International Student @ DAV - Sparshi
My name is Sparshi and I am in the business administration program for finance. I’m a Punjab, from a small city in Hoshiarpur in India. I got here on August 28th 2015. I don’t have any family here so I’m living in residence - the residence experience has been amazing… it's a little bit expensive costing like $8000 a year. The environment is amazing for studying though.
Why did you choose your program?
I chose my program because my dad is in the field back home. While I was growing up, watching him doing all of the things with finance made me interested in Finance. I always wanted to pursue my dad’s work; he has gained a lot of experience in this field and he is able to get guidance and solutions to any dilemma; he helps me with anything, I get a lot of guidance from him
What are your hobbies?
I love reading books and I love listening to music, it makes me relax a bit. I enjoy cooking new recipes or maybe inventing new dishes on my own, kinda feel like Chef [laughs]. I love travelling, especially with my friends and family. Travelling with my family makes me forget my all worries and I feel like I am all charged up to face the life. I also love watching movies especially Horror and comedy is my favorite genre. I am big fan of Indian Music and movies.
Did you have any goals associated with moving to Canada?
Back when I was back in India I was very introverted and a shy person- I can say that
I literally freaked when I had to speak in front of people. When I came here, I had a goal to change myself to be a better and confident individual.
When I came here I joined various clubs, I wanted to make sure that I am able to be engage with a lot of people; I wanted to change myself from being introverted to extroverted. Joining Sheridan Clubs and Associations helped me a lot. I made a lot of friends and improved my public speaking skills, and I see that as one of my biggest achievement
I am the president of SISA, Sheridan International Student Association, in the Davis Campus. And also the leader of SFAA, Sheridan Finance Accounting Association, and also an executive member of Sheridan Business Council. Right now I am doing volunteering for watering the plants. We are growing tomatoes, jalapenos, berries at the back side of Sheridan.
I am also a peer mentor now for Sheridan College. I feel so lucky that I’ve been a peer mentor for the international center it has been an amazing experience.
How did you make decision to move here?
Moving here was challenging for me because I have never lived alone by myself. Never been away from my dad and mom for a single day or night. Even when I use to visit my any family member, my mom would always accompany me. I have never ever travelled alone. Moving to Canada was difficult decision for my mom and dad but they both knew coming to Canada will be great exposure for me and will make me independent and mature enough to face the life in future. I had few friends who were studying in Vancouver and New York and while talking to them and knowing their struggle to study, work and live alone in entirely different country made me so interested and I wanted to experience it. The lifestyle, the education they were getting, and the confidence level they had that increased while coming here, I really wanted to gain all that. I thought that would be a really good experience for me and that’s why I came here.
What difficulties did you face moving here?
I would say the first one is homesickness. For one whole month, it was really difficult for me. I would get emotional while watching any family oriented movie and I would miss my family. Second was the education; it’s different here - in India we are trained to be theoretical based there and not practical. Most of the work there is individual work, we used to have limited group assignments. Since I am in a business program, we have a lot of group assignments. I remember in my first class of business and professor saying, “Make a group of five people.” In my head I was like, “oh shit!” *laughs*
What do you miss the most?
Family and friends of course. Food is not a big issue here, I can find tons of Indian restaurants here, but I would say homemade food cooked by my mother I miss that a lot. Excluding this, I would say nothing else. I am really happy here and I am also looking forward to have my younger brother to persuade engineering diploma next year in Sheridan.
What was your favourite memory during the process of moving here?
My journey from India to Canada - I was really freaked out, I was really scared because I was all alone. However, when I landed in the airport, everyone was greeting me saying, “Hi, How are you?” It made me feel comfortable and made me think to myself, “I’m going to be okay.” That was the first Canadian experience that I remember. It was good, the people were very nice. We don’t tend to see that back in India, and I was thinking. “Oh my god, they greet you here” *laughs* Secondly, people here open the door for you also - I was like “oh my god, that’s so sweet” they don’t do that in India; It was amazing.
Would you stay in Canada?
I would love to stay in Canada. As I am graduating next year in April with a diploma in finance and wanted to persuade my degree in Bachelors in Finance and maybe Masters after it. Let’s hope for the best and see wherever destiny takes me.
If you could go back in time, and give yourself advice (when you decided to come to Canada) what advice would you give yourself?
While coming to Canada, I thought that I would face discrimination and racism because of the colour of my skin and my nationality, but when I came here, the experience, and the atmosphere of Sheridan was so good and I didn’t feel any of that…. I think that if I can turn time around, I would tell myself to not be scared, and that it’s going to be okay.
Is there a motto or a quote that you live by?
There is a quote by former president of India. He said Dreams are not the ones you see while sleeping, they are the ones which won’t let you sleep. So try going after those dreams which make your nights sleepless not the ones which make you feel sleepy. This quote is really close to my heart and try to stand by it.
“Dreams are not that you see while sleeping, it is something that does not let you sleep” - A.P.J Abdul Kalam
Did you have any self-doubt moving here?
I was really shy and I thought that I wouldn’t be able to speak in public. I didn’t know how I was gonna survive on my own - I was a pampered child of my parents never did any household work back home. How I’m gonna make friends in a new environment where the nationality is different and everything is different. I think that so far I didn’t experience anything that I thought would experience coming here. I’m so happy that it’s totally the opposite of what I thought. It’s beautiful, it’s amazing and it’s not a worry at all anymore.
How did you deal with any self-doubt when going through this… “journey”?
First semester I didn’t join anything, the first month was very difficult for me. When my classes would be over, I would go to my room and study then sleep. I had friends who were part of the clubs and they told me that it would be a good idea to chat with new people and engage. I helped organising events like Sheridan’s Got Talent, and Dragons Den - I think these things really made the difference in who I became after moving here.
What do you enjoy the most about Sheridan life?
The events are amazing; you see people from all across the world. Events help bring diverse people with different nationalities come together to enjoy and learn about other cultures; I think that that’s the best thing; to see people enjoying and celebrating together, it makes all the difference. I am really proud to be a Sheridan Student and respect and love for Sheridan College will always be with me all through my age.