Faith Isaac is from the Igbo tribe in the Eastern part of Nigeria. She is the second child of four children and the first daughter within her family. Faith immigrated to Regina, Saskatchewan from Nigeria in 2022 to pursue her master’s degree. She chose Canada as her destination as it is well-known for being one of the friendliest and inclusive environments for people from different parts of the world. There is significant diversity within Canada and within schools that encouraged Faith to pursue her education, including the University of Regina.
The immigration process can be difficult and overwhelming for many people, but for Faith it was smooth; her study visa was approved in just 10 days and she had no bad experience during her application process!
When Faith came to Regina, the first few months were difficult. She experienced significant cultural shock and felt lonely, but adapting to the harsh winter was the biggest cultural shock she had to work through. She also remembered this experience as if it happened yesterday, having vehicles wait for pedestrians to cross over the roads was something she will never forget. It is something she never experienced in her home country and she really appreciates that. To Faith, it shows the value human lives have here in this beautiful country called Canada.
Asked about her integration, Faith said that what helped her to integrate into the community was the gift of good friends and a good support system. Her friends made her transition phase seamless. As an international student, Faith said that she would have loved to know that one requires some form of ‘superpower’ to combine school and work here in Canada. If only she knew how difficult it would be to combine education with work life, she said she would have prepared herself mentally for the struggles of being a student and making ends meet at the same time.
Despite the challenges and cultural shock that comes with immigrating to a new country, Faith said that she would happily choose Canada all over again. “Canada feels like a home away from home to me”, said Faith. She continues by saying that she had made many friends and met many kind people here. She also expressed that she has met some people that have supported her in making her transition and integration easy and smooth. There is a big community of supports for immigrants and if you look in the right place, you will find someone, or an organization, to help you settle down and be part of the Canadian community.
Faith also expressed that she has never experienced racism in Regina, or at least she has not identified any behavior of racism towards her, although, she has friends who are from other countries that share their personal experiences with racism. Fortunately, she has yet to experience it herself.
Immigration helps to create a more diverse and vibrant country, each person you meet has a different story and while many immigrants come to Canada for the world class education system, many immigrants also come to Canada as refugees. Canada has long been, and continues to be, a land of immigrants. Since the time of Confederation, Canada has welcomed more than 17 million immigrants. Immigration is a big part of Canada’s DNA and what makes Canada a great country is the coming together of many different cultures living together and appreciating what everyone brings to the table. Canada is a new home, far from home, for many people.
Faith was referred to COR by good friend and became connected to our 4to40 Initiative where she provides support with job coaching. Faith has a growing passion to serve and support people with intellectual disabilities and is motivated to make a difference in the lives of others.
We are proud to have Faith join our COR family and are grateful for her kindness, caring personality and dedication to the people we support. Thank you for sharing your story and welcome to your new home! 🙂
Story by: Faith Isaac
Written by: Joana Valamootoo