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Stats: 2,231,078 members, 4,881,756 topics. Date: Sunday, 21 April 2019 at 02:15 PM
|Travel / Re: Living In Canada/Life As A Canadian Immigrant Part 2 by Santino1(m): 7:30pm On Apr 06|
I have about 4000 CAD that I'd like to sell. I'll deposit the dollar in your CAD account and you credit my Nigerian account with the Naira equivalent. Let me know if you are (or you know anyone that might be) interested.
Apologies if this is not the right place to post this.
|Travel / Re: Living In Canada/Life As A Canadian Immigrant Part 2 by Santino1(m): 1:57pm On Mar 13|
Too bad I only have one spare ticket. Seeing as canadaman18 indicated interest first, it's only fair s/he gets it.
@canadaman18, can you briefly post your contact details so we can coordinate. Unfortunately my PM doesn't work so that's the only way we can keep in touch. And yes, it's at the Scotiabank Arena at 8pm.
|Travel / Re: Living In Canada/Life As A Canadian Immigrant Part 2 by Santino1(m): 5:05pm On Mar 12|
That's too bad. It would have been a great opportunity to meet the man, the myth, and the legend. I hope to get a ticket to one or two play-off games in April, I'll let you know in case you are still interested. Of course I'll be rooting for the Raptors because "We the North" plus I can't wait to see Kawhi Leonard go toe to toe with LeBron James. That should be exciting.
Enjoy your vacation in Niagara.
|Travel / Re: Living In Canada/Life As A Canadian Immigrant Part 2 by Santino1(m): 3:58pm On Mar 12|
In a completely unrelated matter, if anyone is interested in seeing the Raptors-L.A. Lakers game on Thursday evening let me know as I have a spare ticket.
|Travel / Re: Living In Canada/Life As A Canadian Immigrant by Santino1(m): 1:16pm On Dec 24, 2018|
I'm heading there from Thursday to Saturday/Sunday. What's your plan?
In order not to derail the thread, can you please send me your mail address?
|Travel / Re: Students In Switzerland/ Nigerians Living In Switzerland, your Experiences Here! by Santino1(m): 12:10pm On Nov 07, 2018|
@ kay2112 (and anyone else it might benefit)
I know we've been communicating via mail but I decided to post this here as it might benefit others in similar predicament.
After sending you the mail yesterday, I started racking my brain at the apparent contradiction in the school offering you admission to study in Switzerland on the one hand and making it virtually impossible to actually travel to Switzerland on the other. Having lived here for almost a decade and knowing the Swiss (arguably one of the most efficient country on the planet), this conundrum distresses me to no end. As a result, I went to the International student support of ETH Zurich (not University of Zurich) because the ETH, being a more global university, has way more international students than Uni-Zurich and they deal with such cases way more often. I got some valuable information there and just to be sure I also called the Migrationsamt in Zurich (Swiss office of Migration) as well as the embassy of Switzerland, Abuja and they both corroborate what the lady at ETH international student support told me. So here it is:
As a student, there are two layers of immigration you have to deal with before commencing you study viz getting a visa to Switzerland and establishing residence in Switzerland. You and I have been asking the wrong questions because we were asking about the second step and not the first (that's partly my fault as I should have known better). Anyways, for the first step which is securing visa. You DON'T need to have a Swiss account to demonstrate that you have the financial means. All you need to do is get a bank statement from any of the banks in Nigeria showing you have at least 21,000 CHF equivalent (circa 7.5 to 8 million Naira at current exchange rate), attach this to the requisite documents and complete visa application package and submit at the Swiss embassy in Abuja.
The second step (establishing residence) is the one where you NEED a Swiss bank account also showing 21,000 CHF or its equivalent.
That's what I was told by the offices responsible for such so that's close to the "official" position.
Unfortunately, the people at the embassy and Migration office only speak rudimentary English and it can be quite difficult to navigate if you don't understand German. Perhaps, they couldn't explain to you clearly in English but I managed to get an answer from them because of my "passable" German.
