International student-turned-YouTube star has advice for others coming to Canada

Gursahib Singh would do a few things differently if he could do it all over again.

Singh, 30, moved to Canada from New Delhi in 2018 to study at Confederation College in Thunder Bay, Ont.

He is already an engineer working in his hometown, but wants to start life in Canada. However, for a few years, he was caught up in what he thought his new life in Canada would be like.

Now, through his popular social media channels – some of his Hindi YouTube videos have been viewed nearly 400,000 times – he offers advice to prospective students in India to help them avoid the same mistakes.

Singh recently took a job in Waterloo, Ont., at an engineering company. He is currently working remotely, but plans to move in the near future. (Submitted by Gursahib Singh)

Singh, who became a permanent resident of Canada earlier this year, said: “Everybody brags on social media, like they have a big car or an expensive device. “So when other international students come to Canada, they think, ‘Oh, how easy it is to get all this stuff in Canada.’

“Students who think that way will be in debt within a few months of arriving,” he said.

“I fell into that trap when I finished my studies, but now I’m out of it. I’m really happy about it.”

They see other international students already in Canada and they see pictures of themselves. Everyone is showing off on social media. So they think it’s very easy to pay for all this in Canada.– Gursahib Singh, Youtuber, former international student

Singh was working for an engineering firm in London, Ont., before taking a job with a Waterloo company called Molex. Singh and his partner, who moved with him to Canada in 2019, plan to move to Waterloo in the near future.

The couple is currently saving to buy a house.

“My motivation is to make a good career, and buy a good house and make my parents proud,” he said.

Advice on employment, shopping, housing

Based on Canada’s post-secondary enrollment, Singh’s videos have a huge potential market.

According to Statistics Canada, from 2018/2019 to 2019/2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of international students enrolled increased by 13.7%, while the number of Canadian students enrolled decreased by 0 ,9%.

During his break, Singh produces 2-3 YouTube and Instagram videos a week, giving advice to prospective students on everything from buying groceries, finding a part-time job, and how much to pay for college. clothes.

“There are a lot of music videos coming back to my hometown,” he said. “In those music videos, the main character will be wearing expensive brands, brands like Armani or Gucci. And students who are planning to study in Canada, they think, ‘Oh, that’s also very easy to buy these things. this brand.”

In a recent video, Singh visits a London mall and demonstrates how much you can really buy with $100.

While roommates with other international students have benefits, he cautions that it comes with challenges.

“Everybody is busy and all the housework stops. No one cleans the dishes because they have exams. No one cleans the house. No one doesn’t do anything.”

And that can lead to conflict, he said.

Prince Sain moved to Brampton, Ont., from India in April to study at Algoma University. He said he learned about what to expect in Canada from Singh’s videos. (Submitted by Prince Sain)

Singh’s social media services have had a far-reaching impact, including on his followers.

“I often watch videos from Gursahib’s YouTube channel,” said Prince Sain, 32, who moved to Brampton, Ont., in April to attend Algoma University. “I’ve been watching since I was in India.”

Sain admits it was difficult to find accommodation when he first settled in Brampton. He also took time to regulate public transit in Canada.

But he says that through Singh’s videos, he’s learned to deal with challenges and gain real-world information on what to expect when he arrives.

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