Monday, September 2, 2013

Turning into Hermione Granger or Becoming an International Student in Canada

Take me down to the Paradise City
Where the grass is green
Where the girls are pretty…
Take me home
(“Paradise City” by Guns’n’Roses)

Landing the dream destination has demanded investing a soul into achieving.  I still experience troubles believing that I am here in Toronto, Canada even though I now have the undeniable proofs: Canadian phone number, Canadian bank account and the most valuable my Centennial student ID.

After setting a goal of requalifying and entering the ranks of highly demanded professionals a long path of bringing the idea to life followed.

I opted for a postgrad program “Corporate Communications and PR” in Centennial College (Toronto, Canada)  to cause this major life turn.  A six-month-process leading to my physical presence here comprised three major stages: 

1) Passing a test of English IELTS;
2) Getting accepted by the college;
3) Obtaining a study permit and arranging the arrival.

While the first two steps were more theoretical, mostly involving brain, books and a computer, the last phase resulted in losing pounds. The first two turned attainable with tight schedules and proper time management and came down to compiling the previous achievement together and refining already formed skills. The third prompted me to appreciate once again the professionalism and support of people I am blessed to have in life.

Obtaining visa required preparation of a thick documentation pile. Running around the city during the heatwave in the chase after paperwork  considerably contributed into fat burning . But the expertise of BELL DNK  and its CEO Oksana Almanova in particular deserves special gratitude for the guidance. BELL DNK, an international education agency, had already proven efficient in the earlier steps providing comprehensive information about various schools and programs around the world as well as setting effective communication with the college.

And after having all the formal paperwork sorted out and purchasing my ticket the focus fell on the arrival into the country I had never been to. Much to my surprise it appeared easier than any of my previous traveling experiences. Afterwards I couldn't get rid of the feeling I knew Toronto prior to my landing in here. Through the network of friends finding a place in Toronto was made a manageable task. And the fact that I was met in the airport and brought into my new home, saving me from the search for my way in the middle of the night, escalated my spirits 150%.

The succeeding three days of intensive meeting the staff and student advisors followed to reinforce my confidence in the right choice.

It started with gaping at solid presentation skills of the School’s Dean Nate Horowitz whose speech assured me he knows his area well. This is the kind of people I want to learn from.

Next, meeting the teachers was utterly heart-warming as they confirmed the idea I formed about them earlier relying on the Web sources:  respectable PR practitioners with a profound theoretical basis.

And last but not least, Program Coordinator Barry Waite’s clear emphasis on the fostering hands-on-profession skills, creating professional environment right from the first days has switched me into the mode of upper readiness.

School starts tomorrow and as Hermione Granger would have done it, I’m about to rush up the newly opened avenues with the renewed confidence coming from having my nose stuck  in the textbooks and online resources before the course starts.

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