By: Jing Zhao

Over a period of two days the PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada (PEI ANC) held presentations in the Murphy Student Center. On the course of the presentations, the PEI ANC introduced who they are and what they do to help students. As per their mandate, most of this information was directed towards international students.

PEI ANC is a non-profit charitable organization, established in 1993, aiming to provide services and help to new immigrants in the province of Prince Edward Island. PEI ANC’s support services center on settlement and integration, language, employment services, community outreach, and immigrant student services. Over the course of the two days, the PEI ANC introduced their services for international students,  including their Employment Assistance Service (EAC), as well as how to get involved in community.

The presentations helped to reveal the scope of the Newcomers Association’s activities. There are settlement services, employment services, the Community Connections Program, and immigrant student services (K-12). More detailed service include the amendments to, and extension, of study permits, applying for a PEI Health Card, applying for post-graduation work permits, as well as applying for permanent residency. PEI ANC will help to determine the students’ eligibility and ensure have the appropriate forms, enough supporting documents, and correctly handing forms. Moreover, they will help to explain process for applying for the post-graduation work permit. This is the permit that students can work anywhere in Canada and also can apply for some other benefits. The application of PGWP needs to be done within 90 days of receiving written confirmation of completion of academic program and the length of that is depend on the length of the academic program, which is non-renewable. Then, they help present some information on the pathways to permanent residency, such as the Provincial Nominee Program, Canadian experience class, Federal Skilled Worker Program, and express entry. A lot of information is online available on the website: www.peianc.com. International students can make an appointment with Rosalie Blanchard to arrange an initial meeting by: rosalie@peianc.com to talk about their doubts and questions.

PEI ANC also introduced the Employment Assistance Service (EAS), which is useful for helping students to find a job. PEI ANC helps with job hunting, writing resumes and cover letters, filling out applications, preparing for job interviews, and other related services. With the free help by the employment councilor, you will get more chances for job hunting. For more help, you can contact Jennifer Jeffrey by Jennifer@peianc.com.

Finally, their presentations addressed how to get involved in the community, which is an important issue for international students. Many PEI ANC groups and activities offer chances for students to join in, such as a women’s group and a men’s group, the community interest interview,  and various volunteer opportunities, all of which can be found through their website: www.peianc.com. If you are staying in the island for winter, you can go to  their Christmas Break event in January to feel like home. There are many activities on the different months among the whole year. Just from searching their website, you will be able to find much more information.

PEI ANC provides many help and support to the international students and they welcome students making contact with them. Community Outreach Facilitator Nancy Clement suggests international students register for their services and keep contact with them. They are willing to help students solve their question. All PEI ANC staff welcome students to find help and suggestions with them.