As people say: “we never know what we can do till we try”. Really, one should have a dream and work hard and do everything possible to reach it. I think that makes our life meaningful and more interesting at least. Personally, I had dreamed to study abroad since I began to learn English at school. So after finishing school and entering the University I began to look for various opportunities and chances to make my dream come true. First of all, I registered for Bachelor of Circumpolar Studies (BCS) courses with the University of the Arctic (UArctic). Actually, I didn't’t know much about UArctic at that time, I just had a slight understanding and hope that these courses would be the first step for something great and worthy. And now I can say that my intuition didn't’t let me down.
Actually, BCS courses are courses of northern science offered by the UArctic. The UArctic is just a great international institution that connects universities in different parts of the North. I think the mission and goal of the university is very generous, because first of all, the university works for the North, trying to contribute in the life of northerners, and they do a big job!
I understood that when I took my very first course, everything was about the North and for the North. Although I had some difficulties in the beginning I really liked these courses and took a new course every term. The instructors are just awesome, they are always ready to help and can give you advice. One day Klaudia Ivanovna told me about an ACUNS conference in Saskatoon (a member of the University of Arctic, of course) and encouraged me to apply, so I did. And just when I had totally forgotten about it I was e-mailed by the University of Saskatchewan informing me about the invitation and award. In a month I was flying to Canada, an absolutely unknown and new land for me at that moment. And in some two weeks, when I was flying back, I had a clear understanding that I should go to Canada again and I would.
The next year, in August 2008, I won an award of the University of Greenland to participate in the sixth International Congress of northern studies IASSA in Nuuk, Greenland, but I had to decline the trip due to tickets and visa requirements. I went to Saskatoon to study for Term 1 of 2008/2009 academic year by North2North program. I was enrolled in the Business School of Edwards. I took three classes: Mathematics, Price Theory and Resource Allocation, International Monetary System. The education process is quite different there, students study really hard and they seem more organised and responsible. It took me some time to adjust for Canadian education process.
In December 2008 I passed the Internet – based TOEFL exam in Toronto and got 90 scores. I hope this will help me to enter graduate school (Masters program) at a Canadian university.
Well, studying in Canada was the best and most useful experience for me, ever. No, it was not easy, at all. I travelled alone from Yakutsk to Saskatoon and there were many different situations I had to cope with - super-long 40-hour bus trip from Toronto to Saskatoon, for instance. But it was fun and interesting. I learned a lot, I saw how people live in one of the most developed countries in the world - in a land of hockey and ski resorts. I improved my English, have been in amazing places like Vancouver and Niagara falls, and tried different foods. And I’ve made very nice friends there. I miss them, they will always be in my mind and thoughts, I think this is the main thing.
To learn more about the North2North exchange program, please visit the webpage: Tags: student newsnewsstudent profilesbcs newsnorth2north newsnorth2north student profilesbcs student profiles
North2North Helps Russian Student Fullfill her Dreams
Thu, Feb 19, 2009
North2North student Valentina Mikhaylova, from Yakutsk State University tells us about her travel and study experiences in Canada: