related work after graduation.   Similar to the case of international students in Australia (Jackling, 2007), and despite not having a strong understanding of the CEC and PNP programs and their requirements, the international students in this study wanted to remain in Canada after graduation.  This study’s findings that 74% of the survey respondents wanted career related work in Canada after graduation, and 76% wanted to remain in Canada for a period of time, with 40% indicating they wanted to remain more than 3 years, supports Pandey and Townsend’s (2010) preliminary study on the utilization of CEC and PNP.  In their dual roles as students and potential immigrants, international students are not only trying to maximize their academic pursuits but also their ability to transition to career-related work in the Canadian labour market after graduation.  Canadian universities can no longer see international students as focused only on academic goals with plans on leaving Canada immediately after graduation, but also as potential immigrants.   The international students use a broad range of career services such as attending a job fair to connect with employers, and hence gain social capital, and learning how to write a “Canadian” resume, for which they would gain cultural capital. While their post-secondary institution’s career services student employment coordinators and Co-op coordinators were important to the international students, the students also relied on many others, including their program’s faculty members, internationals student advisors, academic advisors, and fellow classmates.  Some focus group participants took a step-wise approach to their career, akin to the model proposed by Beaushesne and Belize (1995), while others, such as the student who stated he found opportunities at parties, relied at least partially on chance, supporting the findings of Bright and Pryor (2005).  While a part of students’ strategies, career services was generally not seen as the 183  most important strategy. However, unlike Shen and Herr (2004) who found university career services do not meet the cultural needs of international students, the limited concerns raised about career services were focused instead on the difficulty to make appointments, the lack of Co-op for all programs, and the range of employers attending job fairs. International students are looking beyond their time at the post-secondary institution, and considering what on and off-campus academic and non-academic activities, as well as what relationships will aid in the transition to career-related work.  What post-secondary institutions must decide is how they respond to this dual role.  7.2  Recommendations and Conclusions of Research The findings of this study lead to recommendations for policy and practice for post-secondary institutions’ career education departments, across other parts of post-secondary institutions, in the broader community outside of the post-secondary institutions and for policy makers concerned with immigration policy relating to international students.  7.2.1 Policy Recommendations The first policy recommendation is additional funding be allocated to post-secondary institutions for additional career services targeted at international students’ transition from their post-secondary institutions to the Canadian labour market.  The funding should cover services from when a student arrives to after graduation.  Building up any type of capital takes time, hence the need to start when students arrive.  From my experience, international students are often at a Canadian post-secondary institution for a short period of time.  Many arrive in 3rd year of a 4 year Bachelors, or take a 2 year post-Baccalaureate or Masters.  As well, not all students 184  arrive with the goal of staying in Canada after graduation, so may be starting later on defining their strategies for obtaining career-related work in Canada.  Ideally, funding should come from the federal and provincial governments since it is their policies, the CEC and PNP, which have made it easier for an international student to stay after graduation and also obtain permanent residence status, with the proviso the student obtains career-related work.  Both the federal and provincial governments have a vested interest in their policies succeeding.  However, even if no government funding is forthcoming, given institutions are recruiting international students with the lure of work after graduation, institutions have an obligation to allocate additional resources to assist international students, starting from when they first arrive, until after graduation. The second policy recommendation is post-secondary institutions should provide expanded experiential learning opportunities to all students, but with the understanding that international students may gain even more than their Canadian counterparts.  Experiential learning opportunities could include expanded programs offerings of Co-op, service learning, practicums, and internships.  All of these provide international students with the opportunity to gain types of human, social, cultural and symbolic capital not available through classroom instruction.  In terms of human capital, there are skills learned on a Co-op which will not be gained in the classroom such as technical skills, such as working in a professional lab, various programming languages, and accounting practices, and non-technical skills such as organizational and time management, working with a diverse team, and running meetings.  I have seen many Co-op students leverage the social capital they gained on a work term, not only with the company they worked with, but also with companies fellow Co-op students have worked with, to acquire a job after graduation with their former or another Co-op employer.  My observation is experiential learning opportunities also helps students gain cultural capital.  I have 185  seen many international students spend a great deal of time on-campus with students from their own country or region.  During an experiential learning opportunity, an international student spends the majority of their time with Canadians, learning how Canadians interact (such as typical management styles) and the types of things (such as hockey) that are important topics of conversation during coffee breaks.  Gaining country-specific experience through experiential learning also increases students’ symbolic capital.  From my experience, Co-op students with experience from Blackberry, Disney, IBM and a host of other well recognized organizations gain symbolic capital.  Employers recognize these companies, whereas they may be unfamiliar with employers students may have worked at outside of Canada, and rank them higher than service-based positions with employers such as Home Depot.  In addition formalized experiential learning programs also afford international students the support of the post-secondary faculty and staff in gaining experience outside the classroom.  For example, in Co-op, students gain from the Co-op Coordinators social capital in terms of the jobs they have access to.  As a Co-op Coordinator, I have the many contacts with employers.  Once a student has been hired by a Co-op employer, they will build additional contacts, but without the Co-op coordinator’s social capital, obtaining a work term would be difficult. Tied to the second recommendation is a third policy recommendation that post-secondary institutions incorporate formalized volunteer work experiences into their offerings of experiential learning opportunities.  If a formalized volunteer program was available, the post-secondary institution could assist students in finding placements, set learning objectives for students, and help students maximize their learning opportunities, similar to Co-op. The fourth policy recommendation is that post-secondary institutions increase both classroom and non-classroom based opportunities for international students to improve their 186  English language skills and their culturally-based Canadian communication skills.  