The Study Safe Corridor initiative, waiting on approval by Federal Government, wants to bring in 40,000 foreign students to Canada.
Language schools across the country have struggled alongside many other businesses during the crisis. The proposed initiative is to bring students and the economic benefits they bring, into Canada for this Falls semester.
The plan is to allow foreign students from countries such as Japan, South Korea, Brazil and Turkey to come to learn French and English.
Air Canada will provide charter flights and some Canadian hotels have offered to provide “Quarantine Package” stays for the students. Students will be pre-screened for the virus to be accepted into the plan, and have a 14 day quarantine period on arrival. A Health Insurance provider has also agreed to back the plan.
Gonzalo Peralta, executive director of Languages Canada stated “The students including teenagers to people in their 30s and 40s would be required to sign contracts to guarantee compliance with health regulations, which include financial penalties if rules are broken. We needed to come up with something that would be a game changer. We believe that if sports teams are allowed to function in this way, then international education should be allowed as well.”
The Stanley Cup playoffs in Canada has received permission for the Federal Government allowing players from 18 teams from the U.S. to enter the country. The games due to be played in Toronto and Edmonton, will required all teams to follow strict safety protocols.
Languages Canada represents 200 schools across the country.
Gonzalo Peralta estimates over 500 million dollars of revenue can be generated for the country across all the sectors involved by March 2021.
Additionally 9000 educational jobs could be saved. A recent survey estimates three quarters of Canada’s language schools will be closed by the end of the year if change does not happen.
There are obviously concerns over bringing in so many foreigners, however Emrah Oyman, executive director of operations at Toronto’s Mentora Language Academy, said “Online classes aren’t a suitable replacement. The big selling feature is the cultural component, if you take away the face to face, you may as well just go on to YouTube. We are confident that the safety measures of the Study Safe Corridor will minimize health risks. This plan is bulletproof, it’s very robust.”
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