Good luck and I hope everything works out for you.
|Travel / Re: Students In Switzerland/ Nigerians Living In Switzerland, your Experiences Here! by Santino1(m): 11:46am On Nov 02, 2018|
I didn't receive any e-mail. Unfortunately my PM doesn't work either. You can post your mail address and I'll get in touch as soon as I can.
|Travel / Re: Students In Switzerland/ Nigerians Living In Switzerland, your Experiences Here! by Santino1(m): 10:38am On Oct 30, 2018|
I just got off the phone with the International Student Support at UZH and apparently things have changed a lot (not for the better I'm afraid). Anyways, she did give me the following tips:
You have to go to some of the banks in Nigeria and ask if they have any sort of agreement with any of the banks listed on the FINMA list, then you open an Euro domiciled account with that bank and show that you have 21000 CHF Euro equivalent in that account. She said that's how the Nigerian students currently enrolled at UZH went about it. Unfortunately, she couldn't give me a name of such Nigerian bank or students (due to to data protection and privacy blah blah blah) but I do know that GTBank has some sort of money routing agreement with HSBC and you could also ask Standard Chartered again since they actually do have a branch in Geneva (just not on the FINMA list) and they may be able to advise you on how to to go about it.
Sorry I couldn't help you and good luck. Please endeavour to share your findings so others might learn from your experience.
|Travel / Re: Students In Switzerland/ Nigerians Living In Switzerland, your Experiences Here! by Santino1(m): 9:56am On Sep 21, 2018|
Well, you are putting the cart before the horse. I'd focus more about securing admission first before worrying about visa requirements. the whole admission process can take up to 6-9 months. If you still want to worry your head about that, then you need to have at least 21,000 Swiss francs or it's equivalent.
Partly true. If you don't possess an EU/EFTA passport, then you can only work in your institute in the first six months (subject to work permit approval of course). After six month you can then take up paid employment outside the University but must not be more than 25% (i.e. not more than 15 hours per week).
Switzerland is home to most of those international organizations and a degree in Switzerland stands you in good stead. Sometimes you even get an internship placement in those organisations during your studies and you can start building your network form there which allows an easy transition after the completion of your study. I know two guys that are working with the UN and they both went via the internship route. They are both Swiss though so maybe that has an impact.
|Travel / Re: Living In Canada/Life As A Canadian Immigrant by Santino1(m): 9:24am On Sep 21, 2018|
As a caveat, my experiences with hostels were mostly when I was a low budget traveller.
You are right that hostels are cheap and you can easily make new friends but there are some things you should bear in mind. I am assuming you are planning to land as a PR so you should be aware that you can't use your hostel address for your landing formalities. Also, I don't know how much you care about your privacy and personal space because you certainly won't be getting any of that at a hostel.
As per landing in Toronto, people have shared numerous landing experiences here so I won't belabour the point.
It's up to you. It depends if the Guitar has any sentimental value to you not. If not you can easily get a cheap guitar on Kijiji although you might have to tune it to your satisfaction. However, if you want to transport yours you have to check with your airline because sometime they are transported as "special equipments" like ski and snowboards depending on the airline.
I believe you can transport your medicines. I would make sure I have the prescriptions though if I were you.
Good luck with your landing.
I am back in Switzerland to see out my contract and officially de-register from the Country. I'll be settling permanently in Toronto in January
|Travel / Re: Students In Switzerland/ Nigerians Living In Switzerland, your Experiences Here! by Santino1(m): 8:51am On Sep 12, 2018|
I don't get PMs, you can ask whatever you want here.
I'm sorry but did you even bother to open and read the link I provided in my previous post? The answers to your questions are all there.
|Travel / Re: Students In Switzerland/ Nigerians Living In Switzerland, your Experiences Here! by Santino1(m): 11:51am On Sep 03, 2018|
|Travel / Re: Students In Switzerland/ Nigerians Living In Switzerland, your Experiences Here! by Santino1(m): 11:50am On Sep 03, 2018|
The visa fee for 90 days visa is provided in this link
Regarding flights, there is no direct flight between Switzerland and Nigeria so you are gonna have to transit via some other countries. You'll have check to online flight booking sites like skyscanner, ebookers etc. to check what is suitable for you depending on comfort or price. Good luck and enjoy your conference. Basel is a wonderful old "roman-like" city with lots of gothic cathedrals and exciting things to do
|Travel / Re: Students In Switzerland/ Nigerians Living In Switzerland, your Experiences Here! by Santino1(m): 11:41am On Sep 03, 2018|
Switzerland has quite a few good schools that offer Molecular Biology at the post graduate level some of which include: University of Zurich, ETH Zurich, University of Lausanne, EPFL Lausanne, Universities of Bern, Basel, and Geneva. As for my personal recommendations, well, I'm not an expert in Molecular Biology but what I do know is that you can't go wrong with any of the Universities in Zurich and Lausanne as they have unbelievable research facilities especially the two Federal Institutes (i.e. ETH and EPFL) as it seems those two institutions have unlimited budgets. Also, there is a mutual collaborations between Universities in the same Canton so it doesn't matter if you're officially enrolled in University of Zurich or ETH, you have access to facilities in both Institutions (same applies to EPFL and University of Lausanne). Hope that helps and good luck with your application. Switzerland is an amazing place for a postgrad.
|Travel / Re: Students In Switzerland/ Nigerians Living In Switzerland, your Experiences Here! by Santino1(m): 11:33am On Sep 03, 2018|
What are your chances of migrating to Switzerland as a PR to work? Well, according to Swiss labour law, except you are a top dog in your profession and you have expertise that is not readily available in Switzerland then your chances are pretty low to zero.
