Breaking down the differences: Successful GSP Cafe explores US and Canadian higher education

Do you have your finger on the pulse of North American higher education? 


The inaugural GSP Cafe kicked off the first of a series of online events with over 40 participants in attendance. The GSP Cafe is an interactive discussion joined in by education industry leaders aimed to share valuable insights from GSP’s study destinations, Canada and the USA. The first event hosted by GSP’s Director for North America, Pat Colabucci and Senior Partnerships Manager, Catherine Wilson, featured Isaac Garcia-Sitton, Executive Director of International Student Enrolment, Education & Inclusion at Toronto Metropolitan University, Canada. Isaac talked about a topic that is often lumped together as being the same but is in fact, fundamentally different: the US and Canadian higher education systems.


Isaac Garcia-Sitton, a diplomat who has extensive experience in both North American countries demonstrated his in-depth knowledge of the admission processes, pathways, and entry requirements of both countries a the event.

The discussion offered lively, engaging and meaningful insights that participants are able to gather value in relation to their roles. The hour-long discussion was short considering the vast differences between the two systems which kept the entire event interactive yet intimate enough that everyone can participate and express their thoughts.


We have exciting topics coming up!


Recognising the need for our recruitment partners to stay ahead of the curve, GSP Cafe will continue to bring you live, interactive sessions every month on the hottest topics in North American higher education. From career opportunities and popular programs, to OPT and PGWP, to student visa rules and the different types of higher education institutions in Canada and the US, we’ve set out on a mission to keep you informed on this dynamic and exciting space.

Check out the lineup of industry experts for the next sessions:


February: Jacob Mercer and Shahzad Amad on  Visa & Immigration for Higher Ed SEVIS & IRCC

Jacob Mercer is the Assistant Director of International Student &Scholar Services at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota. He has worked in the field of International Education for the past 12 years: five years teaching English at universities in South Korea and Indonesia, and seven providing immigration advising to international students at U.S. higher-education institutions.

He is passionate about travel, cross-cultural exchange, and guiding students through their own life-changing international experiences.


Shahzad Ahmad is the current Associate Vice President of Centre for International Studies at St Cloud State University located in St Cloud, Minnesota. Shahzad is a former international student from St Cloud State University and has been advocating and supporting international students on the St Cloud State campus first as a student leader then as a professional. Shahzad has been in the Higher Education industry for several years. Since Shahzad assumed the role of Associate Vice president he had made several positive changes by increasing the international population at St Cloud State by building different relationships with partners all over the world.

Shahzad believes that once an international student step foot at St Cloud State they will always be valued and supported.


March: CPT and OPT 101 with Paul Hofmann

Dr. Paul Hofmann is the Assistant Vice President for International Affairs at the University of Louisville.  Previously served as the SEVIS Coordinator at San Jose State University, the director of the Centre for International Programs at Bowling Green State University, the Assistant Vice President for International Affairs at Fresno State University, and the Associate Vice President for International Programs and Global Engagement at California State University, Sacramento. Dr Hofmann has more than 25 years of experience in the field of international education and deep knowledge of the regulations governing international students and scholars. 


Don’t miss out on this excellent opportunity. Grab a hot drink, and a comfy chair, and join us to learn more about North America. Stay tuned for more updates about our next GSP Cafe!

See you soon!

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