Coventry TransportationCoventry Transportation
The Weather Network
Oct. 19, 2021 | Tuesday
Local News
Canadian culture celebrated on international student's first day of classes
Akhil Nazim, Jaweria Mohsin and Indeevar Arya celebrate Canada Day in the courtyard of Niagara College with poutine, icecream and games on Tuesday. (Brittany Carter/Niagara Now)

Jaweria Mohsin jumped into Canadian culture during belated Canada Day celebrations at Niagara College campuses Tuesday afternoon.

Mohsin, an international student from India in her second year of the hospitality and tourism program, says she’s eager to move forward in her Canadian life using the skills she’s learned at college paired with real-life work experience.

Canadian culture was a bit of shock for her when she first arrived in the country, but she says overall, she prefers the values and advancement here – but our food could use some spicing up.

“It’s a cultural difference. Your food is bland, we have habituated to eating spicy, flavourful food,” she said.

Taking her desire to see more halal food options and her drive to succeed, Mohsin says in three years she aims to open her own mixed-cuisine restaurant.

Right now, she’s working as a data manager assistant and is also employed part-time in a restaurant while attending college and raising her one-year-old.

It’s all worth it though, she says, to get her to the dream she’s had for more than seven years.

“I wanted to explore Canada. It’s been a long-standing dream,” she said.

She says she celebrated Canada Day at Charles Daly Park in Lincoln, enjoying the fireworks and music.

Tuesday afternoon’s celebration organized by Niagara College’s International Division, the Centre for Student Engagement and Leadership and NC Student Administrative Council offered Mohsin and her classmates, Akhil Nazim and Indeevar Arya, another chance to dive into Canadian culture.

“What we see in a professional way is this country is far more ahead. Back home it’s still run on the old principles of leadership, I guess, where many things are not given priority – like our emotions, or our mental state,” Mohsin said.

The students stayed in the courtyard for the afternoon, taking advantage of the free poutine and ice cream sundae bars that were available to everyone in attendance.

“We’re here to make memories and enjoy the day,” Nazim says.

Over the afternoon, the college hosted about 500 students between the Niagara-on-the-Lake and the Welland campuses.

July 2 marked the first official day of classes for many international students and also served as an unofficial summer kick-off.

Tom Price, president of the Student Administrative Council, said the event is an excellent way to welcome new and existing international students and to help integrate them into Canadian culture.

“It’s nice to come out and experience the diversity of the Canadian culture, sort of that welcoming spirit of Canada, and a sense of inclusion,” Price says.