Our Commitments

Alex Olteanu and Ronza Nano meet with Mark Gwozdecky, the Canadian Ambassador to Iraq and Jordan, November 2012.

“The federal government announced Wednesday morning a plan that it hopes will attract more international students to Canadian post-secondary campuses. 

The International Education Strategy aims to double the number of international students and researchers — to 450,000 — in Canada by 2022 in an effort to create jobs and stimulate the domestic economy…

The priority markets identified in the plan include Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Vietnam, and the Middle East-North Africa — emerging economies where there is increasing demand for international education. 

An investment of $5 million per year, already approved in the federal budget, will be used to brand and market Canada as a "world-class education destination" in those countries. “

CBC News, 15 January 2014

Alex Olteanu and his business management students had the opportunity to meet Mr. Mark Gwozdecky, then-Canadian Ambassador to Iraq and Jordan, in November 2012, with the occasion of the opening of the first Second Cup coffee shop in Iraq, located in the same building as the college Alex taught at. The Canadian Ambassador was very happy to spend some time with the students, shared with them details about his own family’s immigrant background, and told them all they would be welcome to come to study and work in Canada. The students were impressed by his personal story and found in his words and encouragement an even greater source of motivation to pursue their studies and their dreams of obtaining university degrees in Canada.

As this experience shows, Canada is committed to welcome young people from all over the world, including the Greater Middle East, who wish to pursue their post-secondary education here and then share with their home communities the knowledge, skills, and values they acquired, thus strengthening human, cultural and commercial ties between Canada and their countries of origin. However, in order for this to happen, institutions and structures must be put in place to assist these young people to be admitted to a Canadian post-secondary institution, to raise the necessary funds to pay for their fees and living expenses, and to assist them to settle in once they arrive in their Canadian adoptive cities. This is what the Antiochia Scholarships Trust commits itself to do:


  • To our sponsored students:

AST commits itself to do its outmost to assist them to gain admittance to the university of their choice, in the program of their choice, to provide them with the funding necessary for their education fees and living expenses, and to support them in their efforts to settle in, once they arrive in Canada;

  •  To our donors and partners:

AST commits itself to use all the funds raised for this purpose to pay for the students’ education and living expenses in Canada;

  •  To the participating post-secondary institutions:

AST commits itself to carefully select academically qualified and motivated students willing and able to take full advantage of the opportunities being offered to them;

  •  To Canada and the cities hosting the sponsored students:

AST commits itself to ensure that it will select candidates with the openness of mind and spirit to actively contribute to the social and economic life of their adopted communities, and to bring positive contributions to their host society;

  • To the sponsored students’ home communities:

AST commits itself to help stimulate and maintain the desire of these students to put their newly-acquired knowledge, skills, and experience to use in order to assist in the development of their native countries and hometowns and, just as importantly, in order to ensure that other young people like them will benefit from such similar opportunities in the future.