My Education in Canada Started Well. Then Came The Twist, Frustration and Depression.

higher education canada wrongI really want to run against studying in Canadian Colleges. I request all readers to spread this word to students like me out there not to select Canadian colleges.

Those are the exact lines from the experience shared by a student from Canada.

Let’s get to the story now.

I was reached out by a student (SL) with following comment

I have been reader of Happy School blogs since I was preparing for my visa interview 2 years before which I never get through and decided to switch to Canada, so right now in Canada but still I read. I wish this blog to be broader a bit encompassing studying in any foreign country. It’s more about US always.
Then I responded “Students like you should share the experience about studying in Canada.”
Then came the following reply.
I was totally shocked after reading the reply and experience in studying in Canada.
Enter SL.

I want to share my story as a part of awareness campaign. I really want to run against studying in Canadian Colleges.

Twist in my academic life starts when I decided to pursue M.S in US, 3 years before.

I completed my masters in Biotechnology from Pune University with distinction.

I was always a topper in my class, I loved biology but disliked Maths so but obvious I screwed up in Quantitative section and ended up with 950 score in GRE.

Still on basis of my projects and academics got admit from University of Houston at Clear Lake and Long Island University, but was not fortunate enough to get true guidance from Consultancy though I paid them.

I applied for visa and got rejected twice for insufficient funds.

I applied for 3rd time but never attended interview because I was devastated by then.

I worked part-time and thought about Canada, the easiest way was getting into a college for PG Diploma.

I did the same but screwed visa again because of poor documentation.

Then I approached Canam and finally succeeded.

But it do not ends here, I came here and realized it’s worthless studying PG Diploma.

It’s just a business of Canadian colleges.

Diplomas with no future.

So here I am in Toronto working in Restaurants and Petro-Canada after MS in Biotechnology and PG Diploma in Industrial Biotechnology

I’m still trying to get in to any University in world were I can complete my PhD with funding.

It seems I may suffer from depression but still I don’t want to give up.

I request all readers to spread this word to students like me out there not to select Canadian colleges.

That was SL’s experience.

I totally don’t agree with above experience. Here’s why

GRE Score

  • Disliking Math shouldn’t affect your GRE Test Score.
  • I have seen so many students give the same reason over and over again.
  • How do you think students with similar background score over 320 in GRE?
  • GRE Prep is more of a mind-set that’s affected your performance in Quantitative section.
  • GRE Quantitative section doesn’t require college level math to get an average GRE score in the test.

Consultancy and US Visa

  • Yet another story of education agents messing-up with your future.
  • Here’s why I prefer students to apply on their own
    • You have a problem (university application process and visa). By going to consultancy you are running away from the problem.
    • Read this – What makes students studying abroad unique and better?
    • When you run into bigger problem in future, you will try to do the same. Right?
    • Consultancies don’t know about Professor’s,  Research. They don’t know about CPT rules.
    • All they care is your fee’s and university’s commission (if they have tie-up). There are very few consultancy who officially represent the schools and not work based on commission for recruiting students.
  • So, things didn’t workout with USA for you and it’s good that you decided to try Canada.

PG Diploma in Canada

  • My first question – Why PG Diploma?

Question : Why didn’t you try to switch to PhD or Master’s after coming to Canada? Why didn’t you apply for PhD or Masters degree in Canada.

Here’s what PG Diploma Means According to University of Toronto :

Take your studies further without enrolling in a degree program. We offer several diploma programs composed of graduate-level coursework and other activities for professionals who wish to give their careers a boost.

What does that mean? Here’s the hierarchy of degrees offered in Canada.

  • Certificate
  • Diploma
  • Advanced Diploma
  • Bachelors Degrees
  • Post Graduate Diplomas
  • Masters Degree
  • Doctorate or PhD

You already have Masters in Biotechnology.

If your aim is to do PhD, then you should have applied for PhD. Why did you take a step back to do PG Diploma (1 year course)?

If you think your GRE is less for PhD, then prepare for GRE, improve the score and apply for PhD.

Other options could have been get admission for Masters then convert to PhD after coming to the campus.

One more thing : Education is business for all Colleges and Universities. They have bills and salaries to pay. With rising cost, they need more students paying tuition fees. Education is not a Charity.

