Winners of Ashton College Bursaries for Immigrants

New immigrants Kathrin Phung and Onyinye Adibe receive bursaries at Ashton College

The winners have been announced for the 2018 Ashton College Bursaries for Immigrants: Kathrin Phung and Onyinye Adibe.

According to Ashton College, which celebrated its 40th anniversary this year, the bursaries are aimed to address the challenges that newcomers face in their new country, lacking local credentials and work experience that can impede their employment. Professional career-ready education will allow them to adjust their knowledge and expertise to Canadian standards and secure a stable employment.

Canadian Immigrant has co-sponsored the bursaries since 2005. The bursary covers full-time tuition (valued up to $8,000) for a range of Ashton College programs on campus in Vancouver, Abbotsford or online — in business, immigration, human resources, finances, international trade and other professional fields.

Kathrin Phung.

Winner Kathrin Phung landed as a permanent resident just one week before learning about and applying for the bursary. An HR professional from Vietnam with degrees from Australia and the U.K., her career goal in Canada is to find a mid-level position in human resources.

“My research before arriving to Canada indicated that not having Canadian education can be a barrier in applying for jobs here,” she says. “I knew that taking a short course on HR would provide me with the [Canadian] knowledge in this field, making me more marketable and more confident when applying for jobs.”

She adds that she’s grateful for the bursary for Ashton’s Human Resources Management Diploma program. “My career goal is to develop my skills to become the best HR professional that I could possibly be and to make a positive impact on organizations, communities and people on a larger scale.”

Onyinye Adibe.

Winner Onyinye Adibe, originally of Nigeria, is looking to study immigration consulting at Ashton College.

Adibe came to Canada in 2017 after having completed her bachelor of science in public health in Nigeria and having worked for two years in the health sector. But, upon arriving in Vancouver, Adibe realized she wasn’t well-prepared for the challenges that awaited her in the adopted country. “How was I to know that my proficiency in the English language would be called into question due to the ‘accent’ or that one of the reasons why a prospective employer would turn down my job application would not be the lack of the required skills but the fact that I don’t have the ‘Canadian experience’?”

It’s Adibe’s own experience as a Canadian immigrant that influenced her decision to enroll in the Immigration Consultant Diploma program at Ashton College. She says that her career goal is to go beyond helping people to immigrate into Canada.

“I faced — and still face — a myriad of challenges as a new immigrant,” Adibe says. “Going back to school at Ashton will prepare me to write the exams needed to become a regulated Canadian immigration consultant (RCIC). This, in turn, equips me with the right skills to constructively engage new and prospective Canadian immigrants.”

Learn more about the Ashton College Bursaries for Immigrants here. Application deadlines for next  year’s awards will be announced in the new year.