9/6/23: Delays in Spanish Visa Process Continue. Delays in obtaining student visas for Spain, the second most popular study abroad destination for U.S. students, continue to disrupt education abroad plans, according to the PIE News. Data cited in the piece show that while the country remains a popular destination for students, the majority of Spanish study abroad programs are experiencing a 3 to 10 percent decline in participation.
8/29/23: The Canadian government is moving forward with plans to introduce a new, two-tiered framework for institutional accreditation that designates "trusted institutions," according to the ICEF Monitor. The new structure is part of larger efforts to "modernize" the Canadian student visa program.
This comes as the country grapples with a shortage of affordable student housing, exacerbated by the rapid growth in international student numbers. Earlier this month, Canadian Minister of Housing Sean Fraser and Minister of Immigration Marc Miller said that the government was considering a cap on the number of international students in the country to relieve some pressure on the housing market.
8/28/23: If you are planning on studying abroad for the SPRING 2024 semester in SPAIN or ITALY, you are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to schedule an appointment NOW at your local Spainish or Italian consulate for your student visa. While you may not have confirmed your plans yet, appointments are very limited. You must try and get an appointment by early October (therefore, have your program of choice and all related paperwork done by this appointment). Both countries are experiencing very high demand for visas and many can take several months to process. This also means that you need to have your passport before this appointment (you may need to pay extra money for the passport to be expedited). You are encouraged to speak early with your study abroad provider (IES, USAC, CIS, CIEE, AIFS, etc.) for advice and guidance. Many of these companies can assist with this process.