Final thoughts on Studying in Canadian Colleges

I request all readers to spread this word to students like me out there not to select Canadian colleges.

I think you experience in Canada are due to the choice of selecting Diploma when your mind was set for PhD. I know it’s tough when things don’t go as you planned.

But, you are still in Canada and you can still do PhD in Canada or USA or Germany.

You can take small steps today and create a targeted plan to do PhD.

Your plan should look like this

  • Where to Study PhD – Which Country?
  • Read this – 15 Questions to Ask Before Doing PhD
  • What is your area of interest?
  • List of Professors who work in the area of interest
  • Contact those list of professors.
  • Admission Requirements for PhD
  • Admission Deadlines
  • Do things to improve your profile ( read research papers, come with new ideas, etc) to meet the requirements.

When you start doing little things right, I sure everything will fall in place.

Instead, if you are like this. This my current profile (Point A) and I want to get Point B and I don’t want to list of things that will take me to Point B. Then you can’t expect better results without doing tough things.

Your thoughts

  • What do you think about the decisions made by SL?
  • Would you do/did the same, in similar situations with your career?

Share your thoughts in comments.

Do you have similar experience to share? Send it to me. Would love to help you.

34 Comments

  1. Divakar Kumaravelan on July 10, 2018 at 2:29 PM

    Hi !!! I finished my UG in civil engineering. Now I am planning to do PG diploma in Construction Management in any canadian colleges. Is it worth doing ? Can I afford job as soon as completing my PGD ? Or which is the perfect course that in present demand ? I have IELTS score of 7.5 band. Kindly someone give me some useful suggestions.

    Thanks in advance !!!

    • Raghuram Sukumar on July 10, 2018 at 10:22 PM

      Try for Masters than PG Diploma.

  2. ABHISHEK TAMMINENI on August 16, 2017 at 8:21 AM

    Hi all
    This is ABHISHEK
    I am a B-tech graduate from mechanical stream with 74% aggregate. I’m planning to pursue my higher studies and in that process, I’ve met some consultant people who said me about the PG-diploma course.
    As of now I’m in total confusion. So please guide me the way I actually should walk.
    Is it really worth pursuing PG-diploma(industrial manufacturing processes) or should I go for MS.

  3. Shiva on March 29, 2017 at 6:04 AM

    I have completed my Btech in Computer science and now i want to continue my study in canada can anybody pls suggest me that is it worth to do pg diploma or i have to go for masters

  4. Himanshu Metai on January 26, 2017 at 8:19 AM

    Hey everyone,
    this is himanshu here
    I m planning for further studies in canada please suggest me a better option among master’s and p.g diploma.
    i m currently pursuing bachelors of computer engineering with 8.0 CGPA till 7th sem
    and 74% in 10th and 73% in 12th.
    have also appeared IELTS and got overall 7.0 bands(LRWS-8,7.5,6,6.5)
    And according to you which course should i go for master’s or p.g diploma.

    • Shilpa monga on February 6, 2018 at 1:00 AM

      So what is better pg or masters.will we get same opprtunities after doing these courses??

  5. Rajeshwar on November 7, 2016 at 1:01 PM

    Hello..!!!! I planned to take up my higher studies in Canada. I have 80% in B E Mech and 7.0 IELTS score. I cannot afford for MS so I have decided to take PG dip. Many of them giving different ideas and Im bit confused, so is PG dip worth doing? My ultimate aim is to get PR.
    Thanks in advance

  6. Mayur on September 4, 2016 at 9:49 AM

    Hello Raghu

    Please reply
    I am also in the same situation now.
    My profile is
    BE Mechanical 7.94 cgpa
    Ielts 6 (lrws- 6,7,5.5,6)
    Gre-298
    2.5 years of experience

    I also got my visa rejected two times for Ms Mechanical in cleveland state university for fall 2016. As I was preparing for us i am very confused about selecting pgdm and master programmes in canada. I also secured admission in fansawe college for pgdm in practical elements of Mechanical. I am really very scaptical about choosing the way to go.

    I hope you will help.
    Thanks in advance.