Language and communication skills are key to employability.  The majority of international students at the institution of the study chose programs, such as business and computing science, which require very few English courses.  International students identified both classroom group work, as well as volunteer, work and Co-op, as ways of improving their English language skills and Canadian communication skills.  This suggests increasing the number of classroom based group projects, as well as making English language and Canadian communication skills a more important component in the experiential learning curriculum.  Since many students in the study had difficulty defining possible careers or listing what they had done to help themselves get career-related work, the fifth policy recommendation is that post-secondary institutions make career counselling a mandatory part of academic programs.  Such career counselling would help educate international students on the Canadian labour market and on steps students can take to make transitioning to career-related jobs after graduation easier.  From my experience as a Co-op Coordinator, many international students are only aware of the largest Canadian multi-national companies which excludes careers in small and medium firms.  As well, they have a very narrow understanding of potential career opportunities their degree prepares them for.  Co-op, which was cited by many students in the study, has huge benefits and addresses many of the requirements of this policy recommendation.  However, its drawback is, since the Co-op coordinator does the majority of the job development, labour market analysis and networking with employers, graduates from Co-op often have not developed their own skills in these areas. The sixth policy recommendation is that career services departments should disseminate career information to other faculty and staff across the campus.  International students in the 187  study indicated they sought career advice not only from the post-secondary institution’s student employment coordinators and Co-op coordinators, but also from faculty members in their program area of study, international student advisors and others.  Giving other non-career services faculty and staff additional information with assist them in assisting students.  The additional training or resources on career education is not to duplicate the career education department but to ensure other faculty and staff know what resources, services and programs are available in the career education department and refer students to the department.  7.2.2 Practice Recommendations The first recommendation for practice is that institutions need to gain a better understanding of how many international students are planning to stay in Canada after graduation and seek career-related work.  Collecting the information will inform funding decisions for international student career services.  Since students’ goals change over time, the data should be collected not just when the student arrives but on a regular basis during students’ stay.  The information would aid institutions better support international students’ transition from studies to work. The second recommendation for practice is that institutions should expand opportunities for international students to gain off-campus experience.  A great deal of the human, social, cultural and symbolic capital international students want to acquire happens away from the institution.  Support could include additional student employment coordinators for international students, as well as programs which link students to off-campus activities such as volunteer programs, business mixers, mentoring programs, and Co-op.  Support could also include workshops on topics such as Canadian business ethics, networking strategies and management 188  practices.  These workshops should be offered to both international and domestic students, though my experience is international students are more interested in supplementary workshops. The third recommendation for practice is that, since international students will likely have limited knowledge of the Canadian labour market, career education departments should work with the academic programs to aid students in understanding what career options the course materials of their programs prepare them for.  As well, since from my experience, international students often limit their career goals to Canada’s largest cities and large corporations, information on career options should include possible locations of different careers.  The career education department could also provide one-on-one or workshop based programs for international students on the types of non-classroom activities which would be useful to undertake for different types of career paths. The fourth recommendation for practice is that the post-secondary institution’s career education department should look to build connections across the institution to ensure complementary information about careers is given out students.  International students do not just turn to their institution’s student employment coordinators and Co-op coordinators for career assistance, but make use of a range of relationships including faculty, international student advisors and others.  In the same way, the career education should look to build connections with other career focused programs programs and services delivered outside the career education department, such as Leadership and Service Learning, which work with high numbers of international students.  189  7.3 Recommendations for Future Research During my research, there were a number of areas which emerged where further research was required.  Further investigation would assist higher education in general, and practitioners of experiential learning specifically.  First, the research showed how international students interacted with different types of individuals.  What was missing from the research and what would be useful was perspectives of those who international students interacted with, especially faculty and staff at post-secondary institutions.   This would be akin to the work done by Shen and Herr (2004).  For example, focus group participants saw career education department members as being a source of career-related information, advice and activities.  Do the career service coordinators think their main job is helping students with resumes and cover letters, organizing networking opportunities for students, such as job fairs, and facilitating Co-op work opportunities, or do they think they have another role, such as helping students acquire human, social, cultural and symbolic capital?  Or is there another role career education departments see for themselves when working with international students? Second, it would be useful to map out where the students gain different types of capital.  As was evident from the research, students take a multi-faceted approach.  Both on-line survey respondents and focus group participants listed multiple strategies for obtaining career related work in Canada after graduation.  Some of the activities are linked institutionally, such as the Job Fair and one-on-one appointments with a career services coordinator.  Others, such as advice from a faculty member and volunteering off campus, are disconnected.  Understanding the interconnections and disconnections of international students’ classroom and non-classroom activities would help devise ways of strengthening programs and services across an institution. 190  Third, this current study was based on what students thought was important in obtaining career-related work in Canada.  Various types of human, social, cultural and symbolic capital were identified by both on-line survey respondents and focus group participants as being important to obtaining work.  