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Bridging Cultures and Overcoming Challenges: Insights from an International Student in Canada

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For many, the prospect of studying abroad is both thrilling and daunting. The allure of new cultures, diverse friendships, and educational opportunities intermingle with the challenges of adjusting to an unfamiliar environment, language barriers, and the financial implications of international education. 

Temiloluwa Daramola, an international student from Nigeria, shared her experiences, offering valuable insights into the life of a student bridging cultures in Canada. Temiloluwa’s journey, like that of many international students, has been a rollercoaster of emotions.

“There’s been ups and downs, the fun part of meeting new people, embracing a new culture, and exploring new places. But there are also lonely times because I’m in a foreign land, far away from home. Being alone here, it’s not my country, and that takes getting used to,” she explained. Yet, she acknowledges the beauty of being part of a mix of cultures. “I have friends from almost every culture, and that’s one of the most beautiful things about it,” she shared, emphasizing the diverse friendships formed among international students.

One of the significant challenges international students face is the cost of living. “The cost of living for international students is very high, and it’s essential to consider this before deciding on a city to study in. Doing extensive research about the university is crucial, too. Blindly coming to a new country isn’t advisable. There are plenty of resources available, and it’s wise to utilize them,” Temiloluwa advised, highlighting the importance of informed decision-making.

Language barriers also pose a hurdle for international students. Temiloluwa thought her English proficiency from Nigeria would suffice, but she soon realized the differences in accents and expressions. 

“At the beginning, it was a struggle to understand others and also to communicate. Some people were harder to understand than others, but with time, I learned. Over time, I came to comprehend everybody,” she shared, underscoring the adaptability and resilience of international students.

When choosing a destination for her studies, Temiloluwa meticulously researched various countries and found Canada to be a stable nation with abundant opportunities for education and personal growth. 

“Canada, for me, was a promising land. I saw the stability it offered and envisioned a future here. I chose Manitoba because of its affordable cost of living compared to other provinces,” she explained, shedding light on the strategic decision-making process many international students go through.

Temiloluwa’s story echoes the experiences of numerous international students worldwide. While the journey may be challenging, the richness of diverse friendships, cultural exchanges, and educational opportunities makes it a transformative experience. Aspiring international students are urged to consider the advice of those like Temiloluwa, who have navigated these waters, ensuring a smoother transition and a more fulfilling academic pursuit abroad.

–Yuliia Kovalenko, U Multicultural

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