READER OF THE MONTH: Laura’s Canadian odyssey
Hey everyone, I know you’re sick of hearing from me all the time so here’s another great Reader of the Month entry, where I spotlight one of my fantastic readers. This month, it’s Laura, who has a beautiful story about finding a new home away from home.
My name is Laura, I’m 26 years old from São Paulo, Brazil, currently living in Canada. Growing up in Brazil, I always had the dream to live abroad since I was 14, and I had become fascinated with Canada after watching the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. I tried to go to Vancouver back then for a three month school program, but my father refused to let me go, and instead encouraged me to finish university first and then go overseas for a post-grad course.
By the time it was December 2011 I was graduating from pharmaceutical sciences and I had no idea what to do with that degree or what job positions to apply for. So I figured it was the time to try my little Canadian adventure and asked my father if his proposition was still on, to which he said ‘yes’. I’ve always been the person who tries to plan ahead as much as one can, and to have a Plan B. So, while I was waiting for my application to a Canadian College to be approved I was taking exams to work as a public servant in Brazil. Those exams take months, sometimes years to actually give a result so I figured that I go to Canada first, then when I return home, maybe I would have a job waiting for me.
Even though I was excited to go, I was bit sad to leave, and above all … I was scared. All my friends were focused on their careers in Brazil and getting jobs in their field of expertise. I even asked a friend of mine to come to Canada with me but she said she was too scared to leave and then come back home with no job and nothing to show for her time away. I was having second thoughts about going.
However it was when I saw your comic adaptation of The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost that I had peace of mind. That poem made me realize that I had to make a decision, accept it and adapt to whatever comes in my path. The reality is that there is no right answer, there is no right way.
So finally, I went to Canada.
I had enrolled for a International Business Management course for a year. I also decided to volunteer for the International Student Services at my college which I loved. I could help assist other international students that were in the same position as I was before.
While studying in Canada, I found out I was approved for that public service exam I took back home in 2012. Once again, I had to make a decision: either go back to Brazil and take the stable job or finish what I started and try my luck in Canada after I was done with my studies. I decided to stay here in Canada. That student services volunteer job ended up helping me get my current job, working for a software company as a system analyst for a year and a half and counting. For now I am having a detour in my path. My employer is helping me get my papers done for a permanent residency visa and I’ve decided to stay in Canada for as long as I can. While I have some stability, I am studying for the exams I have to take in order to become a pharmacist in Canada. This will take a few years but I won’t give up.
I’ve made amazing friends and met a wonderful boyfriend from India who has supported me all the way. My family suffers a bit with the distance, they always had the hope the cold winter would send me back to Brazil. Even so, they are proud of me, and thanks to Skype I can talk to them and to my old friends all the time. Brazil will always be my nation, where my family is, some part of me, but Canada is the place I’ve fallen in love with.