From India’s Pharmacies to Canada’s Public Health Landscape: My Journey of Rediscovery.

In the heart of India, I embarked on my academic journey in the world of pharmacy. I wasn’t just any pharmacy student; my days were punctuated with community outreach programs, awareness campaigns, and conferences. It wasn’t until I began working post-degree that I realized these extracurricular activities had unwittingly honed my networking skills. However, the pull of epidemiology and public health was irresistible. The allure of understanding the broader implications of health dynamics in populations drove me to the Master’s program at the University of Alberta. While academically, I was on solid ground, the cultural shift was like stepping into an alternate universe. Back in India, the line between students and professors was clear and seldom crossed. Canada, however, was a different ball game altogether, emphasizing open dialogues and free-flowing interactions.

Being an outspoken individual in India, my initial months in Canada were paradoxical. The transition wasn’t just academic; it was linguistic. While English was my companion, the nuanced academic articulations in Canada were challenging. My once-vocal self found a quiet corner in online classes. Queries would rise, but the voice to ask remained dormant. It wasn’t a lack of knowledge but the weight of stepping into an entirely new educational and cultural ecosystem that momentarily dimmed my spark. But, the essence of networking I had learned back home prodded me to reconnect. Engaging with alumni from diverse Canadian universities became my bridge to understanding this new terrain. Their narratives echoed a common theme: In Canada, rebuilding one’s identity was imperative, and networking was its cornerstone.

Armed with this newfound understanding, I plunged back, more determined. I leaned into group discussions, actively participated in conferences, and reached out for mentorships. Every conversation and every interaction was a lesson in navigating this new world. To fellow international students, Canada might initially seem daunting. But remember, the power of networking is profound. While academic prowess is vital, networking bridges the gap between knowledge and its practical application. In a foreign land, it becomes our compass, guiding us through uncharted waters. Your journey in Canada is not just about academics; it’s about finding your voice, understanding the cultural nuances, and leveraging the power of connections. Embrace it. Every challenge faced as an international student is a step closer to success.


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