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Road less travelled makes all the difference


Rubaina Singh is an international transfer student from Amritsar, India. She was studying toward her BA/LLB degree in Mohali, but in September she undertook a transfer to St Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick, to continue her undergraduate studies in Criminology. Her longer term goal is to study Law in Canada after completing her first degree at St. Thomas University. Here, she offers her insights into her decision-making process and her first-year experiences.

I am often asked this question, Why Canada? And if Canada, why St. Thomas University? Every time this question is asked, it brings a smile to my face. 

It was a decision I arrived at after a brainstorming session with my parents. I want to do my law degree in Canada and want to settle down here, so like any student would do, I applied to a number of universities in Canada. 

I got to know about St. Thomas University (STU) through the Canadian University Application Centre (CUAC), but didn’t pay enough heed to inquire about it then. In summer 2012, I attended a Canadian university fair organized by CUAC where I had the opportunity of meeting the Director of International Recruitment at STU, Ryan Sullivan. He acquainted me with what STU was all about and he worked on my academic details and certificates. 

I walked out of the conference room so confident. I knew that’s where I wanted to be, but I still had to convince my parents about it. When my parents talked to Ryan about the entire procedure and the University, they were reassured about my decision. 

I got acceptances from a number of universities in Canada, but there were a couple of things which influenced my choice and I am happy that I made this decision. 

STU is basically a liberal arts university, so it is not very huge. Classes are small, which gives an opportunity for better interaction with course-mates as well as professors. Professors are masters in their own fields and are very approachable. I had always wanted an environment where I could take the help of my teachers and make informed decisions about my courses and career and STU is giving me that. 

Also, the different departments here are interwoven, so one can easily address any problem one has, be it related to residence or meal plans or anything else. The problem is instantly solved. People guide you through the process and are very helpful so time. 

There are lots of opportunities to take part in club activities, volunteering, working on-campus, etc., and one can easily find things that suit one’s passions. Then there is a separate body called St Thomas University International Student Association. They make sure that people who come from diverse cultures and nationalities feel at home and are not left out at any time. They organize orientation sessions; introduce the students to campus life and how to approach different facilities. They organize trips to places nearby to show you around and have fun with barbeques and trekking, etc. They conduct a lot of events for International students so it really helped me settle down and didn’t leave room to miss home. 

Every person is different and takes time to get used to the place and I personally took time to settle down. But it was amusing to discover for myself that I could adjust here so fast without realizing when the first semester flew by. Also, Fredericton is not a very big city and the bus system is very good, so things become really convenient. 

Now after completing my graduation at STU I think I will be prepared enough to take the next step for my post-graduation in law at a bigger university in Canada. I needed a gradual change and STU has been a fundamental step in that transition and I would like to thank my parents, Ryan and CUAC for making it happen for me.

Posted: Feb 4, 2014

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