A star doesn’t need words to tell the world what it does; it just shines
- Matshona Dhliwayo
And shine it does. A lighthouse guiding thousands of Indian students, many of whom are thoroughly confused about everything save one fact:
A burning desire to pursue their higher studies in Canada no matter how difficult or stressful the experience may prove to be.
They are supremely confident of achieving their goal, and why not? For, we Indians know how to face and overcome hardships when driven by an iron-clad will to succeed and make our mark in life. As History is witness, our people have never received anything on a platter. They have had to fight long, exhausting, and often bloody battles for ultimate supremacy.
And so, in a spirit of faith and hope, the journey begins.
According to Amy Boone in her article in Ethos3 (Telling Better Stories: The Narrative Quest | Ethos3 - A Presentation Training and Design Agency), a quest has a few fixed and recognizable elements. In the following paragraphs, we shall briefly examine how you fit into the scheme of things.
The individual who is on a quest for the elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: Sir Galahad in search of the Holy Grail, the prince who is determined to find the golden bird for his father. Or, it may even be you. Canada beckons and its calls get only stronger with every passing day as the student goes about completing the formalities and meeting the various requirements. One step at a time.
But are you sure of your final destination? Leaving the comfort of your home and hearth, travelling thousands of miles across the seven seas to live in an alien land far away from your near and dear ones. There must be (a) driving reason/s for you to take this bold and potentially life-changing step. Examine your motives and know what really compels you. Understanding strengthens a person’s self-belief, and arms you with the necessary strength to face adverse circumstances. And believe me, you will need lots of it. For, make no mistake, it is not going to be a cakewalk.
3. What & Why?
This is a crucial question to answer honestly. What are the real reason/s you wish to take this step? Is it that you
Wish to pursue your higher studies and secure a world class education, after which you aim to come back to your country?
Or, maybe, you want to get a job and settle down abroad, a course of action that will lead to Permanent Residency (or its equivalent) and finally citizenship?
Your answers to the What & Why questions may have a bearing on the country of your choice, whether you wish to spend a bomb on your international education, the type of IELTS test that you might want to take, and so on.
4. Challenges ahead
In life “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”. Everything carries a price tag. Initially at least, hypersensitive and somewhat friendless, you may very well feel like an outsider. The language barrier you will face in some countries, especially those in the Continent, can make the situation worse. With time, even though one would be spending the spare moments mostly with one's Indian mates, still there can be no escaping the occasional and intense bouts of homesickness. Managing classes and part-time jobs may at times lead to you skipping meals altogether. You will also have to quickly learn to first make provision for house rent, the various bills, savings, and (for some) sending remittances to folks back home. Oh yes, it is going to be a difficult phase of your life. Tough yet exhilarating!
If you have developed cold feet reading the above lines, then stop living the study abroad dream this instant. It is not for the faint-hearted.
Are you ready to spread your wings and fly?