Urgent! help me graduate

I came to Canada in 2013 to pursue higher education at the University of Alberta, and most importantly seek a safer life. Tunisia is not considered to be dangerous enough by Canada to grant people like myself refugee status; so, my only option to enter the country, was as an international student. While excited to be finally be able to attain a safer life, the expensive international fees which at the time amounted to $1,800 for a single course definitely offered challenges. I have had to work upwards of three jobs at a time to be able to pay for my living expenses, and contribute to my tuition fees. In order to study at the University of Alberta, I am required to maintain full time student status. This costs about $10,800 a year for 3 courses each semester to $18,000 per year for a full course load. International student fees at the University of Alberta are unpredictable, with each year presenting tuition increases. Along with the tuition increases from this year, I have also had account for the increases that come with student teaching as an Education student. One student teaching intensive course costs $2,166.84 and for the practicum it costs $4,333.68. The total amount for my tuition this year is around $20,000 CAD. I was fortunate enough to be awarded a bursary to cover for my first semester; however, for the second semester I found myself unable to gather the colossal amount of $10,000. I’ve exhausted all of my financial resources, such as student bursaries, community awards, and financial support from family members.


Despite these struggles, I have worked hard to contribute to the University and Edmonton communities. I have been very involved within my faculty association, serving as the vice-president international and tasked giving voice to the experiences of international students at Campus Saint-Jean and the university at large. In 2017-2018, I served as president for the African Student Association; organizing events that highlighted the cultural diversity of the continent and offered space for students of African descent to formulate solutions for the betterment of our communities. I have also served as the president for the World University Services of Canada, a program designed to sponsor refugee students to come and study in Canada. Finally, I have served as the President of International Students’ Association (ISA), representing the voices that are often ignored in the University community. Last year, with our advocacy work, we had a protest with the help of our Students’ Union to address the challenges around unpredictable and high tuition. Due to ISA’s contribution, students have seen progress, with the Government of Alberta passing Bill 19 to regulate tuition, and tackle issues such as unpredictable International tuition fees.


I am determined to ensure that international students coming after me do not have to face the same challenges I faced. I appreciate the country that has taught me this lesson, and many others, and I would like to eventually call Canada my home. When I graduate, I am planning to give back as a educator, community member and a citizen. However, in order for that to even occur, I first need to graduate. The only thing standing in the way for my convocation is the $10,000 I have to pay for this semester’s tuition.


Please help me graduate. Any donation, even as little as $5 or $10, would be incredibly appreciated!
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Organizer

Akrem Hamami 
Organizer
Edmonton, AB
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