Students turn to Canada in Trump immigration era

Deutsch: Toronto: Hart House (Studentenzentrum...
Deutsch: Toronto: Hart House (Studentenzentrum der Universität Toronto am St. George Campus) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Source: By The Washington Post  on March 28, 2017, at 10:50 AM, updated March 28, 2017, at 10:54 AM
Khaled Almilaji has been stranded in Turkey since January. His wife, pregnant with their first child, is waiting at their home in Rhode Island. His classes at Brown University's School of Public Health are well into the second semester. Ever since his student visa was revoked, he has been trying to keep up, somehow, from across the ocean.
After a federal judge had frozen President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration this month, Almilaji had more hope of getting back to his wife. But he understands his new reality as a Syrian trying to study in the United States: "I have to accept being lost between orders and anti-orders."
Suddenly, Canada is looking like a really good option.
"Canada is having a moment," Ted Sargent, vice president-international at the University of Toronto, said last month. "It is a time of opportunity."
Applications from international students have increased at universities across the country, said Paul Davidson, president of Universities Canada.
The number of international students coming to Canada doubled in the past decade. But in the last year, some events globally have added to its appeal for some students. The Brexit vote for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, and the U.S. election, seem to have been factors, Davidson said.
Traffic to the Universities Canada website, an entry point for many people looking for more information about schools in the country, has doubled since November. Many of the most elite Canadian universities had large increases in applications from the United States: Up 25 percent at McGill, 35 percent at McMaster.
At the University of Toronto, U.S. applications increased almost 80 percent this year.
Rebekah Robinson, a high school senior from Severn, Md., was drawn to Toronto for its academic reputation and climate, as well as the diversity in the city. As an African American at a predominantly white school who hopes to one day be a translator working in diplomacy, she found the ethnic mix particularly appealing.
And she's not a Donald Trump supporter, so his presidential win made Canada look even better. "After the election, when more and more things were happening - it just seemed like a really great idea," she said.
Andrew Hong, a 17-year-old from New Jersey, is going to the Toronto next fall as well, eager to study artificial intelligence at a top-ranked university. The tuition isn't high compared to many U.S. schools, and the exchange rate makes it particularly affordable, he said. He wasn't thinking much about Trump when he was considering which colleges to apply to, either, but given election results he doesn't agree with, he said, "Maybe going to another country would be nice for a change."

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