    • SHABBIR on September 29, 2016 at 7:38 AM

      Raghu even I am at the same situation as yours

  7. JATIN WADHWA on August 30, 2016 at 2:38 AM

    I am B tech in Electrical Engg , 2009 batch, 61 % degree, 5 back logs
    4 years of work experience in Income tax deptt (non technical)

    A consultant recently told me that I can’t apply for Masters in Univ as my percentage is very low and there’s a gap of more than 5 years in my education

    So I am planning to go for PG Diploma from IIT gandhinagar next year then apply for masters in canada??……………Is it a good idea or worth it…………….please guide me

  8. Avinash on June 20, 2016 at 3:09 PM

    Hello Raghu Kumar
    I completed my bachelors
    Recommend me whether to choose pgd or masters ?
    I want to choose pgd bcz it’s Tution fee is less and my friends share me that u will have the same oppruntities like masters

    • Shilpa monga on February 6, 2018 at 12:59 AM

      So what is better pg or masters.will we get same opprtunities after doing these courses??

  9. Krish on November 4, 2015 at 12:32 PM

    Is it not worthy pursuing PG diploma

  10. vicky on February 26, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    i was just wonddering about the proffessional accounnting program in seneca college what r the job prospects for accounting students in canada, i am a bba and i want to apply for the professional accounting program plz i need u r advice

  11. Sathyapriya on February 26, 2014 at 7:20 AM

    Hi Ragu,
    The Analysis of the article is really very good. I have my own experience to share. I am trying for MS in IC design (VLSI) and i graduated from Anna University Chennai. I was having two options USA and Canada. Even though i work in VLSI industry and i thought let me give it a try for Thesis based masters in Canada. I gave a try and i got approval from University of Calgary with $18,000 /year funding. I hope this comment helps people who are trying for MS (Thesis based) in Canada.
    1. Thesis based programs are really very difficult to get in to.
    2. First i started to send mails to professors directly with my resume attached ( i got reply after 10 days).
    3. I got a reply from University of Calgary since i have industrial exposure in VLSI. ( Industrial Exposure do help for Thesis based)
    4. They sent me a paper and set up a Skype interview . A PhD research person took my interview. It went for 3 hrs and i was not sure of the result ( timing was night 12 here in India)
    5. I got result from him that he is satisfied with my interview and approved that they will take me as a research student.
    6. The level they expect is completely different. They told me to apply to the university . once the admissions committee accepts they told they will take me as MS research student.
    ( Note: Graduation committee accepts only when there is a professor sponsoring you)

    I was not able to go because of some personal issues but it was really worth giving that interview. i had a simulation effect of quality in foreign universities.Above all Courage,Confidence and Never give up spirit is more important . All the best for people trying for Canada. I hope this helps

  12. Sheetal on February 20, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    Thank you Raghu for all the analysis ,
    I agree with your opinion about the mistakes I did in past ,but yes its the truth that we Human beings are not flawless what matters is learning from mistakes and I learnt. I have already started my application for Phd in German Universities, and to tell you honestly I thank god for all this that happened just because of it I got to know what I really want in life.
    To be not mistaken I am not against any Country , I just wanted to convey the fact about community colleges here. I hope some one learns from my mistakes. I would like to leave this quote which kept on inspiring me all these days and it still continues to be,
    “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” -Anaïs Nin:

  13. Marziya on February 18, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    i have heard and read many stories about students of biotechnology not getting good jobs even in top biotech countries like canada and US. I am a biotech student in new delhi and i plan to go UK for my phd. can u pls give me guidnce in this context? y does it happen that in top biotech countries too indian students fail to get good jobs even after studying from top indian universities?

  14. Dhruvin on February 8, 2014 at 10:33 AM

    Great Help. Actually right now i am also confuse between USA and Canada for my MS in Electrical Engineering. And yes! this post surely going to help me. Thank you for some trouble Shooting.

    • PAYAL on June 7, 2015 at 5:47 AM

      I am electronic engineer working India as Tech Asst in research institute .I want MS in electronic in Canada. I have 1.5 years experience . So may i apply for student or pr. please guide me…
      Thank You.

  15. vineet on February 6, 2014 at 3:05 AM

    I totally disagree with this story. You see, there are quite some flaws in the Student’s plan above. First of all, as mentioned, going for a PG diploma after having a masters degree was a rather uninformed move. Second , the GRE score does matter although it’s not mandatory like in US.

    I got a GRE score of 1500 (~335 new format). I applied in US for the first time but didn’t get any funding anywhere. Being from a middle class family, I decided on applying to Canada. I got into University of Calgary with full funding and now I’m almost on the verge of finishing my thesis and already have job offers.

