I have tutored many students over the past eight years, and the vast majority of them have been from the Middle East. Because of my familiarity with so many students, especially from Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Dubai, I know many of the challenges that these young students battle while they study here in Canada.
One student in particular, Sultan, has impressed me because of the way that he is always so positive about Canada. He seems to genuinely love this country but at the same time, he is a good example of Saudi culture as well. He is a strong Muslim, a good student, and a loyal friend. He is a good example for other students because he is getting all he can from his time here in Canada. It’s always nice when someone comes to this country and appreciates it. Many of my students complain about Halifax, saying there is not a lot to do (which is true) but there are also many things to celebrate about Canada. We have an unbeatable commitment to human rights, and we respect diversity. Of course, there is racism in Canada, but for the most part, Canadians welcome the opportunity to find out more about other cultures.
Sultan is a good ambassador for his home country and culture. He’s what this site is all about, building a bridge between Western culture and Middle Eastern culture. He loves Canada, but he also loves where he comes from. He sees the advantages in both countries. His parents should be very proud of him because he is making excellent use of his time here in Canada. Some students come and just do the minimum amount of work, to leave as soon as they can with a degree, so that they can go back and work for their fathers in his construction company or importing/exporting company. But there’s a better way of doing it: enjoy Canada and what it has to offer. When you’re a student, you have free time, and you don’t have as many responsibilities as you will have when you are married and have children. My advice to students who come here is to be a good example of your home culture, no matter where you are from, but at the same time don’t overlook the good that is in Canada. Every country has something to offer. Every visiting student has something to offer. And every Canadian has something to offer.