(FPJ’s My Space column provides a platform for Indian and international students abroad to share their experiences that can help many other students. Stay tuned for more!)
My journey from India to Canada for my business studies was nothing short of an eye-opening adventure. I have stayed in Mumbai all my life. I did B.Com from Mumbai University. But coming to Canada has been a rollercoaster ride full of challenges, unforgettable experiences, and valuable life lessons over a 7-month period.
Many people may wonder what valuable life lessons I am talking about. But trust me, the transition was especially difficult for me because I came to Canada alone, which highlighted the importance of family and friend support like never before, which we all, often unknowingly, may have ignored when we were with them.
What really inspired me to choose Canada was its unique work culture. Unlike India, Canada values work-life balance and does not require employees to work extra hours or on weekends. This aspect of Canadian life fascinated me and made me want to experience it first hand.
Making a career in Canada has its challenges
My journey in Canada had its share of ups and downs. It was difficult to find a good part-time job in the beginning, but this experience made me more resilient and capable. I’ve been in Mississauga for about a month now, and while I haven’t had a chance to fully explore it, it already feels more diverse and dynamic than my previous location in Brampton, which was full of Punjabis.
One of the biggest challenges for international students in Canada is accommodation. Private rooms can cost as much as $1,000, often leading some students to share rooms with strangers to cut costs. To solve this problem, I decided to move in with a friend from India, which not only made my housing situation easier but also provided a sense of familiarity with this new country.
life at university
The college I attended was extremely welcoming and made sure to organize a variety of events and activities to help international students like me adapt to the new environment. It is comforting to be in a place that actively supports and nurtures the growth of the international student community. Adjusting to the Canadian education system was initially difficult because 80% of the system relies heavily on self-study and professors focus on the practical aspects of the subject. But with time and effort, I gradually got used to the system and found it easier to navigate.
Mechanisms for Coping with Homesickness
Homesickness is another challenge, as it is natural to miss family and the comforts of home. To cope, I actively communicate with the people around me, make new friends, and create a support network to take my mind off of homesickness.
Balancing living expenses and lifestyle expenses is crucial for a successful student life in Canada. I have learned to draw a clear line between entertainment and financial needs, which will allow me to enjoy my time in Canada while maintaining a stable financial situation.
The author is pursuing a degree in Business Accounting at Sheridan College in Ontario, Canada.
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