Is is advisable to live in Switzerland? Absolutely (assuming you have legal residence). It is a beautiful country with high standard of living. Things might be a bit expensive but then again you earn a lot of money that it doesn't matter.
|Travel / Re: Living In Canada/Life As A Canadian Immigrant by Santino1(m): 4:20pm On Aug 27, 2018|
1. View from the Ferry on the way back from Hanlan's point beach.
2. Toronto's version of Times Square (Yonge-Dundas Square).
3. At the just concluded Roger's cup (for the Tennis Aficionados). By the way, That's Rafael Nadal vs Marin Cilic.
4. As the name implies, the Toronto Eaton Center.
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|Travel / Re: Living In Canada/Life As A Canadian Immigrant by Santino1(m): 5:31pm On Aug 26, 2018|
I got my PR card approved in less than 3 weeks (18 days to be precise) so you might also get lucky.
|Travel / Re: Living In Canada/Life As A Canadian Immigrant by Santino1(m): 5:23pm On Aug 26, 2018|
Sure. All the best to you too.
Cool. All the best.
Why are the conservatives trying so desperately to lose the next election?
Sometimes it's not about being able to afford it or not. I am against tipping (as it is in North America) as a matter of personal principle not because I can't afford it.
|Travel / Re: Living In Canada/Life As A Canadian Immigrant by Santino1(m): 10:31am On Aug 25, 2018|
To be honest, I contended with that question as well. To an outsider, I must be really out of my mind to leave Switzerland for any other place on the planet. However, after a careful evaluation of my medium term goals I decided it's in my best interest to get international exposure. In the next 5-7 years (after two/three PDFs) I'll be in a position to apply for tenure-track professorship positions and at that stage foreign experience counts for a whole lot. I wanted primarily English speaking countries as I have struggled to properly integrate to the Swiss society owing to language constraints. UK was top of my list of potential destination (I really wanted to be in Europe because I don't wanna be so far away from my girlfriend) but that plan went bust after Brexit. Canada naturally became the ideal choice as it is similar to Switzerland is so many respect (albeit having its differences too). Australia is too far away from anything else. America decided they'll rather be governed by someone with great apathy towards science and there is always racial tension in the states. Canada also has the added advantage of being the sole country on the planet (as far as I know) that grants you citizenship after just 3 years of residency. Those are the considerations that went into my decision.
I hope that answers your queries.
For some inexplicable reasons, my private messaging doesn't work. You can drop your mail if you like and I'll be sure to get back to you.
You are welcome.
My pleasure. How's your prep going or have you landed? Sorry, I have been busy to catch up with what everyone has been up to.
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|Travel / Re: Living In Canada/Life As A Canadian Immigrant by Santino1(m): 3:34pm On Aug 23, 2018|
I'm not sure if you are eligible or not. I think out of those 4 years, 12 months should be in Canada. That's the APGO's (which I applied for) rule. I don't know about APEGA. Sorry.
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|Travel / Re: Living In Canada/Life As A Canadian Immigrant by Santino1(m): 3:24pm On Aug 23, 2018|
Long Post Alert:
Stemming from the quoted post above, I have decided to give an exhaustive account of how I got Post-Doctoral Fellowship (PDF) positions in Canada including some tips in the hope that it might be useful to some people here.
I completed my PhD a few months ago and having a Canadian PR, I decided to focus my search to Canada and the US mostly. I spoke to my doctoral advisor about my future professional (and personal) plans. He gave me some pointers on how to proceed. But most importantly, he personally reached out to some of his contacts whom he thought might be relevant to my proposed area of research. That seemed to be a game-changer for me as I got 4 interviews via that medium alone.
In addition, I also wrote a PDF proposal that’ll enable go to any university I want provided my proposal is funded. Usually, this is the best avenue as most people would be willing to be your host institution since you’ll be coming with your own funding and require the minimum of investment on their part. See links below for some funding agencies.
