Career Stories

Business Management Studies Brings World of Opportunity to International Students

International students in business management Pictured from left to right: Nitharshana (Shana) Kulaveerasingam, Karina Makkar, and Sami Abusaifan
March 31, 2023


Toronto is home to 6.7 million people, over half of whom are foreign-born. It's also home to 38 percent of Canada's businesses and the second largest financial centre in North America. No wonder that students from around the world are drawn to study, live, and work here.

Since the International Students Programs launched at The Chang School in fall 2022, they have had 28 students from seven countries, including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Jordan, Iran, Argentina, and Peru.

We had the chance to speak with four students – Nitharshana (Shana) Kulaveerasingam, Karina Makkar, Sami Abusaifan, and Dhruv Subramanian – who are currently studying in the Business Management Studies - Project Management program about their journey and how they ended up at The Chang School.

CS: What attracted you to Toronto as an international student?

SK: Studying in Canada was my optimal choice due to several factors. My focus was to find a course at a reputable university in Canada. Fortunately, I noticed the Business Management Studies program, which was attractive to me as it’s a university certificate that can be completed in two years. What attracted me to Toronto is the importance and security given to the people, diversity, and culture.

KM: Toronto has always been the city for me to complete my higher studies since I visited Canada for the first time when I was 16. I don’t want to sound dreamy but it just felt right. The multicultural city that Toronto is is what attracted me and the idea of having a view of the CN Tower from my window felt nice.

SA: One of my brothers who was already here also recommended the university to me and my niece also studies at TMU. Because I have family members here and other close friends, Toronto was a good choice for me, especially in the beginning when you’re relocating to a new country. I wanted to be close to friends and family.

DS: I personally had 3 options that were Toronto, Sydney and London, UK. After a lot of comparisons and research, it was clear that Toronto was the only city that was providing me with all the programs I am interested in for comparatively cheaper and budget friendly tuition fees. The other important aspect was the availability of a variety of colleges and universities to choose from.

CS: What other cities/countries were you considering?

SK: I was looking at the UK, Australia, and Canada but what brought me to Toronto is The Chang School’s Business Management Studies program.

KM: I considered Alberta and Manitoba because of their cheap cost of living but when I found out they’re both colder than Ontario, I backed out.

SA: I also looked at the United States but it was harder for a long-term plan. I hope to find a job when I finish studying here, whereas that’s less likely to happen in the US as it’s harder to settle there compared to Canada because of the difficulty of getting work permits and the path to permanent residency.

CS: What are your long term career goals and how does the Business Management Studies program help you fulfill these?

SK: The Business Management Studies program helps me as I have no educational background in business management although I have seven years of management experience. I strongly believe that this program will open various opportunities to step into international business. My long-term career goal is to launch a new business platform but I’m still figuring out which sector. Until then, I plan on working at a company and gaining international business knowledge in this multicultural country.

KM: I have always been a business student so I’m aware of the basics. I feel this program is going to help me polish my skills and learn new skills as well. After this program, I will do a project management studies program, which is mainly what I want to do. Nothing’s fixed as of now but the main reason why I went for this course is that after doing this program, I will end up with a lot of options, even if I want to start my own business. This program will help me with that.

SA: I hope to find a job working for a corporation, preferably in telecom or other sectors like banking, which is similar to what I did back home. My other goal is that I’ve always wanted to own my own business – even if it’s a small one. My passion is making coffee. I developed a coffee business before with my own brand so I’d like to try that again here one day. That’s another reason why I picked this program as it will develop the skills needed to achieve this.

DS: My long term career goal is to work for an automotive brand where I could learn the required skills and processes involved in the making of a successful automotive brand. I also have plans of starting my own automotive company in the near future. Business Management Studies is helping me in developing my business management skills which includes a variety of sub categories like organizing and planning. I am learning various mathematical and accounting principles which I can later incorporate in my life. These skills are extremely important for me as they are helping me to grow and learn simultaneously in such a challenging environment.

CS: Anything else?

SK: The (evening) class schedule of the program is much appreciated as it allows me to work during the daytime. The modules are designed to learn from the basics, so no matter what your major was in your Bachelor’s, you will find it easy to get along. The classroom environment is interesting and the instructors appreciate even a simple answer or any number of questions.

KM: One piece of advice that I would give to anybody and everybody who’s planning to do this program is that all you have to make sure is that you are consistent with your work and please show up to your classes!

SA: Things are always hard at the beginning when you start but then you start to pick up from there and things get easier as you move along.