Community in BC: Expectations Versus Reality

Before I came to British Columbia, I had very firm expectations about what I thought it would be like to study here. As I had never visited BC before, I thought it wouldn’t be diverse. And I also thought there wouldn’t be a lot of international students. In a way, my expectations of BC were similar to what I had experienced as a tourist in the United States. The only thing I was 100 percent sure of was that I would be in a completely different environment and that I’d need to adapt quickly.

I could not have been more wrong. It turns out there are a lot of international students in BC. And I’ve learned most people from Vancouver aren’t born here, which means it’s a very diverse city. At first, I thought I’d barely speak any Spanish, my native language. But as time went on and I got to know my classmates better, I’ve come to realize there’s many people from Latin America here. Making friends from a similar culture as mine has made me extremely happy and it’s been completely unexpected. It’s made my adapting period a lot easier. I’ve found my people, and it’s the best feeling in the world.

These last five months in BC have taught me a lot. Learning about community has helped me navigate Vancouver with confidence. People here are very open and accepting of multiculturalism, making the adaptation process easier on international students. After all, we are all here for the same reasons, and I think that unites us. Most importantly, I’ve learned there will always be a community for me, and I love being part of it.