Arriane Abanto’s D-I-Y Study Permit Application

The pandemic drastically changed everybody’s life when it hit the world in 2019. It was immensely difficult for everyone to keep themselves afloat and has ultimately succumbed to the drowning weight of the situation. While we cannot blame anyone for how they have handled the situation, we also want to acknowledge those people who have taken the pandemic as a wake-up call and dare to challenge their adversity. 

“The pandemic and with all that has been happening made me realize that there are other avenues that I can consider and explore, where I can have a foreseeable future not just for myself, but for my family as well. That said, I thought of pursuing international studies as this is something I have been wanting to fulfill too,” said Arriane Abanto, who is an incoming international student from the Philippines to Canada. 

Arr is already an established professional with a thriving career in business management at an international level. “I graduated from the University of Santo Tomas, with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration Major in Business Economics. With 7 years of work experience, I’ve been employed by global and top-tier financial institutions such as State Street Bank, Hong Kong, and Shanghai Banking Corporation, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. where I’ve established my career. [I] got a promotion, several awards, and even flew abroad and trained a pioneer team for a process knowledge migration.” With all her achievements, it is hard not to assume that she is very well put together in the Philippines, and maybe she could not ask for more. However, Arr had other plans. Like most of us ponder, the future is uncertain, but on the other hand, the only way to secure the future that we want is to create it through the present. 

“By acquiring formal training and practice on an international level, I believe that my studies in Canada will hone my hard and soft skills in an extensive range. With courses relevant to the ever-changing workplace, combined with my established experience in operations and people training, project and escalation management, transaction processing, and client services, these will put me in a great position to be a future People and Operations Manager in the Philippines and abroad.”

Her Successful D-I-Y Application

As many would know, you can apply for a study permit in Canada on your own. The process is made to appear like everybody can just do it on the IRCC website, but it is not as easy as it seems. It takes skills to do it successfully. Arr is one of those skillful enough to do the application independently. Not only was her application successful, but she was also able to succeed in just 37 days. She did everything on her own from finding and applying at her DLI to getting her study permit approved through Regular Stream. 

Arr is bound for Canada on April 12 to pursue a General Diploma in Business Management at Northern Lights College; she already has sorted a lot of her pre-arrival to-do’ including finding her home and housemates in Canada.  “Fortunately, I already have managed it all through DIY research and with my housemates’ help. I have 2 housemates and as early as January 2022, we already have a group chatbox where we share relevant information aside from our getting-to-know chika and drama moments.”

Why did she choose Northern Lights College? 

“I chose Northern Lights College (NLC) as my school as it offers one of the most affordable tuition and fees in Canada. It offers quality programs ensuring that their respective scopes are relevant to the ever-changing workplace. I chose the General Diploma in Business Management as my program as this is the one most aligned with my education and work experience and credentials. With courses such as Organizational Communications, Principles of Corporate Finance, Principles of Management, Management Skills for Supervisors, Organizational Behavior, combined with my established experience in operations and people training, project and escalation management, transaction processing and client services, these will put me in a great position to be a future People and Operations Manager in the Philippines and abroad. Located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in the Peace River Region, it’s one of Canada’s most picturesque areas where the northern lights (Aurora Borealis) can be seen. Witnessing the northern lights would definitely be a bonus to anyone’s bucket list, especially for an astronomy fan and nature lover like me.”

Northern Lights College

Northern Lights College is a premiere DLI in British Columbia that has been serving local and international students since 1975. They have seven campus locations in Chetwynd, Dawson Creek, Fort Nelson, Fort St. John, and Tumbler Ridge, along with access centers in Atlin, Dease Lake, and Hudson’s Hope. 

It has been dubbed as BC’s Energy College serving more than 324,000 kilometers of coverage in Northern BC. NLC is also a member of BC Colleges that promotes collaboration with industry leaders and employers, placing their students at an advantage with hands-on training and favourable job opportunities. 

Arr’s tips for students who wish to follow in her footsteps

“I think there are too many to mention, but a major tip of mine would be to gauge your situation in all aspects first: physically, mentally, financially. Weigh your options, measure the risks, list down the pros and cons. If you think you’re good to go, then that’s the time you start researching the study permit application’s step-by-step procedure. By then, you have to allot time and effort on researching, regardless if you have an agency to assist you or none. With that, you can learn and possibly gather new information which could help you long-term.”

Arr’s story serves as an inspiration for anyone who wants to do the application on their own. Most of us are afraid to even start, but as the old saying goes, fortune favors the brave. We must be able to go through adversities if we want to change our lives. 

CISM Tips for D-I-Y application


We hate to break it to you, but if you wish to do D-I-Y, you will have to allot a tremendous amount of time and effort. There’s no other way to learn things than to dedicate time to actually learn it–this includes a lot of research, reading a lot of immigration articles, watching a lot of videos, tutorials, attending info-sessions, etc. Plus, you need to keep yourself up to date with all the changes that might happen in the duration of your application. 

2. Create a game plan

Your study permit application is time sensitive and you must create a game plan to make sure you meet your goal. Plan each of your steps so you will not lose your way along the process because it may get complicated.

3. Be organized and be keen on details. 

If you are doing DIY, you have to stay on top of your game and track your progress as you go. You need to pay attention to details and make sure you do not miss anything as misinformation may jeopardize your application. You will encounter a lot of school forms and IRCC forms, you will have to submit a lot of documents and follow a lot of instructions. 

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