Canada, the Great White North is home to authentic maple syrup, brutally cold winters and ice hockey. Aside from these marvellously stereotypical Canadian things, there are other outstanding features of this popular study abroad destination, such as poutine, genuinely kind people, and a large percentage of students from India.
Pallavi Soni, 23, is one of them. The “unconstrained and liberated woman” is several thousand miles away from her hometown Amritsar — the second most populous city in India — to pursue her science degree at the Northern Institute of Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton, Alberta.
Although she studies environmental science, “…becoming a successful travel blogger is one of my biggest dreams I am chasing right now,” she tells us. The student/influencer tells us more about this and her life in Canada below:
What made you choose to study abroad?
Being on a 23-hour flight excites me as I am very fond of travelling, so making the big jump across the pond was an easy decision for me. I chose to come to Canada because there are more opportunities, especially for young women like me. To add to that, the programme that I chose was the most field-related — staying outdoors, sampling and researching at different locations.
Give us the details on what you’re doing now with your studies.
I am currently studying at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton, Alberta. I opted for the programme: Biological Sciences — Environmental Engineering and Assessment.
The breakdown of what we have to learn during this two-year diploma is water sampling for water quality testing, air sampling to check the pollutants in the air, soil sampling, and so on. It’s quite a lot of practical work to take in, but I love it.
Why did you choose to study in Canada? What do you like most about studying there?
Apart from being an unconstrained and liberated woman, I also enjoy studying in Canada because of the friendly environment in classrooms. The instructors are an email away, are and also very helpful and guide you through your studies.
Aside from theory work, there are practical labs and fieldwork that really helps one understand things better than just learning in a classroom. The best part is that there is no heavy burden or stress, you can easily manage work and study life if you are an international student. Being a successful, independent woman is why I made the decision to jump ship and come here.
What is a moment that stood out for you during your time at NAIT?
The most memorable time I had was when I went on a four-day field trip last year in September. We had some practical research work, and it was my first time ever camping — so that was a pretty fun and great experience for me.
Do you recommend Canada? What advice do you have for international students?
I highly recommend people to come to Canada. My only piece of advice is that if you decide to do something, do it whole-heartedly and be mentally strong for all the challenges you are going to face. It’s never easy to adapt yourself to a different culture or country, but it is stimulating.
If you believe in yourself, you can achieve whatever you want and the most important thing to know is your worth. Being an international student makes you face several different kinds of people, either at work or at school. But like anywhere else in the world, if you are doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about.
Do you have plans for the future?
I usually don’t make long-term plans. I try to accomplish things one step at a time, by making short-term goals. For now, my only plan is to find a suitable job so that I can be a successful environmentalist in Canada.