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Why I Chose Lakehead-Georgian: An International Perspective

03-09-20 Lakehead-Georgian 0 comment

Why I Chose Lakehead-Georgian: An International Perspective

My full name is Parth Joshi. People call me Parth or simply Joshi, whatever is easy for them to say!

I’m studying Honours Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) Degree with Computer Programming Diploma under the Lakehead University-Georgian College Partnership at Georgian College’s Barrie Campus. I’m in my first year of my studies.

Parth standing outside the library

Q: Where did you live before coming to Lakehead-Georgian?

Parth: I used to live in New Delhi, India. I was born and raised there.


Q: Did you ever consider going to postsecondary in your home country?

Parth: In the initial years of my high school, I didn’t have any intentions to come to Canada, I was planning to go for my postsecondary in India. I used to do some amount of research every day about which colleges in my home country offered programs in my preferred academic fields.


Q: Why did you choose Canada, and Lakehead-Georgian, for your education?

Parth: Later, while researching, I saw a few advertisements on studying abroad along with information sessions which are usually held to explain how a student can pursue his/her further studies in a foreign land.  They even cover tips on English language proficiency tests along with guidance on student visas.

I have a few relatives who are working in these international student placement organizations and conduct these kind of information sessions and consult students in choosing the right country and school based on their preferences. I attended few of these sessions and the opportunities seemed very promising and I changed my mind in Grade 11 and I decided to study abroad. At that time, I had 1.5 years to graduate from my high school, so I began researching more, along with my parents, for where and how to complete all prior requirements to begin my further studies outside India.

The first thing was to figure out which country to choose, as no one in my family ever went to study abroad after their high school. Also, I did hear before that there are many Indians studying abroad, in US, Australia, Sweden, UK and specially in Canada and I believe Canadians are very welcoming and friendly. I was surprised to find that it gets terribly cold in a few provinces of Canada, as I come from a place where it gets as hot as 47 degrees in summers and I was looking to transition to a country where it gets as cold as -47 degrees! Moreover, I had few acquaintances living in Greater Toronto Area who recommended me to search for schools in Ontario as it does not get way too cold in some areas, the cost of living is affordable to some extent for newcomers and there’s a potential to get a better job after graduating in Ontario. Subsequently, I chose to study here.

The next thing was to choose one of my interests that I wanted to pursue and learn more about, so I chose to pursue my studies in computer science as I had interest in programming languages, web and application development ever since high-school. I found Canada the best place to grab future opportunities in the IT sector and fulfil its needs as it’s rapidly and extensively developing.

While researching, I found Lakehead-Georgian undergraduate programs which were offering a diploma and degree in four years. The program was relatively new, with computer science programs started in 2018. Finally, after a lot of research and keeping in mind the cost of living, location, weather, accommodation, IELTS score along with my high school grades, I decided to choose Lakehead-Georgian as it’s giving an exposure of both a college and a university in two years each, which will be valuable not only for current students or alumni but also for the growing and rapidly changing industry. The first two years are at the Georgian College Barrie Campus, which is a huge campus, and no one can say “no” to study in such an institution situated in a beautiful city like Barrie. Plus, there is more individual attention given to each student, small class sizes and also, we have an awesome faculty who know their students by name.

Furthermore, I obtained a scholarship of $10,000 from LUGC in my first year based on my high school result which was a great head start to my studies in Canada.


Q: Did you think about attending postsecondary in other parts of the world?

Parth:  I had Australia, USA and Canada on my list but studying in Ontario, Canada was affordable for me and the benefits which Georgian College and Lakehead University were offering to current students made me want to be a part of LUGC.


Q: How did your friends and family feel about you coming to Canada to study?

Parth: My family and friends were super excited about me going to Canada to study as none of my family members ever went to a foreign land for postsecondary, they are certainly proud of me! They found LUGC programs very interesting, even a few of my high school teachers and my principal met me before I left for Canada.


Q: Did any of your friends from back home come with you to Lakehead-Georgian?

Parth: No, but I have few of my high school friends studying postsecondary in other parts of Canada.


Q: What do you plan to do after you graduate?

A: I will be graduating in 2023, still a long time, but I’m planning to do my master’s in computer science after graduating.


Q: What has surprised you about life as a student in Canada?

Parth: It was surprising for me that students work part time along with handling their school and assignments, as it’s very rare for a student in my country to work part-time, even high school students don’t ever work part time. The class schedule in Canada fascinated me, as it’s flexible enough that one can easily work part time if they wish to and they are able to balance personal life and schoolwork effectively.

The other thing that surprised me was student discounts. I get heavy student discounts on presenting my student card at many places, mostly at food joints. Moreover, visiting a dollar store is often interesting as they sometimes offer screamingly low deals on a range of stuff which is usually pretty expensive. Georgian College even hosts free food events as well as there are few events exclusively for LUGC students only, which amazed me as it’s a good opportunity to network with the people present.


Q: Where do you live during the school year, and how did you figure out where to live?

Parth: I’m living in an off-campus accommodation, I was told to search for on- and off-campus rooms. I personally preferred going for off-campus ones or for a Homestay accommodation. There were many websites as well as social media student groups to search for one. I posted an ad on Kijiji about searching for a room which is very near to my school and I got a room pretty soon after! My place is very near to the school and I’m very satisfied with the facilities provided.


More info for international students

If you’re an international student considering life at Lakehead-Georgian in Ontario, Canada, you can find more information, including who to contact, right here.