The World University Service of Canada (WUSC) Program changes lives by enabling refuges from around the world to attend a Canadian University and attain an education that would be hard to achieve in their home country.
The Students’ Association, Saint Mary’s University, and the student body have been tremendous supporters of the WUSC program since 1983. Many campus stakeholders come together to provide a cost-free first year at Saint Mary’s for the program participant, including tuition, books, residence, a meal plan, health plan coverage, a Upass, tools necessary for study (for example, laptop, backpack, supplies), allowances for winter clothing, personal expenses, and meals during campus breaks, as well as immigration and flight costs. The students of Saint Mary’s pay a levy of $2 per year (full time) or $1 per year (part time) to help with costs of the program, while the various departments of the University provide other program elements free of charge.
In recent years we have sponsored students from South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Sudan, and Ethiopia to attend SMU, in programs of Science, Commerce, and Arts. As a participant in the WUSC program, the individual receives Permanent Resident status upon arrival in Canada, and after completing their degree has a network of contacts available to help identify career opportunities in which to employ their education and skills, and begin to build a life here. The program starts with entrance to education, but the benefits to the participant go beyond their four years at University in providing this residency status.
Here are a few words from a recent WUSC program participant at Saint Mary’s University;