My Journey So Far

By: Zain Shafique

Hi everyone, my name is Zain Shafique and I am an international student from Pakistan. I am a first year student in the Computer Programmer Analyst Program at Durham College. I have been in Canada for more than 4 months now.

It has been a wonderful yet a very different experience for me so far. During this time period I have learned and encountered a lot of new and unique things which I have never experienced before. The most important among all is the experience of being a Canadian student.

Speaking of the Canadian experience, the first thing that I would like to share is the different lifestyle of the people up here. It is very interesting to find out that Canada is such a diversified place in the world where you can find different people belonging to different ethnicities. It is actually pretty impressive how people have so many differences yet have so much in common with their way of living. I have met many people and heard their stories of success , in which condition they arrived here and now how much they have changed in past few decades. It is simply remarkable how much this land has given to them. And I hope that coming to Canada will be the right choice for all of us.

Canada has many interesting and beautiful sights. “Niagara falls” is among the very first places that I visited. If you guys haven’t yet, then you should. There are a lot of things you can do. For example, I have learned how to plan routes by using Google maps and public transit. That actually helped me a lot in discovering many places and getting information about them. As a matter of fact sometimes I am guiding the locals how to get to a particular place by using public transit. Amazing right? The second most important thing that I have learned and am still learning is the way of interaction between different Canadian people. The way they talk, the way the like to be called, the way they like to respond and all. I think it is very important because that is what we have to deal with in future at many occasions. And this is the area where majority of International students face difficulties with. I was the same as well before. I was a bit shy to talk to strangers and ask for help when I really needed it but as the time passes I realized that this is not going to work like that. So I started to ask different questions from others which actually helped me to overcome my fear of speaking and here I am.

Next is the college life in Canada. Well as I have just finished with my mid-terms and it has been two months in Durham College, I have to say that this is something that I would definitely like to share with you all. Studying in Durham College is a whole new experience. The teaching style, teachers, services, opportunities are just great. Studies in Canada are “not that easy” so you better be regular and committed to your studies. But I think apart from just studies other activities such as playing sports, taking part in community work or any other beneficial activities are important for us therefore it is better to get yourself “involved” in them. Teachers are pretty helpful and if you have any concerns regarding any thing you can always contact the staff or the mentors right away. I have been using these services as well and trust me they can be a life saver sometimes.

So this is my journey so far and I am still learning and discovering many things in Canada and the most important thing that I have learned so far is when you are facing a problem “you must speak” because that is the only way you can get out of it. The weather is pleasant, cold and rainy at the same time and looking forward towards the winter now. I wish you all a very good luck and a successful year ahead.