People go from being a toddler to attending kindergarten, moving on to elementary school, then to high school. Then some end up in university or college. The journey always differs from person to person. While many may encounter rough paths, others have a path of roses laid out for them. However, one thing every individual has in common is an obstacle no matter the circumstance.
For a LEAF student, being an international student is hard. They face extra obstacles like language barriers, homesickness and even the need to adjust to new weather conditions. I spoke with Senhao Qian, who is also known as Kyle. He has been attending Laurier Brantford since last September, and plans on moving to the Waterloo campus this fall upon graduating from the LEAF program.
Kyle moved to Canada from Shenzhen, China and has experienced a drastic transition in terms of weather, friends, food and culture. He moved to Canada when he was on the verge of being 19 and says it was a ‘big change’. One of the big changes he experienced was with food. He mentioned that the food tasted different, and that it was hard to find proper Chinese food in Brantford. Kyle also mentioned his hatred towards the weather in Canada, especially this time of year, as most of us do! Although Shenzhen does experience snow, it is not as rigorous as it is in Canada.
The adjustment in culture was what he found to be most tough. He mentioned that although the people in Canada are friendly, there was a language barrier that set him back from making more friends. The reason why he looks forward to moving to Waterloo is because the Chinese community is extensive over there. This takes him back in terms of missing his friends and family back home. The loss of relationships is a tough one to deal with when acquiring an education away from home. Moving from a conservative culture to a westernized one is not an easy adjustment, but he likes the new way of life and he says the adjustment hasn’t been very hard.
Kyle is a persevering individual with a secured mindset. He has a goal and his journey is truly inspiring. Although he does struggle to make friends, he never stops trying. Although eating healthy and finding proper Chinese food has been a struggle for him, he compromises and is content. He misses his friends and family, but has made a second family with his roommates. It is all about compromise and continuing the journey he began. He has a goal, and he wants to reach it no matter what. He says that Canada may never be his ‘home’, but Canada will always be his home away from home.