‘Anxiety Has Taken Over My Aspiration to Study in Canada’
Nandini Jain, a BA LLB student in Lloyd school of law, Gr Noida, says India-Canada diplomatic dispute has caused anxiety and fear among parents whose children are studying in Canada
Studying in Canada for higher education has been a lifelong dream for me. The mere thought of strolling down the bustling streets of Toronto or immersing myself in the landscapes of British Columbia has fueled my day-dreams for years. However, the recent strain in diplomatic relations between India and Canada has cast a shadow over my aspirations, leaving me torn between my dreams and the unsettling reality.
The deterioration in diplomatic ties sparked concerns among students like me who had set their hearts on venturing across the oceans for academic and personal growth. I now carry a sense of unease into my excitement about Canadian academia.
At the core of my apprehension lies the concern for my safety and well-being as a student. Safety is paramount for anyone studying abroad, and the escalating tensions between India and Canada add an unnerving layer of uncertainty. The fear of being caught in the crossfire of political conflicts is a genuine worry, considering the unfortunate stories of students facing hostility or discrimination in the wake of diplomatic disputes.
Navigating a tense international landscape while striving for academic excellence seems like a daunting task. The specter of potential visa restrictions, delayed immigration processes, and even hostile attitudes on campus threatens to transform the study abroad experience into a minefield of challenges, eclipsing the joy of learning and personal growth.
My concerns echo in the hearts of parents whose children are already pursuing their education in Canada. The perpetual anxiety about the safety of their loved ones looms large, with the fear that their children might inadvertently become collateral damage in the geopolitical tug of war between nations.
The practical challenge of obtaining a study visa adds another layer of stress. The worsening relations might translate into stricter visa policies, leading to delays or even rejections. Students, myself included, have invested considerable time, effort, and resources into the application process, only to find themselves in the disconcerting limbo of uncertain visa approvals.
Beyond immediate challenges, the potential long-term impact on future opportunities is a looming concern. Studying in Canada isn’t just about earning a degree; it’s about building international networks, gaining exposure to diverse perspectives, and unlocking global career prospects. Yet, the current diplomatic tensions threaten to curtail these opportunities, diminishing the value of an international education.
The inclusive and welcoming atmosphere of Canadian universities was a major draw for me, with the promise of vibrant cultural diversity. However, the political discord raises the specter of tension seeping into the campus environment, potentially straining relationships among students and tainting the once-thriving social atmosphere.
Despite these concerns, the flame of my dream to study in Canada still flickers within. The allure of world-class education, the promise of personal growth, and the prospect of embracing a new culture remain powerful motivators. Yet, I find myself standing at a crossroads, grappling with difficult questions about whether to forge ahead with my plans or explore alternative options.
The uncertain duration of the strained relations leaves students like me navigating a precarious path between dreams and reality. The decision is far from straightforward, and while I continue to monitor the situation, there’s a lingering hope for a positive turn of events. The dream may be deferred, but it’s not extinguished. I believe perseverance and determination will light the way forward, and I remain cautiously optimistic that the ties between New Delhi and Ottawa will eventually improve, allowing aspiring students like me to pursue their dreams without hesitation.
As told to Deepti Sharma
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