I am a 20-year-old from Kenya who would do anything just to work outside Africa. It's all I want but it seems really hard to achieve and I don't know where to start. Any job would be good for the experience, including being a waitress, but my field of study is the media. How do I achieve my dream?
I understand and appreciate your desire to find work and make a life for yourself abroad.
If you already have family living in Canada, they may be interested in sponsoring you to come and work here. Check out the Citizenship and Immigration Canada section of the Government of Canada's website. There, you will find all kinds of information about coming to Canada to work or to study, or as an immigrant or refugee.
One route is to apply to come to Canada on a student visa. Check with officials at the college or university where you are studying media/journalism to see whether they have a student placement or exchange program with Canada. If they do, then you will want to become a part of this program and indicate your interest in studying abroad.
Another route is to apply to programs in journalism and media studies at different colleges or universities across Canada. There are many postsecondary journalism programs here, from University of King's College in Halifax, N.S., to Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto to the University of British Columbia and the British Columbia Institute of Technology in Vancouver.
Take time to see which ones emphasize and support training for international students. Also ask about scholarships, bursaries, loans and financial assistance for international students at these postsecondary institutions. Reach out to school officials and ask how they can help you with the process of applying and being accepted into their education programs.
Where possible, you will want to provide examples of your writing, reporting, blogging and social media forays to school officials. If you are able to, start a blog or write about your experiences in Kenya, with a focus on what is happening politically, economically or culturally. This may help to get the attention of officials not only at universities or colleges abroad, but also from the news media itself. This may lead to further support and a possible co-operative education experience or job down the road.
Look for ways that your community and your church, if you attend one, can help you. They may be able to provide educational, job, or community contacts in Canada or assist with international student or refugee association introductions. They may also be able to help fund your studies in this country.
Let as many people as possible know about your interest in coming to Canada. By building your network, you increase your chances of finding a place to live, study and work abroad.
If you are able, make a video speaking about your desire to live, study and work abroad, then post it on YouTube, along with your request for help in securing contacts.
Remember that courage, patience, perseverance, clear messaging, community building and requests for help will assist you with achieving your vision of living and working in Canada.
Bruce Sandy is Principal of Pathfinder Coaching and Consulting and www.brucesandy.com Bruce works with clients nationally and around the globe.
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