Also, word of mouth plays a great role. Attending numerous conferences (I was at EGU, Goldschmidt, IMOG, and AGU last year alone) enabled me to speak to the leading researchers in my field and have a feel of what it will be like working with them by speaking to some of their current grad students and postdocs at the time. But more importantly, I made sure they are aware of who I am and what I’m doing by name-dropping my thesis advisor (a prominent figure in my field). A few months to my thesis defence, i reached out to some again and fortuitously one of them just secured an ERC grant and had a position available.
Lastly, applying via the regular online posting. In my experience, this is perhaps the least effective method because positions advertised this way usually have gone through peer-peer, personal network medium and no suitable candidate was found before ending up on the job placement website.
All in all, I think the following tips might come handy to some:
1. Leverage your advisor’s connections. This is important because as prominent figure in the field, he likely know more people than you do.
2. Make yourself visible. When at conferences or symposia, do not be a passive observer but an active participant. You never know whose interest your research might have piqued. For those not already aware, researchgate is a great avenue to make yourself visible online.
3. Sell yourself (or your research). Here I have to use a personal anecdote. At the just concluded Goldschmidt conference in Boston, I met a Nigerian guy who was looking at particulate organic matter export out of the Niger river. One of my thesis committee member (a German professor at GFZ Potsdam who is an expert in photo-oxidation and organic matter degradation along river-ocean continuum) was also at the conference and I introduced them since they do similar stuff. Unfortunately, while the professor seemed more interested in a potential collaboration (as African rivers has been elusive to him for a long time due to logistic issues associated with sampling in Africa generally) the Nigerian guy was more interested in the financial rewards asking questions like how much do PhDs earn in Germany and other such ridiculous questions without focusing on his research. This brings me to last point.
4. Aiming for the financial reward should be the least of your consideration. Sorry to disappoint you but you won’t be rich on PhD and PostDoc salary. The only time you start making “serious” money in research is when you become a tenure professor. So if you are looking for a well-paid job, well you have been reading the wrong post.
The following are some of the funding agencies (and their links) that I know. It is by no means exhaustive.
1. Branco Weiss Fellowship - Link
2. Entelligence Young Investigator Fellowship - Link
3. Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships - Link
4. Killam Postdoctoral Fellowship - Link
5. Fullbright Fellowships - Link
6. H.L. Holmes Fellowships - Link
7. Pogo Research Fellowship - Link
8. Mitacs Fellowships - Link
Please note that the above list is strongly biased towards geoscience related fields ( as that is my field of research). I included a few medical sciences just to show what’s available.
Here is a link to all Canadian funding agencies - Link
Good luck to everyone and let me know if you have any questions
cc: @iamforcanada, duduade, GlitteringStar, ife01.
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|Travel / Re: Students In Switzerland/ Nigerians Living In Switzerland, your Experiences Here! by Santino1(m): 12:33pm On Aug 01, 2018|
Hey, my sincere apologies for the late reply. I have been very busy.
Sure, fire on. Though I can't guarantee that I'm gonna reply immediately as I'm online sporadically these days.
|Travel / Re: Students In Switzerland/ Nigerians Living In Switzerland, your Experiences Here! by Santino1(m): 12:31pm On Aug 01, 2018|
Hey there, apologies for my late response. I have been incredibly busy all year (I still am but I just saw your message and thought you might need urgent answer to help you make the right plans).
Congratulations on your admission. UniBasel is a fantastic school and Basel is a nice, small town with an amazing old feel to it. It is certainly one of my favourite cities. Well, school generally doesn't resume until the third week of September so you still have time. I left Nigeria 8 years ago and my visa application took only 4 days (I don't know how it is these days). Also, usually you can get expedited services if they are aware that you have to resume for school as soon as possible. The Swiss are really very efficient folks.
You don't have to present any TOEFL certificate (at least as far as I know). After you have been granted admission, the administration office will send a couple of documents to you for immigration purposes. And you can always write/call the administration office if you don't have one of the documents requested for by the embassy and they usually transmit the said document directly to the embassy.
Yes, you can have only one sponsor (even outside of family ties). The caveat to that though is that you have to prove that the fund is available to you. Just a letter from your uncle saying he has the money in his account isn't gonna suffice.
I hope it helps. And by the way, if you are still planning to come this year you should start looking for accommodation because beginning of semesters are usually hell.
Good luck and let me know if you have any more questions.
P.S. My response might be late and sporadic as I'm still very busy at the moment.
|Travel / Re: Living In Canada/Life As A Canadian Immigrant by Santino1(m): 7:24am On Jul 17, 2018|
Sometime it's okay to admit you don't know what the question is or simply just "jump and pass". And I don't mean that as an insult. As a Postdoctoral fellow myself, I struggled with the question of how to navigate my academic career in Canada and was on the verge of ditching academia. However, I have made tremendous progress over the last six months and I will share some tips and advice at the appropriate time as I am very busy at the moment. I just don't want you discouraging people, that's what compelled me to post this snippet.
