International Student @ TRC - Omar Elbanby
I’m Omar. I’m from Cairo, the main city [in Egypt]. I’m in Software Development Networking Engineering. I chose Software development because… I always wanted to be a musician, so I have the abstraction of coding and I love technology.
I moved here June 27, 2016. I lived in residence, and now I’m living with my aunt. However, I’m moving back into residence. I’m all over the place; I don’t really have one place. I prefer residence because I’m an independent person so… I’m forever a loner [chuckles].
Why did you choose Sheridan?
It’s kind of a funny story, so when I visited Canada in 2014 I thought to myself, “Wow this place is awesome, and I wanna live here.” I have multiple favourites about Canadian culture: Peaceful people, open minded people (who accept others), and they’re very comfortable. I looked at the college and thought that that it was a good college. I went to HMC and I loved it. The campus itself made me curious about the quality of the education here, and I found out it was one of the best colleges in Canada. I was impressed by how modern HMC is, and I’m addicted to coffee, so being a Starbucks guy drew me to moving here too. Davis is a fun campus as well, not as modern as HMC or as artistic as TRC, but it has the science-y feeling that makes me feel as though I’m surrounded by smart people.
What are your goals and aspirations?
My goals are kind of funny because they're too big - I want to be like… the next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg. My aspirations include… the means of always being independent and keep moving.
As cheesy as this might sound, my passion is to change the world - and not like completely change the world, but I want to leave my mark; be remembered when I’m gone… That’s the thing, I’m so selfish that I don't want to impact just one person, I want to impact the planet.
How did you deal with any self-doubt when going through this… “journey”?
I kind of had support from others as well - I don't know I kind of felt selfish from the sense that I want to be independent and that's what I want to do -- and that no self-doubt was gonna hold me back.
Thankfully I had people in my life who were supporting me - so yeah thank God.
What was your favourite memory during the process of moving here?
I’m a big fan of airports. I love airports because it always indicates a start of a story. The happiest moment for me was going from one airport to another and thinking, “The Trip Begins”.
That’s it for me. It was like a movie. I felt: excited, scared, worried, happy and confused. There’s a lot more behind it compared to what everyone thinks. Because you’re leaving your parents, and saying bye after 18 years of living with them and then saying, “I'm not gonna see you for years." It’s not easy.
What are the difficulties you faced?
When I moved here the transition wasn’t so difficult because growing up we watched TV and I kind of had an idea of what the culture was. The first three months were really hard - trying to figure out where to go, where to find food and everything. This was really rough, I guess that’s the hardest part about being an international student... everything you do, bussing even, everything requires a lot of thinking. Also hearing the way people greet each other (mannerisms) and stuff like that is way different.
I miss my family from back home. The connection of visiting everyone, and having a big long dinner table with everyone there. My friends too and my country. My country never sleeps; Egypt doesn’t sleep. You can stay up until four in the morning and you’ll still find cafes running and places to sit and things to do. Here everything is closed by like 7pm…
I don’t plan on moving back [to Egypt] but I don’t plan on staying in Canada either. I want to go all over the world. I might end up in Europe... I don’t know. I guess I’m working to achieve this right now... where I can afford to pay for a ticket to visit but then come back for work and do whatever I’m doing; having that community aspect whilst striving to be independent.
If you could go back in time, and give yourself advice (when you decided to come to Canada) what advice would you give yourself?
There’s a lot of stuff… I would have started coding earlier. I would have moved here younger if I could. The main thing would be… the coding aspect of it… I don’t know if this is a word, but “geek-a-tizing” myself sooner.