Indian Student Shares Transformative Journey From India To Canada

Indian Student Shares Transformative Journey From India To Canada

Follow Indian student's transformative journey from India to Canada as he navigates unexpected friendships, academic challenges, and personal growth.

Ishank NagiUpdated: Monday, January 08, 2024, 10:16 AM IST
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Ishank Nagi |

(FPJ's 'My Space' column gives a platform to Indian and international students abroad to relay their experience which can prove to be helpful to many other students. Stay tuned for more!)

Stepping onto the plane that would carry me from the hustle of India to the calm embrace of Canada marked the beginning of a journey that would redefine my life. Hi, I'm Ishank Nagi, and sharing the story of my transition is like revisiting a tapestry woven with threads of excitement, uncertainty, and unexpected friendships.

I'm starting my journey, and the first leg is a flight with my dad, a pilot by profession, accompanying me until Istanbul. That in itself was pretty special. But the universe had a sprinkle of magic planned. During a layover in Istanbul, I strick up an unexpected friendship with a fellow traveller on the flight. Fast forward a bit, and I find myself in Barcelona, thanks to a flight hiccup. Who would've thought a cancelled flight could lead to one of my football dreams coming true? Despite the minor inconvenience of a malfunctioning phone, I managed to visit Camp Nou stadium. Trust me, for a football fan like me, that's a memory to cherish!

Touching down in Toronto, the warm embrace of family awaited. My aunt and close cousins made me feel right at home, easing the transition. Plus, arriving a week early gave me a chance to explore Niagara Falls and downtown Toronto. But Kingston, ah, that was the place I was eager to call home for the next four years. Or so I thought at the time!

Let's rewind a bit. Growing up, I had my sights set on becoming an engineer. But life threw a curveball with a sinus surgery and a gap year. Funny how sometimes detours lead you to the most unexpected yet fulfilling destinations. That's how I pivoted towards business and finance, eventually landing at the doorstep of Queen's University in Kingston.

Now, Kingston has its charm. It's this quaint little town by Lake Ontario, offering a blend of historic Victorian architecture and modern amenities. But let me tell you, adapting to the social dynamics at Queen's wasn't all smooth sailing. It took some time, but eventually, I found my tribe, and my community within the campus residence. The professors? Absolute gems! Their warmth and guidance have been a beacon, shaping my academic journey.

Navigating the Canadian education system had its learning curve, but the critical thinking and practical approach resonated with me. And speaking of experiences, a semester at ESSEC Business School in Paris was the cherry on top. Imagine studying amidst a melting pot of cultures!

Of course, living far from home comes with its share of challenges. There were moments of homesickness, but thanks to technology and a supportive community, those moments were fleeting. And let's not forget the 20-hour workweek system. It's been a lifeline for many international students, and its potential end? Well, it's a concern worth pondering. 

As I reflect on my journey, it's been a rollercoaster of highs and lows, challenges and triumphs. From exploring new cities to adapting to a new culture, each chapter has added depth to my story. Through it all, Kingston has become a second home, filled with memories, friendships, and lessons that will last a lifetime.

In essence, my Canadian journey isn't just about academics; it's a narrative of growth, resilience, and discovery. And as I continue to navigate this path, I'm excited to see where the next chapter takes me. But for now, here's to embracing the present and cherishing every moment of this incredible adventure!

The author is an Bachelor of Commerce (honours) - majoring in Finance student at the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University, Canada

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