IRCC’s 2022 International Experience Canada Study Summary, CIC NEWS Update

International Experience Canada (IEC) program public opinion research was published by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in March 2022.

In order to quantify the preceding, this report compiled the views of more than 2,500 Canadian adolescents and more than 1,000 Canadian parents (obtained through a survey questionnaire), in combination with an extra 108 youth and 39 parents who were asked via a bulletin board.

  • past experience working or traveling abroad
  • IEC program knowledge, interest, and involvement
  • Motivations, advantages, and challenges of international work and travel
  • a journey yearning amidst 
  • Different viewpoints espoused by various young groups, according to COVID-19 (details below)

The main conclusions of that investigation are summarized here.

1. COVID-19

Even though this study was done at the beginning of 2022, participants’ worries about COVID-19 dangers persisted to a significant extent. The pandemic’s effects on Canadian youth’s academic and mental health have also raised concerns.

In contrast, many respondents have found it easier to deal with pandemic-related “disappointment and isolation” because they have a greater appreciation for some pandemic-related perks, such as a slower pace of life and the expansion of virtual schooling and employment opportunities.

2. Travel 

The IRCC’s research on current travel found that the biggest barrier to travel was cost, and while the epidemic encouraged some people’s desire to travel, many people were still leery of doing so owing to issues like the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

On the other hand, when it came to future travel, coronavirus safety was a crucial consideration for both kids and parents. The most important element affecting the safety of foreign travel were domestic and international vaccination requirements. The most frequent obstacles to future international travel also included financial concerns, employment obligations, the expense of travel, and the need for travel companions to make trips with kids safer.

immigrate through express entry, CIC NEWS Update

Regarding the experiences Canadian youth have had with overseas travel and their opinion of its advantages, the IRCC’s research also brought to light the following.

  • 86% of Canadian teenagers say they have taken at least one international journey for work or pleasure during their lifetime.
  • About 40% of young people who responded have gone abroad to work, study, or volunteer.
  • The chance to experience personal growth, adventure, and learn about different cultures were among the advantages of international travel mentioned by respondents.
  • Young people in the study were keen to show off their international experience to potential employers, but only 53% thought it would ultimately boost their chances of getting a job in Canada.

Kids with hearing or mobility disabilities, LGBTQ2+ adolescents, young women in STEM fields, and Indigenous youth were all specifically targeted in this study. Between and among these four groups:

  • In general, young people with disabilities were more worried about COVID-19 and the upkeep of public health initiatives.
  • Numerous Indigenous teenagers who were polled said that learning more about COVID-19 has increased their degree of caution over travel and perhaps introducing COVID-19 into their communities.
  • Distance and ties to one’s family and community, according to indigenous kids in remote and northern areas, are major obstacles to international travel.

3. Intention to travel or take part in the IEC program in the future

Nearly 74% of young people who responded said they would be “very or somewhat likely” to travel after the pandemic was finished, especially for vacation or business. However, 39% of respondents said that as a result of the epidemic, there are some nations they would no longer contemplate relocating to.

On the other hand, Canadian adolescents (34%) are usually more worried than ever before (53% in 2021) that they must feel safe traveling to another nation for the COVID-19 rates to be close to zero.

Youth reported a 30% possibility of participating in an IEC-like program in the future.

Finally, 56% of the young people surveyed said they didn’t know how to start volunteering, working, or studying outside of Canada. Almost half of these young people (49%) also expressed the opinion that it would be difficult for them to obtain employment abroad.

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