Jashanpreet “Jazz” Kaur is a student at the College of New Caledonia and a member of the 2019-2020 Education Council. Jazz has been a frequent volunteer for both the Students’ Union and the College of New Caledonia.
Damon: So, what was your process for coming over? What was your goal?
Jashandeep: After completing my High school, I took my IELTS and achieved good scores. Looking for something to do, I was offered to actually help teach young people. I said to myself, ”why not? I’m free and available to do it.” Looking into the course, I felt some hesitancy, because the entire program was five years long, and I knew that it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I did the work for around 8 months and prepared my paperwork to apply and come to Canada. It was on November 29th, 2017 that I got my approval, I remember the exact date! My mom and I were travelling to another city when I got a call saying congratulations and that I have been accepted to come!
Damon: That must have been so exciting, getting news that you will be travelling the world! What was your reaction to it?
Jashanpreet: Well, my father was the first person to find out about my acceptance. He was the only person who wanted me to come here, as my family was really hesitant about me leaving. They were offended, not ready to see me move. My dad wanted me to move, change my life and be somewhere I can belong, where I can grow.
Damon: How about when you got here, how did that go?
Jashanpreet: Well, thankfully, I had my partner already in Canada, and he took me in while I moved here. The process went alright, and I completed my first semester. During that break afterwards, I wasn’t sure what courses I wanted to take, so I took a semester off – a big mistake.
Damon: No kidding, there are a lot of things that come with that, isn’t there?
Jashanpreet: I have no idea why I did that. I was new to Canada at that time, but it was such a waste of a whole semester. I tell students now – no matter what – to not take a semester off. It is a huge mistake.
Damon: So you didn’t take a semester off after that, right?
Jashanpreet: Well, that’s not true. There were a lot of struggles back home, as my father had gotten injuries, and I needed to go back. I couldn’t get approval to leave for two weeks, so I had to postpone my education yet again. It was a hard choice, but during that, I time, I did a lot of work. During those 4 months, I worked hard. Waking up at 4am for my 5am shift at Tim Hortons and then taking another shift at Home Depot that same evening. I literally had no day off during those four months, and I’m proud of that work.
Damon: That’s a lot of adversity that you had to overcome, and you should be proud of that.
Jashanpreet: I really am.
Damon: So, my first interaction with you was when you were the MC at 2018’s Diwali. What was that about?
Jashanpreet: I got really involved during that time. I had a lot of motivation to improve and interact with my college. I became very involved with the student elections, and a lot of other events here at CNC. One of the biggest things that I am proud of was my participation and involvement with the CNC Education Council.
Damon: I was just going to talk about that! You are one of the four students who are part of the education council. Tell me about that!
Jashanpreet: I was in the halls, looking at the bulletin boards when I saw that there was a posting for students to join the Education Council by election. I was immediately interested and came to talk to Amy about it. She told me everything I needed to do, so I did the necessary paperwork. I heard about the education council last year as well. One of my friends, RD Sharma, told me everything about it and said that I can work for the betterment of students here. As an international student, I feel a lot of the decisions that are made by the education council and CNC’s Board of Governors. I wanted to make a change for me, my friends, and future students coming to Canada.
Damon: I’m not surprised about that, knowing you for the time that I have. You have always come across as a strong-willed person. Do you have any advice for the students coming to Canada for the first time? Maybe you can share some of your confidence.
Jashanpreet: Don’t be afraid. Everything is seriously possible here. It is going to happen, and you need to believe that it is possible. You can do it.