Determined in Delhi
As a first-year, combined Bachelor of Arts and Laws student in Delhi, India, Disha Jaggi was burning the candle at both ends. Classes during the day and nights spent reporting for the country’s largest newspapers, had her splitting her waking (and many sleeping) hours between her office and school.
“I had events to cover every other day and I had to manage ongoing tests and assignments,” says Disha. “I’m really passionate about writing, but with a the six-day work and school week in India, it was impossible to cope with the workload of my studies and still follow my passion.”
Disha says she wanted to find a way to devote time to her writing, but not compromise her studies. And, while she enjoyed the legal sector, she was beginning to wonder if being a lawyer was what she really wanted. With her sister Kashika living in Ontario, Disha started researching her options overseas. That’s when she discovered Paralegal Services.
“We don’t have paralegal as a profession in India, so it was quite new for me. But, in my research, I found it was exactly what I’d been looking for.”
NSCC puts a lot of effort in preparing us for the ‘big game’ and discovering the best version of ourselves.
As she considered her educational options in Canada, Disha says that only one place matched all the items on her wish list: Cumberland Campus — Amherst Learning Centre.
“NSCC offered a two-year diploma with two work placements and 14 professional courses each year. My diploma could be recognized for two years of a four-year university degree, and it was the most affordable. It was the best choice for me — both academically and financially.”
Disha’s parents, Sanjay & Neeru, were not as sure of their daughter’s decision. After supporting Disha’s childhood dreams of becoming a boxer, an astronaut, a singer, a doctor and — at one point – a professional sky-diver, they opted to do some research of their own. After Googling “Amherst, Nova Scotia,” they soon found themselves on the phone with Debbie Rolfe — Lead Hand at the Canada Post Office in Springhill.
“They wanted to know about bus services and hotels in the area, and how far things were from the school,” says Debbie. “There was a little bit of a language barrier at first, but they had Disha call me back at home.”
Over the following weeks and many phone conversations later, Debbie and her family helped Disha make all the necessary arrangements for her arrival — including purchasing a car and finding an apartment. “If I wouldn’t let my daughter live there, I wasn’t letting Disha live there,” says Debbie, who the sisters refer to as ‘mom’.
As a bonus for Disha, Kashika would be moving to Amherst too — living with her sister while she studied in Nova Scotia.
Delayed in Delhi
Kashika arrived on schedule and stayed with Debbie until an apartment was ready; however, issues with Disha’s visa meant she was still in Delhi as classes began in September. “I was still coming, but I would be at least a week late. I was quite nervous, and afraid that I’d be behind. It was a new ‘everything’ that I had to learn.”
Fortunately, her older sister knew how to help. With permission from the instructor, drives from Debbie and an iPhone in-hand, Kashika took Disha’s place — attending classes, taking notes and asking questions as if she were the student.
“My sweet sister would call each night and explain to me what happened in class,” says Disha. “She would send me homework for the next day and I’d do it and send it in via email.” Kashika also helped Disha “meet” her classmates and instructors and participate in class discussions using Facetime.
Disha says that coming from a city as densely populated as Delhi (over 11 million) — to Amherst (under 10,000), has required her to adapt in many ways, “It’s a whole new culture here; but, as I got more involved in the community, I found out so many beautiful things. The people are always so helpful and warm.”
She adds, “This experience has expanded my skill set in many ways. NSCC puts a lot of effort in preparing us for the ‘big game’ and discovering the best version of ourselves. I’m more confident now and I’m (almost) self-dependent. I’m learning French too, and I’m writing more now than I ever did in India.”
After completing her Paralegal Services Diploma, Disha will be able to apply for the two-year Bachelor of Applied Management at the University of New Brunswick (Saint John) through an articulation agreement between the university and NSCC.