@iamforcanada, dudade, and other prospective researchers in the house. I'd be sure to mention you when I get around to posting a detailed response.
Cheers and good luck to everyone.
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|Travel / Re: Canadian Express Entry/Federal Skilled Workers Program-Connect Here Part 3 by Santino1(m): 4:04pm On Dec 29, 2017|
Already did my thing (whatever that means) but thanks.
|Travel / Re: Canadian Express Entry/Federal Skilled Workers Program-Connect Here Part 3 by Santino1(m): 3:50pm On Dec 29, 2017|
Well, the reason I'm asking is not because I haven't read on it like your post seems to suggest (on the contrary, I actually read a fair bit on it). Don't worry, I'm aware of your penchant to always tell people to read up (I encourage reading too).
On the issue of sibling relationship however, here is an extract from cic website on what constitute a proof of sibling relationship:
Proof of the relationship of the applicant or the accompanying spouse or common-law partner to the family member must also be provided (e.g., a birth certificate, an official document naming the applicant as a relative, a copy of the inside back cover of the relative’s passport showing the relative’s parents’ marriage certificate, legal adoption documents and any other documents that prove or describe the relationship).
Since Nigerian passports don't include parent's information (like Indian's for instance), I believe the best way to prove that is by attaching a birth certificate.
|Travel / Re: Canadian Express Entry/Federal Skilled Workers Program-Connect Here Part 3 by Santino1(m): 3:31pm On Dec 29, 2017|
Such required stuff might include a birth certificate, No?
|Travel / Re: Canadian Express Entry/Federal Skilled Workers Program-Connect Here Part 3 by Santino1(m): 2:47pm On Dec 29, 2017|
Even when you claimed point for sibling in Canada?
|Travel / Re: Canadian Express Entry/Federal Skilled Workers Program-Connect Here Part 3 by Santino1(m): 1:25pm On Dec 26, 2017|
My apologies then.
|Travel / Re: Canadian Express Entry/Federal Skilled Workers Program-Connect Here Part 3 by Santino1(m): 1:17pm On Dec 26, 2017|
Just to add some perspectives to the ECA debate.
If you asked me: Should I evaluate both M.Sc and B.Sc or just M.Sc?
My answer to you would be it depends. If you are looking at the short term, i.e. you don't want to go through the stress of applying for Nigerian B.Sc (especially for guys with foreign M.Sc like myself) and just want to enter the pool as quickly as you can, then by all means evaluate only M.Sc (I'm sure you are aware you won't be getting extra points for evaluating both B.Sc and M.Sc as someone wrongly posited earlier). However, If you are looking long term, then I'd advise you evaluate both (especially if you are in a regulated profession) as you "might" need it for licensing and other job related stuff.
My experience: A colleague of mine that we started the application together evaluated only his M.Sc and I made the "mistake" of evaluating both. We both got our COPR last month and started planning for Canada. Since we are both in a regulated profession, we realised we needed to apply for membership of a professional organisation (APEGA in my case and APGO in his case). All I had to do was upgrade my ECA to course-by-course evaluation (with both my degrees) but in his case he was missing some courses (which he did in his B.Sc) on his M.Sc only evaluation and to be eligible for an EIT (engineer-in-training) status, he has to sit some exams (with fees of course). He called the registrar and he was told he'll get a waiver for those courses if he evaluates his B.Sc as well to show that he has taken and passed those course. He tried to apply for his B.Sc transcript but SANU is currently on strike and he's stuck while my application is under review.
Now in hindsight, my "mistake" turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Apologies for the long rant but like I said I wanted to offer another perspective (with personal experiences) to guide others when making their plans (long and short term).
Happy holidays and good luck to everyone.
|Travel / Re: Canadian Express Entry/Federal Skilled Workers Program-Connect Here Part 3 by Santino1(m): 5:09pm On Dec 21, 2017|
@GlitteringStar, my belated congratulations. Looking forward to reading your PPR timeline.
Congratulations to all ITA and PPR recipients.
|Travel / Re: Living In Canada/Life As A Canadian Immigrant by Santino1(m): 8:45am On Dec 20, 2017|
I think you should re-read that post again. He actually hailed freeradical for "NOT having a big head". Perhaps it has been modified but that's what I got the first time I read it and his latest post reiterates the same point.
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