On-line survey participants ranked as the most important human capital in the form of English language skills, Canadian education, Canadian work experience and Canadian volunteer experience, followed by use of their post-secondary career services.  Social capital, in various types of relationships, was ranked as less important.  Culturally-based communication skills was a type of cultural capital participants thought was important.  Credentials, references and experience recognized by future employers were some of the types of symbolic capital students wanted to obtain.  What is missing is a follow through with individuals who have actually gotten career-related work, and what they felt was important in their success.  This might be important to do immediately after graduation and then a few years after, as one’s perspective of what was of most assistance might change with time.   There is a need for post-secondary institutions to be as effective as possible in delivering services in general, and career services specifically.  If providing services to aid students in transitioning to career related work is an important service of a post-secondary institution, then what is the most effective way to deliver this service should be reviewed. Fourth, both on-line respondents and survey group participants felt Co-op was one of the most important things which could be done.  Therefore, it would be useful to study students in a Co-op program versus those in non-Co-op programs.  While Co-op is one path to career-related work, what should be looked at is how other ways are or are not effective as well.  Despite the students’ strong endorsement of Co-op, the current study did not prove or disprove whether Co-op was more or less effective than other ways of transitioning to career-related work for 191  international students.  As well, Co-op may not always be an option for all academic programs, or for all students. Fifth, the disconnect between the academic and the career was evident in one in six of students answering “Do not know” in response to what jobs or careers their program of study prepared them, and half of students answering “Do not know” in response to what they had done to help themselves obtain career-related work in Canada after graduation.  While students may not know, it may also be the question needs to be reformulated.   7.4 Concluding Remarks The theoretical framework and the mixed methods approach which I used worked well in addressing the four research questions.  Rather than looking at only educational credentials or on-campus activities, the framework was broad enough to capture both on and off-campus activities international students undertook and relationships they relied on as part of their strategy to obtain career- related work after graduation.  The on-line survey provided a broad view of student activities, while the focus group revealed information on why students were doing certain activities or relied on certain relationships.  Between the on-line survey and the focus groups there is evidence the majority of international students wish to stay in Canada and acquire career-related work.  As well, the data showed the students discount their non-Canadian experiences.  The data also showed the students had multifaceted strategies for obtaining work after graduation and valued the programs and services offered by their institution’s career education department. When I undertook this research, it was not clear how many international students wanted to remain in Canada after graduation.  That the majority wish to remain is a revealing number in 192  and of itself.  However, what is more revealing is students look for a way to make sense of the transition whether or not the institution supports the transition as effectively as possible.  At the time of the research, the post-secondary institution had only a small number of disconnected programs focused on international students’ transition to career-related work in Canada after graduation.  This included workshops on immigration programs (e.g. CEC and PNP), a half-time career services coordinator for international students, access to international student advisors, and the Leadership course, which was not technically only for international students, but effectively was.  The other programs were the same as what was being offered for domestic students, such as the Co-op program, the Job Fair and advice from faculty.  In the absence of many specific programs, such as the post-secondary institution offering no Co-op or internship program for diploma, post-Baccalaureate or Masters students, international students made use of what was available, including seeking out part-time work and volunteer experiences.   Institutions understand international students come to Canada for education.  What needs to be kept in mind, both from an individual faculty or staff perspective, and more broadly from a leadership and policy perspective is international students are coming more and more frequently as potential migrants.  As migrants, it is not only human capital, in the form of a Canadian education which is important to them, but also other forms of human capital such as English skills and work experience.  As well, as migrants they want to build social capital in the form of relationships, gain cultural capital such as knowing how to communicate like a Canadian and acquire symbolic capital such as work experience from well-known Canadian companies. Post-secondary institutions should look at ways of coordinating services to international students.  Further, institutions need to decide their level of responsibility in the immigration process.  From my perspective, for post-secondary institutions, like the one where this research took place, 193  which are advertising the opportunities for work after graduation, there is an ethical responsibility to provide more supports in transitioning from academic studies to career-related work.  There are also reasons from an educational perspective.  The students want the opportunities to build up a range of capital, and the institutions are well placed to deliver the services and programming.  Otherwise, the federal and provincial immigration programs, while well intentioned, will not meet their potential of matching well-educated international students with positions in BC and across Canada. Finally, as a Co-op Coordinator, this research has informed my practice.  First is the importance of incorporating more English skills and culturally based Canadian communication skills within the Co-op program.  Second is the importance of understanding more about students’ strategies of not just acquiring a Co-op work term but also how the Co-op work term fits within their overall strategy of acquiring career-related work after graduation.  Third is how integrating more closely different career-related programs, such as Leadership, Service Learning and Co-op, may aid my Co-op students.  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British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 35(2), 219-235.   206  Appendices  On-line Survey Questions <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> International Student Career Plan Survey  5)  What is your program area of study?                  English as a Second Language                 Business Administration                 Computing Science & Technology                 Science & Environment                 Tourism & Hospitality                 Liberal Arts & Journalism                 Education                 Fine Arts                 Social Work & Human Services                 Health Sciences                 Interdisciplinary Studies                 University Preparation                 Other (please specify) If you selected other, please specify               ______________________________________________________________________  6)  When did you arrive in Canada?  