This article originally appeared in Life at Humber Facebook in February 2016.
My journey to Humber was my first time travelling without my parents and without my friends. It was my first time away from home.
When I was in school I kept telling people that one day I would study abroad. But I didn’t have any specific place in mind. My parents are getting older, my brother had already come to Canada and I didn’t think I could find the money. I don’t know if it was luck but one day my brother told me ‘OK, I will take care of the money. Just come here.You need to come.’
I couldn’t see much of a career path in India. I have a Masters Degree in Sports Nutrition and I was having trouble finding a job. So I thought, let's take a bit of a plunge and see what happens. I was searching for the 10 best colleges in Toronto and Humber kept coming up. I thought to myself, this has to mean something.
So I went to an agency and applied to Humber.
When I got my acceptance letter, I cried. My mom kept asking me "What’s happening?" I told her I got in and she said "I knew you would".
I am from Mumbai city. It is thousands of kilometers away from Humber (a 21 hour plane flight).When I got to the airport I had a bunch of close friends and family come see me off. They kept me laughing and talking about all the good times we had together. But then I had to go and I couldn’t even speak.
I remember my mom saying to me, ‘You’ve been strong, you have dreams of going there. Don’t stop now. Don’t cry. We are here for you and with all the technology around we’re not far away.’
I had a break at Zurich and then flew to Canada. I couldn’t sleep. The plane ride was like a see-saw. When it crossed the ocean there was a lot of turbulence, so the plane was flying all over the place - up down, left right. When the plane finally stopped, I threw up! It was so embarrassing. I hate roller coasters and the plane ride to Canada was pretty much a roller coaster ride.
When I got off the plane I was so excited. I had to go out and see what Canada actually looked like. I’d seen pictures of this huge tower but I didn’t even know what it was called. So one of the first things I did was go and find the CN Tower. I looked around downtown finding new places and eating new foods. It was incredible!
One of the coolest parts of moving here is being able to connect with people from all over India. When I was India, people would often keep to their different states, but here they all mingle together.
I think my favourite part of moving here is my job that I have on campus. I’ve been looking for a job ever since I was in India and I haven’t been able to come across anything. I remember telling my mom, “I feel so worthless, I have a masters degree and I can’t even get a job”. When I applied for this job, I was so nervous but my mom said, "you know what? Monday you’re gonna get a call." And believe it or not, Monday I got a call telling me I had been selected for an interview. The job is about helping other international students transitioning into Canada. It’s been fun, but also a way to use my perspective and give back to other students. If I can help other international students get over the cultural shock, that will mean a lot to me.
After coming here I made a close friend. Her name is Jane and she is from Russia. Unlike me, she didn’t have anyone to help her into Canada. She inspires me so much. I have had family support but she didn't. When she came to Canada she made contacts by herself and is now an instructor at a Mississauga gym. She even has her own car. She has transitioned into Canada in way I can’t even describe.
Looking at Jane I can’t but think… this is Woman Power. She has done so many things on her own. She teaches me so many things. The biggest being that you have to be your own hero.
Story by: Krupali
Photo by: Brandon Ferguson
Humber International Centre