Thousands of Saudi Arabian students attend Canadian universities, but the recent diplomatic spat between Canada and Saudi Arabia are hurting that.
A diplomatic dispute between the two broke out when Canada urged Saudi Arabian authorities to release activists for the rights of imprisoned women. Saudi Arabia responded by suspending its political ties with Canada, and suspended all investment and transactions with the country. Worse, training, fellowships and scholarships designed for Saudi students in Canada are being shelved, causing many students to suffer from sad and struggling stories.
As a result, Saudi Arabian students in Canada are at stake.
One of the most heart-breaking impacts of the political tension between Saudi Arabia and Canada is the cancellation of the King Abdullah scholarship program, which has been helping thousands of Saudi Arabian students with their international studies. The scholarship program covers student’s tuitions, accommodations, flights and even their living expenses.
A Saudi student who revealed his experiences from the political rift said that the last nine months were the worst part of his educational journey in Canada. He said that he had to pay his tuition, accommodation and living expenses on his own. Similar to his experience, many students were so unfortunate to stop their studies because their parents can’t afford the cost of Canada higher education.
A political expert said that despite the negative impact of the political dispute to international students, the Saudi Arabian authorities wouldn’t climb down from their pollical rhetoric.
Meanwhile, the Canada government is doubling its effort to mitigate the impact. Nova Scotia Health Authority, a provincial health facility in Canada, added six provincially funded posts for Canadian residents, while six others will be added each year.
Canadian leaders said they value international students, and urged Saudi to spare them from the story because they have nothing to do with the political dispute.
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