7)  What is your current Academic Year?                 1                 2                 3                 4                 5 or more                 Do not know  8)  What year do you plan to complete your studies in Canada?                 2012                 2013                 2014                 2015 or later                 Do not know  9)  What level will you achieve at the end of your program of study at <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION>?                 Certificate                 Diploma                 Bachelors Degree                 post-Baccalaureate Diploma                 Masters Degree                 Other (please specify)                  207  If you selected other, please specify                 10)  Are you at <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> as part of a visiting student/student exchange program of another university?                 Yes                 No                 Do not know  11)  Non-Canadian Education: What is the highest level of education you completed prior to coming to Canada?                 Secondary school diploma                 Apprenticeships, vocational, or trade school                 Some community college, no diploma/certificate                 Community college, diploma/certificate                 Some university, no degree                 Completed Bachelors Degree                 Completed Professional Degree (medicine, law, engineering)                 Completed Masters Degree                 Completed Doctoral Degree                 Other (please specify)                If you selected other, please specify                 12)  Non-Canadian Work Experience: Before coming to Canada, how many years of paid work had you done?   0 years up to 1 year up to 2 years up to 3 years up to 4 years more than 4 years Full-time       Co-op or Internship       Part-time        13)  What jobs or careers will your studies at <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> help prepare you for?  List as many as you think are <post-secondary institution>e (e.g. accountant, marketing manager, computer programmer, network administrator, nurse, teacher).  If you do now know, answer "Do not know".  14)   Why are you studying your program at <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION>? I chose my program of study because:   Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree or Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree My parents wanted me to      A friend suggested I choose the program      A school counsellor or faculty member suggested I choose the program      I was accepted into the program      I am interested in the program      I am interested in a career this program prepares me for      208   Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree or Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree There are good prospects in this career in Canada      I want to get career related work in Canada after I graduate      I want to get career related work outside of Canada after graduation      I want a better future      I joined or accompanied family or close friends to Canada      I want to start a business in Canada after graduation      I want to start a business outside of Canada after graduation      I want to immigrate to Canada after graduation        15)  What were your plans when you came to <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION>, and what are your plans now?  Leave Canada immediately after graduation Stay in Canada 1 to 3 years, then leave Canada Stay in Canada permanently (more than 3 years) Live in both Canada and another country I am not sure When I first arrived at <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION>, I planned to      Now that I have been at <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION>, I plan to       16)  The Canadian government has put into place a number of programs which allow you to stay in Canada after you graduate from <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> if you obtain career related work.  Please indicate how familiar you are with these programs.   A great deal Somewhat Very little Not at all I know about the federal Canadian Experience Class program and/or the BC Provincial Nominee Program      17)  To what extent do you agree with the following statements?   Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree or Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree I plan to apply for the federal Canadian Experience Class program and/or the BC Provincial Nominee Program after graduation      209   Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree or Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree I have a plan for how I will try to get career related work in Canada after graduation.        18)  To what extent are the following factors important for you to get career related work in Canada?  Very Important Important Somewhat Important Not Very Important Not Important At All My non-Canadian education      My non-Canadian work experience      My English skills      My Canadian education      My Canadian volunteer experience      My Canadian paid work experience (on-campus, off-campus, or Co-op)      Faculty or staff I know at <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION>      Others I know at <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> (e.g. friends, mentors, coaches, etc.)      People I know in Canada, who are not at <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION>      People I know outside of Canada      My use of <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> Career Education Department programs or services (e.g. Co-op, Job Fair, Employment Workshops)       19)  Since coming to <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION>, what have you done which you think will help you find career related work in Canada after graduation?  If you do now know, answer "Do not know".   20)  English Skills: How would you assess your English language skills.   No proficiency/fluency Basic proficiency/fluency Moderate proficiency/fluency High proficiency/fluency Reading     Writing     Speaking     Listening          210  21)  Canadian Volunteer Experience: Since coming to Canada, have you done volunteer work?   Yes No Not sure I have done volunteer work in Canada    I have volunteered with a <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> club    I have volunteered with <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> World or ISAP    I have volunteered with <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> Orientation    I have volunteered with other <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> events or groups    I have volunteered off campus    I have done an unpaid practicum or internship for my program      22)  Canadian Paid Work Experience: Since coming to Canada, have you done paid work?   Yes No Not sure I have done paid work in Canada    I have done one or more Co-op work terms    I have been a research assistant or lab assistant at <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION>    I have worked on campus (e.g. Aramark, <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> Residence, etc)    I have worked off campus (non-Co-op)     23)  How well do you and others know each other:  If you know more than one person in a category, pick the one who you know the best.   