Whenever a prospective student first walks into any one of 16 Canadian University Application Centres (CUACs) scattered all across the world, he or she is always greeted in typical Canadian fashion – with warmth and professionalism.
Whether in Delhi, Dubai, Dhaka, Beijing or Lagos, the CUAC is dedicated to helping international students learn about Canadian universities.
The CUAC counsels tens of thousands of students every year at its offices around the world and at hundreds of schools and universities.
“We always advise students to consider programs carefully,” explains CUAC’s Senior Counsellor in New Delhi, Anusuya Bose.
“We advise students to follow their interests, as it affects performance. We ask them not to concentrate on earning money and working part-time, but to stress on good academic performance and to do well in class, graduate, and then land a good job afterward.”
The CUAC office in New Delhi is one of four in India, and along with Hyderabad, Ludhiana and Dehradun, the CUAC India offices send 250 students a year from India to CUAC member universities
Priyanka Mathur wasn’t exactly a typical first-time CUAC visitor – many of whom come to the centres as a ‘first step’ while considering attending university in Canada. Priyanka had already made up her mind. She had attended a study abroad seminar in her city and she knew exactly what, and even where, she wanted to study.
In Priyanka’s words, Canada is a “land of opportunities”. Armed with her new desire to pursue a Masters in Civil Engineering at Ontario’s University of Windsor, she was determined to make her dreams come true – which, starting classes for the program in 2007, is exactly what she did.
That’s not to say that Priyanka’s journey was one without challenges. Shortly after she began her studies in Canada, the student suffered a devastating loss.
“While I was in my second semester,” Priyanka explains, “my dad passed away. At that very moment, I didn’t have anyone with me from my family, as they were all back home in India.”
But it was during this time that Priyanka says she truly appreciated the sense of community and support at the university. She says this helped her tremendously throughout the course of her studies, as well as amongst the student body. Windsor has more students (400-plus) from India than any other university in Canada.
The two years which followed, Priyanka describes as full of “twists and turns”. Finishing her degree, getting married, and landing a new job in Canada...she has indeed come a long way.
Currently a structural / architectural designer for a company in Vaughan in the Greater Toronto Area, Priyanka is responsible for drafting drawings for pharmaceutical building projects under such companies as Apotex and Sanofi, as well as for other commercial and residential projects as they come up
As far as salary is concerned, she says that she has seen a gradual – though steady – increase as she gained both Canadian and Indian work experience, and as her educational qualifications were raised.
To Priyanka, her time at Windsor was just the beginning.
With plans to pursue further studies and continue to advance her career – not to mention concentrate on enjoying a strong married life – Priyanka looks forward to her future of staying in Canada, the land of opportunities.
• Arwen Kidd currently serves as Communications Director for the Canadian University Application Centre and its parent organization, Higher-Edge. A Canadian university graduate herself, Arwen has spent most of the past five years working and travelling overseas. Among her credits are various documentary film and photojournalism projects in Eastern Europe and Australia, and training local journalists in West Africa. Arwen is currently based in New Delhi, India.
Posted: Aug 6, 2010