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Embracing Adversity: The Story of a Dominican Republic Student’s Experience in Winnipeg

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Lisabeth Aragones, a spirited international student from the sunny shores of the Dominican Republic, embarked on a life-changing adventure almost a year ago when she moved to Winnipeg, Canada. While her journey has been filled with challenges, she has met them head-on with resilience and positivity.

“The biggest challenge I faced was the weather. I have never experienced anything like that before. It was so hard, to be honest. I wasn’t expecting it; I wasn’t ready for it,” Lisabeth confessed. 

Coming from the warmth of the Caribbean, the abrupt transition to Winnipeg’s winter was overwhelming. However, Lisabeth found solace in embracing the winter activities that Winnipeg had to offer. “For example, I started going ice skating, and I realized that I love winter now. It’s important to find activities that make you enjoy the season you are in,” she said, emphasizing the importance of adapting and finding joy in new experiences.

Despite the challenges, Lisabeth highlighted the significance of focusing on the positive aspects of her journey. “There will always be negative things, but we need to try to focus on the good things,” she urged. Being a student, she faced academic pressures that occasionally weighed her down emotionally. “I felt sad, but I realized that if I isolate myself, I’ll feel even worse. So, I started socializing, meeting new people, and exploring the city,” she said, emphasizing the importance of staying connected with others.

Navigating language barriers was another hurdle for Lisabeth. She encouraged others to ask for clarification when struggling to understand, appreciating the understanding nature of the people around her. “If you don’t understand, you can feel free to ask. People are understanding. They’re not going to be offended if you let them know,” she added.

Transportation posed a significant challenge for Lisabeth and her family.

In the Dominican Republic, they had their car and the freedom to travel as they pleased. However, in Winnipeg, they had to rely on public transportation. “We had to wait to get our driver’s licenses, and we didn’t want to spend that much money,” she explained. Waiting for buses in freezing temperatures was a harsh reality they faced. Eventually, the family found a solution by getting their own car, making their daily commute more manageable.

Lisabeth’s journey in Winnipeg has been marked by resilience, adaptation, and a positive attitude. Through her experiences, she has learned to find joy in the little things, stay connected with others, and face challenges head-on. Her story serves as an inspiration to newcomers, reminding them that with determination and a positive mindset, they can overcome any obstacle and thrive in their new environment.

–Yuliia Kovalenko, U Multicultural

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