The following people and I know each other this well. If I needed help preparing for my career, I would ask the following people for help  To a great extent Somewhat Very little Not at all Very likely Somewhat likely Not likely Never At least one <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> Faculty member in my program area         At least one <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> Faculty member in another program area         A <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> Co-op coordinator         A <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> Student Employment Coordinator (Career Education Department)         My <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> International student advisor         A <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> Academic advisor         211   To a great extent Somewhat Very little Not at all Very likely Somewhat likely Not likely Never A member of <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> student club or sport group I am in         A fellow class mate         A friend or acquaintance at <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION>         A current or former employer (Co-op, on-campus or off-campus)         A Non-<POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> person I have met at career related events (e.g. <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> Accounting Night, <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> Job Fair, CIPS, HRMA)         A Non-<POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> person I have met through a non-<POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> activity (e.g. ethnic association, sports, spouse’s work )         A friend or family member in Canada who does not go to <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION>         My home stay family or landlord         A friend or family member not in Canada           24)   To help students prepare for their careers, <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> provides many career services and programs. To what extent have you used <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> career services and programs, and how important are they to you.   While at <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION>, I have done the following The following activity is an important part of my plan of preparing for my career after graduation.  Many times At least one time Never Do not know Very Important Important Not Very Important Not Important At All Viewed career information or resources at www.<post-secondary institution>.ca/careereducation         Viewed job postings at www.<post-secondary institution>.ca/careereducation         212   While at <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION>, I have done the following The following activity is an important part of my plan of preparing for my career after graduation. Visited the <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> Career Education Department office         Met with a <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> Student Employment Coordinator (Career Education Department)         Applied to a <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> Co-op program         Been accepted into a <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> Co-op program         Done one or more <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> Co-op work terms         Done a practicum or internship in my program of study         Asked one of my professors for help with my career         Asked an international student advisor for help with my career         Asked an academic advisor for help with my career         Gone to a <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> Job Fair         Volunteered at the <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> Job Fair         Attended a workshop, class or course on resume or interview skills         Attended a job finding club at <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION>         Attended employer event on-campus (e.g. Accounting night, Delta Hotels)         Attended a meeting of an off-campus group related to your career path (e.g. CGA, CIPS or HRMA)         Joined a <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> club related to your career path (e.g. SIFE, BUGS)         Been a <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> Career ambassador         213   While at <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION>, I have done the following The following activity is an important part of my plan of preparing for my career after graduation. Attended an <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> Employer Mentoring event          25)  How often would you use the following proposed career services or programs if they were available?   Use "Additional comments" to add any others you would like which are not listed.  Many times At least one time Never Do not know Career Website for <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> International Students     Career Planning Club     Public Speaking Club     Information Sessions or Classes (resumes, cover letters, interview skills, job search)     Group appointments with a Student Employment Coordinator     Additional employer information sessions and networking opportunities      26)  How often do you get information about <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> services and programs through the following sources?  Use "Additional comments" to add any others you use which are not listed.  Daily Weekly Monthly less than once a month Never <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> Course Websites (Moodle/Blackboard)      <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> Website      TVs on campus      Posters on campus bulletin boards      <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> Computer Labs      Class Announcements / presentations in class      <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> Omega (student newspaper)      <POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTION> World      Ins<post-secondary institution>ctors      Friends      FaceBook      Twitter      Linked In       You have now completed the survey.  Thank you! 27)  Do you have any additional comments?     214  International Student Demographics Institution Domestic Students % International Students % British Columbia Institute of Technology 21,455 94.4 1,270 5.6 Camosun College 9,415 93.8 620 6.2 Capilano University 8,715 93.4 615 6.6 College of New Caledonia 3,490 92.1 300 7.9 College of the Rockies 3,105 95.7 140 4.3 Douglas College 11,715 91.0 1,155 9.0 Emily Carr University of Art + Design 2,175 87.5 310 12.5 Justice Institute of British Columbia 3,420 99.6 15 0.4 Kwantlen Polytechnic University 12,795 92.0 1,115 8.0 Langara College 12,245 91.3 1,160 8.7 Nicola Valley Institute of Technology 695 100.0 0 0.0 North Island College 3,615 97.3 100 2.7 Northern Lights College 1,495 94.0 95 6.0 Northwest Community College 1,215 99.2 10 0.8 Okanagan College 7,340 94.2 455 5.8 Royal Roads University 2,235 96.1 90 3.9 Selkirk College 3,115 95.7 140 4.3 Thompson Rivers University 14,110 87.6 1,995 12.4 University of the Fraser Valley 9,340 93.3 670 6.7 Vancouver Community College 9,985 97.2 290 2.8 Vancouver Island University 8,415 87.0 1,260 13.0 Total 150,090 92.7 11,805 7.3 Table 24: Domestic and international student demographics, 2012-13 (Government of BC, 2013, p. 14)   215  Survey Response by Gender and Country  Table 25: On-line response rates compared to overall population, by country and gender  Region Country Number of male responses% Number of female responses% Sum response rate of group %Total number of Males% Total number of Females% Other % SumEast Asia China 23 22 45 China 301 62% 181 37% 6 1% 488Taiwan 2 1 3 Taiwan 33 67% 16 33% 0 0% 49Japan 0 1 1 Japan 12 44% 15 56% 0 0% 27Hong Kong 1 3 4 Hong Kong 14 70% 6 30% 0 0% 20Republic of Korea 1 1 2 South Korea 8 40% 12 60% 0 0% 20Macau 1 0 1 Macau 1 25% 3 75% 0 0% 4Mongolia 0 0 0 Mongolia 1 100% 0 0% 0 0% 1regional summary 28 50% 28 50% 56 9.2% 370 61% 233 38% 6 1% 609Arab Saudi Arabia 20 5 25 Saudi Arabia 349 84% 65 16% 3 1% 417Turkey 0 0 0 Turkey 7 100% 0 0% 0 0% 7Egypt 1 0 1 Egypt 4 100% 0 0% 0 0% 4United Arab Emirates 0 0 0 United Arab Emirates 3 100% 0 0% 0 0% 3Jordan 0 0 0 Jordan 2 100% 0 0% 0 0% 