    So it’s not the country that needs to be blamed but the program/student (just being frank here).

    Also, when you move to a new country, you have to do prior research about the program that you’re entering … You can’t just go by the word of mouth.

    Also, I’d like to say that apart from the weather, I love this country. The people, the sustem … Healthcare !! … Everything!! … My friends in US are rather envious of some of the luxuries of being here !

    • siva on May 29, 2014 at 7:25 AM

      vineet i’m also plnning for university of calgarry can i contact you…can you tell me your mail id

    • sainy on December 12, 2015 at 8:50 PM

      HIII, I am also planning for canada but i don’t have 70% to apply for masters in universities.
      so, i would like to do PGD in colleges. so, is it worth studying to get good job after completion.?

    • Himanshu Metai on January 26, 2017 at 7:55 AM

      Hey vineet ,
      this is himanshu here
      I m planning for the same university that you are currently in .
      so share some reviews about that university i.e how are the job oppurtunities??
      i m currently pursuing bachelors of computer engineering
      And according to you which is better pg diploma or master’s??
      please send your review on my mail id

  16. Prabhakaran on February 4, 2014 at 11:53 PM

    Good advice HSB for those who are planning for Canada.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on February 5, 2014 at 12:18 AM

      Not just for Canada..

  17. Sukesh on February 4, 2014 at 10:56 PM

    In Canada I see many students getting enrolled into colleges or else i can frame it as 3 in 10 students coming to Canada for higher education enroll into colleges to pursue their diploma and the remaining go for masters and Phd there are few reasons for that

    1) Getting enrolled into a diploma program is very easy when compared to the masters/Phd program ( Minimum IELTS score requirements for Masters is 7 while for college its 5.5)
    2) No proper guidance for students in India regarding canadian education system.
    3)Consultants tend to cash in students lack of knowledge regarding canadian education.

    • Sakshi on March 5, 2018 at 12:11 PM

      I have done B.A programme ( spanish and socioligy) …i wish to do pgdm in human resource management..
      Is it a good option for me?

  18. Stu on February 4, 2014 at 10:06 PM

    Intially he just taught to go any foreign country after us visa was denied .
    After that concultancy suggested diplamo course
    Was easy to study and to get admit .

    Then he went there .

    After completing the study . There is no job prospectus for that.
    As a human psychology he started blaming .

    This is my opinion . Most people do like this . Even i taught of doing diplamo bcoz heard that masters is expensive and hard in canada.

  19. Shobhit on February 4, 2014 at 10:02 PM

    I agree to your replies. I recently finished my masters from Univ. of Toronto – Dept. of Com. Sci. I started my job at a well reputed company the very next day. The experience has been extremely opposite to what the person has mentioned. It has been awesome! The extent of learning, exposure and opportunities has been overwhelming. I highly recommend students to pursue the graduate studies here as most of them are financed by govt.( atleast university degrees do). All I would say is your choices of the past bring you to the present you are in and your choices in the present will effect your future. So decide judiciously and please don’t convey the wrong message to the others who have been dreaming of the same.

    • Sheetal on February 20, 2014 at 2:14 PM

      I respect your opinion , but you graduated from UofT and that to not in life sciences, In any University in Canada you need to find a supervisor before getting in to Masters in life Sciences and that is very difficult. Also I am not conveying about Universities , My experience conveys about Community Colleges and that is a fact , I learned from my mistakes and want others to learn from mine. So overall I am not against any Country I am taking my responsibility to convey the facts for thousands of those in India who are planning to get into these Colleges.

      • Diksha on January 5, 2016 at 7:50 AM

        So, do you think going for a graduation certificate program is a waste of time?
        Because I am planning to go for this course in mental health. Is it easy to get a job after that?

    • sainy on December 12, 2015 at 8:52 PM

      HIII, I am also planning for canada but i don’t have 70% to apply for masters in universities.
      so, i would like to do PGD in colleges. so, is it worth studying to get good job after completion.? I am from computer science background

      • Raghuram Sukumar on December 18, 2015 at 9:15 AM

        Go for a degree program.

      • aksha on November 2, 2016 at 10:53 AM

        so did you enroll to the PGD course?

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