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International student finds connection to community at NSCC

A connection to community and a meaningful way to help people is what Amelia Dinh was looking for when she chose to attend the Early Childhood Education (ECE) program at Cumberland Campus. In 2018, Amelia came to Canada from Hanoi, Vietnam, to complete her high school diploma in Vancouver, BC. From there she joined NSCC as a learner and a passionate member of the NSCC Student Association.

"I chose to study ECE because I am a human-oriented person. This field of study allows me to advocate for early childhood education resources, connect with the families as well as community," says Amelia. "And, of course, to understand the learning process of young children."

As an international student, Amelia says she has used every service available to her through NSCC International to aid in her transition and believes it helped her find employment after graduating. "I participated in webinars regarding housing, study/work permits, community outreach, immigration topics, resume and cover letter writing, bursary support and much more."

Amelia added the Atlantic Canada Study and Stay program – which connects second year international students to 'a world of opportunity in Atlantic Canada' – as another critical program that assisted in her success.

Amelia says she has been connected to a professional working in her field of study and finds value having this point of contact to ask professional-related questions to whenever needed. "This province-wide program has connected me directly to the labour market, gain workplace knowledge, and build meaningful and professional connections through different workshops, networking, and mentorship opportunities."

Faculty members and Student Affairs staff encouraged Amelia to apply to be a member of her campus Student Association and gave her the confidence to put her name in the hat for president. "My passion to serve the community and connect with other students is the reason I wanted to join. Working collaboratively with campuses throughout the province made me feel connected to the entire College."

Amelia’s learning experience with NSCC was unique – her first year being entirely in-person, and her second year being entirely online. The COVID-19 pandemic came with a wide range of emotions for her, but she says she is stronger and more independent because of it. "The faculty members at Cumberland Campus went above and beyond to make this past year valuable, connected and worthwhile."

Now living in Dartmouth, NS, Amelia is currently employed full-time at the Dartmouth Child Development Centre. "I always saw myself working here because the centre's philosophy and practice of teaching align with my personal beliefs: to embrace diversity and inclusion."

Inspiration to help others

"Ever since my arrival into Canada, so many people and community members have helped me to arrive where I am today. I find value in this kind of connection and am inspired to pass it along to other people. Reflecting on my identity as an international student, I wish to assist people from foreign countries so they too can have a smooth transition when they come to their new community in Canada." Amelia adds, "My ultimate goal is to help people become closer."

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