2Morocco 0 0 0 Morocco 1 50% 1 50% 0 0% 2Syrian Arab Republic 0 0 0 Syria 2 100% 0 0% 0 0% 2Kuwait 0 0 0 Kuwait 1 100% 0 0% 0 0% 1Libyan Arab Jamahiriya 0 0 0 Libya 1 100% 0 0% 0 0% 1Oman 0 0 0 Oman 1 100% 0 0% 0 0% 1regional summary 21 81% 5 19% 26 5.9% 371 84% 66 15% 3 1% 440South Asia India 36 11 47 India 169 73% 60 26% 2 1% 231Pakistan 0 1 1 Pakistan 18 95% 1 5% 0 0% 19Bangladesh 4 1 5 Bangladesh 15 94% 1 6% 0 0% 16Iran (Islamic Republic Of) 0 0 0 Iran 1 50% 1 50% 0 0% 2Bhutan 0 0 0 Bhutan 1 100% 0 0% 0 0% 1regional summary 40 75% 13 25% 53 19.7% 204 76% 63 23% 2 1% 269Africa Nigeria 7 3 10 Nigeria 54 68% 25 32% 0 0% 79(except Arab) Zimbabwe 1 2 3 Zimbabwe 9 47% 10 53% 0 0% 19Zambia 1 1 2 Zambia 2 50% 2 50% 0 0% 4United Republic of Tanzania 0 1 1 Tanzania 0 0% 3 100% 0 0% 3Uganda 0 0 0 Uganda 1 33% 2 67% 0 0% 3Burundi 1 0 1 Burundi 1 100% 0 0% 0 0% 1Cameroon 0 1 1 Cameroon 0 0% 1 100% 0 0% 1Côte D'Ivoire 0 0 0 Côte d'Ivoire 0 0% 1 100% 0 0% 1Ethiopia 0 0 0 Ethiopia 1 100% 0 0% 0 0% 1Ghana 0 0 0 Ghana 1 100% 0 0% 0 0% 1Kenya 0 0 0 Kenya 1 100% 0 0% 0 0% 1Mauritius 0 1 1 Mauritius 0 0% 1 100% 0 0% 1Namibia 0 0 0 Namibia 1 100% 0 0% 0 0% 1South Africa 0 0 0 South Africa 1 100% 0 0% 0 0% 1Sudan 0 0 0 Sudan 1 100% 0 0% 0 0% 1regional summary 10 53% 9 47% 19 16.1% 73 62% 45 38% 0 0% 118Former Soviet BlocRussian Federation 7 9 16 Russia 36 47% 41 53% 0 0% 77Ukraine 2 1 3 Ukraine 11 55% 9 45% 0 0% 20Uzbekistan 0 0 0 Uzbekistan 2 40% 2 40% 1 20% 5Kazakhstan 0 0 0 Kazakhstan 1 33% 2 67% 0 0% 3Latvia 0 0 0 Latvia 0 0% 1 100% 0 0% 1Poland 0 0 0 Poland 1 100% 0 0% 0 0% 1Romania 0 0 0 Romania 1 100% 0 0% 0 0% 1regional summary 9 47% 10 53% 19 17.6% 52 48% 55 51% 1 1% 108US, Aust, NZ USA 0 0 0 USA 10 77% 3 23% 0 0% 13& Western Europe Sweden 1 1 2 Sweden 1 11% 8 89% 0 0% 9Australia 0 2 2 Australia 0 0% 8 100% 0 0% 8France 2 1 3 France 7 100% 0 0% 0 0% 7Germany 1 2 3 Germany 3 50% 3 50% 0 0% 6Austria 0 2 2 Austria 2 40% 3 60% 0 0% 5United Kingdom 1 0 1 United Kingdom 4 80% 1 20% 0 0% 5Iceland 0 1 1 Iceland 3 75% 1 25% 0 0% 4Spain 0 1 1 Spain 2 50% 2 50% 0 0% 4Finland 0 0 0 Finland 1 33% 2 67% 0 0% 3Denmark 1 0 1 Denmark 2 100% 0 0% 0 0% 2New Zealand 0 1 1 New Zealand 1 50% 1 50% 0 0% 2Norway 0 0 0 Norway 0 0% 2 100% 0 0% 2Greece 0 0 0 Greece 1 100% 0 0% 0 0% 1Ireland 0 0 0 Ireland 1 100% 0 0% 0 0% 1Italy 0 0 0 Italy 1 100% 0 0% 0 0% 1Switzerland 0 0 0 Switzerland 0 0% 1 100% 0 0% 1regional summary 6 35% 11 65% 17 23.0% 39 53% 35 47% 0 0% 74Latin America Mexico 0 0 0 Mexico 9 82% 1 9% 1 9% 11& Caribbean Brazil 0 0 0 Brazil 6 100% 0 0% 0 0% 6Ecuador 0 0 0 Ecuador 3 75% 1 25% 0 0% 4Chile 0 0 0 Chile 3 100% 0 0% 0 0% 3Jamaica 0 1 1 Jamaica 1 33% 2 67% 0 0% 3Guatemala 0 0 0 Guatemala 1 50% 1 50% 0 0% 2Venezuela 0 0 0 Venezuela 1 50% 1 50% 0 0% 2Colombia 0 0 0 Columbia 1 100% 0 0% 0 0% 1Nicaragua 0 0 0 Nicaragua 0 0% 1 100% 0 0% 1Uruguay 0 0 0 Uruguay 1 100% 0 0% 0 0% 1regional summary 0 0% 1 100% 1 2.9% 26 76% 7 21% 1 3% 34South East Asia Viet Nam 2 1 3 Vietnam 5 50% 4 40% 1 10% 10Thailand 1 3 4 Thailand 5 56% 4 44% 0 0% 9Philippines 1 0 1 Philippines 2 67% 1 33% 0 0% 3Indonesia 0 0 0 Indonesia 0 0% 2 100% 0 0% 2Malaysia 0 0 0 Malaysia 0 0% 2 100% 0 0% 2Cambodia 0 0 0 Cambodia 1 100% 0 0% 0 0% 1regional summary 4 50% 4 50% 8 29.6% 13 48% 13 48% 1 4% 27unknown 1 100% 0 0% 0 0% 1118 81 199 11.8% 1149 517 14 1680216  Country Groupings  Country Grouping Country Overall population % of all intl students Survey response rate % of survey responses by country Eastern Asia China 488 29.0 45 9.2   Taiwan 49 2.9 3 6.1   Japan 27 1.6 1 3.7   Hong Kong 20 1.2 4 20.0   South Korea 20 1.2 2 10.0   Macau 4 0.2 1 25.0   Mongolia 1 0.1 0 0.0   Total   609  36.3 56 9.2 Arab Saudi Arabia 417 24.8 25 6.0   Turkey 7 0.4 0 0.0   Egypt 4 0.2 1 25.0   United Arab Emirates 3 0.2 0 0.0   Jordan 2 0.1 0 0.0   Morocco 2 0.1 0 0.0   Syria 2 0.1 0 0.0   Kuwait 1 0.1 0 0.0   Libya 1 0.1 0 0.0   Oman 1 0.1 0 0.0  Total  440 26.2 26 5.9 Southern Asia India 231 13.8 47 20.3   Pakistan 19 1.1 1 5.3   Bangladesh 16 1.0 5 31.3   Iran 2 0.1 0 0.0   Bhutan 1 0.1 0 0.0  Total  269 16.0 53 19.7 Africa Nigeria 79 4.7 10 12.7   Zimbabwe 19 1.1 3 15.8   Zambia 4 0.2 2 50.0   Tanzania 3 0.2 1 33.3 217  Country Grouping Country Overall population % of all intl students Survey response rate % of survey responses by country   Uganda 3 0.2 0 0.0   Burundi 1 0.1 1 100.0   Cameroon 1 0.1 1 100.0   Côte d'Ivoire 1 0.1 0 0.0   Ethiopia 1 0.1 0 0.0   Ghana 1 0.1 0 0.0   Kenya 1 0.1 0 0.0   Mauritius 1 0.1 1 100.0   Namibia 1 0.1 0 0.0   South Africa 1 0.1 0 0.0   Sudan 1 0.1 0 0.0  Total  118 7.0 19 16.1 Former Eastern Bloc Russian Federation 77 4.6 16 20.8   Ukraine 20 1.2 3 15.0   Uzbekistan 5 0.3 0 0.0   Kazakhstan 3 0.2 0 0.0   Latvia 1 0.1 0 0.0   Poland 1 0.1 0 0.0   Romania 1 0.1 0 0.0  Total  108 6.4 19 17.6 UANWE United States of America 13 0.8 3 23.1   Sweden 9 0.5 2 22.2   Australia 8 0.5 2 25.0   France 7 0.4 3 42.9   Germany 6 0.4 3 50.0   Austria 5 0.3 2 40.0   Great Britain 5 0.3 1 20.0   Iceland 4 0.2 1 25.0   Spain 4 0.2 1 25.0   Finland 3 0.2 0 0.0   Denmark 2 0.1 1 50.0   New Zealand 2 0.1 1 50.0 218  Country Grouping Country Overall population % of all intl students Survey response rate % of survey responses by country   Norway 2 0.1 0 0.0   Greece 1 0.1 0 0.0   Ireland 1 0.1 0 0.0   Italy 1 0.1 0 0.0   Switzerland 1 0.1 0 0.0  Total  74 4.4 20 27.0 Latin America and the Caribbean Mexico 11 0.7 0 0.0   Brazil 6 0.4 0 0.0   Ecuador 4 0.2 0 0.0   Chile 3 0.2 0 0.0   Jamaica 3 0.2 1 33.3   Guatemala 2 0.1 0 0.0   Venezuela 2 0.1 0 0.0   Columbia 1 0.1 0 0.0   Nicaragua 1 0.1 0 0.0   Uruguay 1 0.1 0 0.0   Total   34 2.0  1 2.9 South Eastern Asia Vietnam 10 0.6 3 30.0   Thailand 9 0.5 4 44.4   Philippines 3 0.2 1 33.3  Indonesia 2 0.1 0 0.0   Malaysia 2 0.1 0 0.0   Cambodia 1 0.1 0 0.0  Total  27 1.6 8 29.6  Not Specified  1 0.1 0 100.0 Total number of countries and students at post-secondary institution 76 1680   202  Table 26:  On-line response rates compared to overall population, by country and country grouping  219  Pearson’s Chi-Square Test of Independence Calculations On-line software was used to calculate all Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence calculations (Preacher, 2001). E.1 On-line Survey Responses versus Overall Population Overall  Population In Sample Not In Sample Male 119 1030 Female/Other 83 448 Pearson’s Chi-Square   9.55 Degrees of Freedom  1 ρ-value  0.002 Table 27: Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence calculation for gender, for overall population  Note. Population of 1,149 males, 517 females, and 14 others/unknown. Eastern Asia In Not In Sample Male 28 342 Female/Other 28 211 Pearson’s Chi-Square  2.992 Degrees of Freedom  1 ρ-value  0.08368 Table 28: Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence calculation for gender, for Eastern Asia region Note. Population of 370 males, 233 females and 6 others/unknown. Arab & Southern Asia In Not In Sample Male 61 514 Female/Other 18 116 Pearson’s Chi-Square  0.875 Degrees of Freedom  1 ρ-value  0.34957 Table 29: Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence calculation for gender, for Arab and Southern Asia regions  Note. Population of 575 males, 129 females, and 5 others/unknown. 220   Africa In Not In Sample Male 10 63 Female/Other 9 36 Pearson’s Chi-Square  0.818 Degrees of Freedom  1 ρ-value  0.36577 Table 30: Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence calculation for gender, for African region  Note. Population of 73 males, 45 females.  Former Eastern Bloc In Not In Sample Male 9 43 Female/Other 10 46 Pearson’s Chi-Square  0.006 Degrees of Freedom  1 ρ-value  0.93826 Table 31: Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence calculation for gender, for Former Eastern Bloc region  Note. Population of 52 males, 55 females and 1 others/unknown. UANWE In Not In Sample Male 7 32 Female/Other 13 22 Pearson’s Chi-Square  3.446 Degrees of Freedom  1 ρ-value  0.63405 Table 32: Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence calculation for gender, for UANWE region  Note. Population of 39 males, 35 females. 221  UANWE + Latin America & Caribbean + South Eastern Asia In Not In Sample Male 11 68 Female/Other 18 39 Pearson’s Chi-Square  6.152 Degrees of Freedom  1 ρ-value  0.01313 Table 33: Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence calculation for gender, for all other regions (UANWE, Latin America & Caribbean, and South Eastern Asia plus unknown countries.   Note. Population of 79 males, 55 females, and 2 others/unknown.  Program In Not In Sample Eastern Asia 56 553 Arab 26 414 All other programs 120 493 Pearson’s Chi-Square  52.691 Degrees of Freedom  2 ρ-value  0.000 Table 34: Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence calculation for students by country grouping  Program In Not In Sample Business Administration 115 945 Computing Science/Science/Environment 41 276 All other programs 46 257 Pearson’s Chi-Square  4.487 Degrees of Freedom  2 ρ-value  0.1061 Table 35: Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence calculation for students by program of study  222  Academic Level In Not In Sample Bachelors 1041 107 Non-Bachelors 437 95 Pearson’s Chi-Square  25.044 Degrees of Freedom  1 ρ-value  5.6e-7 Table 36: Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence calculation for students by academic level of study   In focus group Not In focus group Male Business Administration Students 6 736 All other students 14 924 Pearson’s Chi-Square  1.647 Degrees of Freedom  1 ρ-value  0.1994 Table 37: Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence calculation for students’ makeup. Male business students versus others in total population.   223  E.2 Previous Non-Canadian Education versus Importance to Student of Education  My Non-Canadian education is “Very Important” or “Important” Otherwise Previous non-Canadian education   Less than degree 58 69 Bachelor, Masters or Professional degree 43 32 Pearson’s Chi-Square  2.566 Degrees of Freedom  2 ρ-value  0.1092 Table 38: Pearson’s Chi-Square test of independence calculation for importance of previous non-Canadian education as factor to getting career-related work after graduation    224  Students by Program Area  Table 39: Students by program area   Diploma programs number of studentsDegree programs number of studentspost-Bacc/Masters programs number of studentsEnglish as a 2nd Language Business Degrees Business DegreesEnglish as 2nd/Additional Lang 18 Bachelor of Bus Admin (entry) 573 Diploma in Pre-MBA 135ESAL Academic Preparation 1 BBA Co-op, Accounting 1 Master of Business Admin 29ESAL Introduction to Arts 1 BBA Hon with Double Major 1 PB Cert Business 2Business Diplomas BBA with Double Major 7 PB Dip Accounting 28Accounting Tech Diploma 4 BBA, Accounting 41 PB Dip Business 1Asso of Commerce and Business 1 BBA, Economics 3 PB Dip Finance 26Diploma in Management 9 BBA, Finance 25 PB Dip Human Resources 30Business Fundamentals 1 BBA, General Program 10 PB Dip International Business 45Computing Science Diplomas BBA, Human Resource Management 6 PB Dip Marketing 29Comp Sys Operations and Mngt 32 BBA, Information Technology 1 PB Dip New Venture Creation 5Tourism Diplomas BBA, International Business 9 Science DegreesAdventure Guide Diploma 6 BBA, Marketing 38 Master of Science, Environ Sc 3Adventure Management 4 BBA, New Venture Creation 1 Tourism DegreesAdventure Sports Certificate 1 Computing Science Degrees PB Dip Adventure Studies 1Culinary Arts Level 1 2 B Computing Science Co-op 1 PB Dip Tourism Destination Dev 1Events & Conventions Mngt 4 Bachelor of Computing Science 76 PB Dip Tourism Experience Mngt 1Resort & Hotel Management 27 BSc, Computing Science 6 PB Dip Jouralism 2Sports Events 4 Pre-Banner 2BTAC 4 Master of Education 10Tourism Management 2 Science Degrees 348Other Bachelor of Natural Res Sci 3Early Childhood Education 1 Bachelor of Science (entry) 186Dip Respiratory Therapy 6 BSc, Chemical Biology 2ABE University Prep 6 BSc, Chemistry 2Exchange to TRU 43 BSc, Ecology & Environ Biology 1Unknown 10 BSc, Physics 1Visiting Student 1 Tourism Degrees184 Bachelor of Tourism Management 17BTM, Adventure Studies 2BTM, Entrepreneurship 1BTM, Management 35Arts DegreesBA Gen, Social Sciences 1BA Hon, Psychology 1BA, Economics 1BA, English Literature 2BA, Mathematics 1BA, Psychology 4BA, Sociology 2Bachelor of Arts (entry) 63Bachelor of Journalism 1OtherBachelor of Education 1Bachelor of Fine Arts 9Bachelor of Science in Nursing 7B of Interdisciplinary Studies 31149225  Overview of Focus Groups Pseudo-name Group Gender Country Grouping Program Academic level B. 1 Male Southern Asia Business Post-Bacc Mk. 1 Male Former Eastern Bloc Business 4th year Ta. 1 Female Former Eastern Bloc Tourism Post-Bacc K. 1 Female Eastern Asia Nursing (Science?) 2nd year Lo. 2 Female Eastern Asia Business Pre-MBA G. 2 Female Eastern Asia Business Pre-MBA Mi. 2 Female Eastern Asia Business 3rd year E. 2 Female Africa Business Pre-MBA Mr. 2 Female Former Eastern Bloc BA/pre-BSW 1st year H. 3 Female Eastern Asia Tourism 1St year J. 3 Female Eastern Asia Business Post-Bacc Su. 3 Male Southern Asia Business Post-Bacc Nk. 3 Male UANWE Business 2nd year Lu. 3 Female Eastern Asia Education Masters Pu. 4 Male Southern Asia Business 2nd year Pr. 4 Female Southern Asia Business 3rd year Tr. 4 Female Eastern Asia ESL/pre-TESL ESL Tm. 4 Female Eastern Asia Tourism 4th year A. 4 Female Former Eastern Bloc Business 1st year I. 4 Male Former Eastern Bloc Business 3rd year Table 40: Focus group participants    226  Focus Group Questions Participant information sheet: 1. Name (optional) (used to aid in transcription) 2. Program of study (circle one): English as a Second Language Business Administration Computing Science & Technology Science & Environment Tourism & Hospitality Liberal Arts & Journalism Education Fine Arts Social Work & Human Services Health Sciences Interdisciplinary Studies University Preparation Other (please specify) ____________________________ 3.  Academic Year (circle one): 1      2      3      4      5 or higher 4. When did you arrive in Canada (YYYY-MM-DD): 2010-08-28 5. What jobs or careers will your studies at <post-secondary institution’s name> prepare you for?  List as many as you think are true (e.g. accountant, marketing manager, computer programmer, network administrator, nurse, teacher).  If you do not know, answer “Do not know”. 6. How familiar are you with the Provincial Nominee Program and or the Canadian Experience Class programs? (circle one): A great deal      Somewhat      Very little      Not at all 7. Since coming to <post-secondary institution’s name>, what have you done which you think will help you find career-related work in Canada after graduation.  If you do not know, answer “Do not know”. 8. What were your plans when you came to Canada, and what are your plans now? When I first arrived at <post-secondary> institution’s name> I planned to (circle one):  Leave Canada immediately  Stay in Canada 1 to 3 years, then leave Canada 227   Stay in Canada permanently (greater than 3 years)  Live in both Canada and another country  I am not sure Now that I have been at <post-secondary institution’s name>, I planned to (circle one):  Leave Canada immediately  Stay in Canada 1 to 3 years, then leave Canada  Stay in Canada permanently (greater than 3 years)  Live in both Canada and another country  I am not sure  9. Do you want to obtain career-related work in Canada after graduation? Very much so      Somewhat      Very little      Not at all Questions for focus group: 10. Do international students know about the Canadian Experience Class & Provincial Nominee Program? 11. The Canadian Experience Class and the Provincial Nominee Program are programs which allow international students to work and immigrate in Canada after graduation. a. What are <post-secondary institution’s name> international students doing during their time at <post-secondary institution’s name> that will help them obtain career-related work when they graduate? b. What career services and programs are <post-secondary institution’s name> international students using during their time at <post-secondary institution’s name> that will help them obtain career-related work when they graduate? 12. Some international students want to stay in Canada after graduation.  Some students want to leave Canada. c. What are the major reasons students decide to stay in Canada after graduation? d. What are the major reasons students decide to leave Canada after graduation? e. If you wanted a career outside of Canada, what would you do during your time at <post-secondary institution’s name> to help yourself in your career goal? f. If you wanted a career in Canada, would you do anything different? 13. What is your plan for obtaining career-related work after graduation?  Is your plan to find career-related work in Canada?  What steps have you taken so far? 14. <Post-secondary institution’s name> offers a range of career services and programs. g. What career services and programs does <post-secondary institution’s name> offer? h. What career services and programs are most useful to international students? 15. Finding career-related work can often be difficult 228  i. What makes it difficult for international students to obtain career-related work in Canada after graduation?   j. Between when international students arrive at <post-secondary institution’s name> and when they complete their program, what do international students do to help make it easier to get career-related work after graduation? k. Between when international students arrive at <post-secondary institution’s name> and when they complete their program, what services and programs can <post-secondary institution’s name> offer that will help international students get career-related work after graduation? 16. People one knows often help an individual with their career.  What type of help do international students ask for from the following: l. <post-secondary institution’s name> Career Education Department m. Student employment coordinator n. Co-op coordinator o. Faculty members p. Other staff at <post-secondary institution’s name> q. Friends/family in Canada r. Others in Canada not at <post-secondary institution’s name> s. Others not in Canada 17. If you wanted help with your career, who would you ask?  Why? 18. What do international students think are the most important services <post-secondary institution’s name> can offer to obtain career-related work after graduation? 19. How do international students build a network while they are at <post-secondary institution’s name>?    229  Question 23 Correlations  Table 41: Correlation of “How well do you and others know each other” versus “I would ask the following people for help”, N=202   230  Question 24 Correlations  Plans to stay in Canada after graduation Pearson Chi-Square  Sig. (2-tailed) N Viewed job postings at <career education department website> *14.20 .027 156 Viewed career information or resources at <career education department website>  ***24.58 .000 152 Attended a workshop, class or course on resume or interview skills 7.00 .321 159 Visited the TRU Career Education Department office *14.09 .029 157 Asked one of my professors for help with my career 4.57 .600 161 Met with a TRU Student Employment Coordinator **18.36 .005 151 Asked an international student advisor for help with my career *14.54 .024 164 Done a practicum or internship in my program of study *12.66 .049 151 Gone to a <post-secondary institution> job fair 7.88 >.050 161 Asked an academic advisor for help with my career 11.88 >.050 165 Attended a meeting of an off-campus group related to your career path 9.51 >.050 154 Been accepted into a <post-secondary institution> Co-op program 6.78 >.050 154 Done one or more <post-secondary institution> Co-op work terms 9.37 >.050 154 Applied to a <post-secondary institution> Co-op program 5.86 >.050 158 Attended employer event on-campus *14.40 .025 154 Attended a job finding club at <post-secondary institution> 4.26 >.050 153 Joined a <post-secondary institution> club related to your career 8.51 >.050 152 Attended a <post-secondary institution> Employer Mentoring event 5.66 >.050 156 Volunteered at the <post-secondary institution> Job Fair 2.89 >.050 156 Been a <post-secondary institution> Career Ambassador 10.65 >.050 155 Note. Students who responded “I am not sure” to Q15.2 were eliminated Note. * P < .05; ** P < .01; *** P < .001 Table 42: What are you plans now, and which of the following activities are an important part of preparing for your career after graduation? N=178 231    Table 43: To what extent have you used <post-secondary institution’s> career services; and which of the following activities are an important part of preparing for your career after graduation? N < 202  Note. Students who responded “Do not know” were eliminated.  232  Data Not Used The data collected in the on-line survey for the following questions were not discussed in the main body of the thesis. Q4 “Which country did you live longest before coming to Canada?” Of the 202 responses, 23 students indicated they had lived in another country longer than the country of their citizenship.  There was no overall pattern where the 23 students lived.  Seven of the 23 lived in countries within the same region.  Eight were students with Eastern Asian citizenship who lived longest in countries in the Arab, Latin America & Caribbean, and Southern Asia region.  Five of the 23 were students with citizenship from some other regions who lived longest in UANWE, two were students with UANWE citizenship who lived longest in the Eastern Asia, and Arab regions.  Two others were students from other regions who lived longest in UANWE.  One was a student with a Southern Asian citizenship lived in Africa longest. Q6 “When did you arrive in Canada?”  This data proved ambiguous since, while most students arrived shortly be starting at the post-secondary institution, it was clear from some of the data that many arrived many months or years earlier.  Because of this, the data could not be used to discern when the students started studying at <post-secondary institution>. Q7 “What is your current Academic Year?” was interpreted a number of ways by students, such as the number of years a student had studied at the institution or their academic year.  For example, a student entering a Bachelor program at the 3rd year level might answer “1” (as in 1 year of studies at institution) or “3” (as in 3rd year of a 4th year program).  At the same time, the data from the post-secondary institution’s registrar for students’ academic years was equally 233  ambiguous, sometimes relating to the total number of years a student had studied at the institution, and sometimes relating to the number of years in a specific program.   Q8 “What year do you plan to complete your studies in Canada?” Q10 “Are you at <post-secondary institution> as part of a visiting student exchange program of another university?” The data for Q10 “Are you at <post-secondary institution> as part of a visiting student/student exchange program?” was ignored because it was ambiguous.   Twenty students with 11 different citizenships answered “Yes” to this question.  However, the data from the registrar’s office indicated only 10 of the 20 students had citizenships from countries with exchange students at the institution.   Q25 “How often would you use the following proposed career services if they were available?” was part of another study and will not be examined in this thesis.   Q26 “How often do you get information about <post-secondary institution> services and programs through the following sources?” was part of another study and will not be examined in this thesis.     

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