Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake campus has three international students enrolled in the Licensed Practical Nursing Program. Priya Nikhil

Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake campus has three international students enrolled in the Licensed Practical Nursing Program. Priya Nikhil

International students settle in at TRU

A small but dedicated group are the first intake of international students at Thompson Rivers University in Williams Lake.

A small but dedicated group are the first intake of international students at Thompson Rivers University in Williams Lake. Four international students enrolled in the two-year Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) program in September.

One morning, after writing an exam, three of the four students shared their experiences with the Tribune.

They’d been up late studying, and would be heading out to study for another exam the next day, they said.

All three arrived with some previous university studies. Upleen Kaur, from Punjab India, was studying biological sciences at Arizona State for one year and then in Toronto for two years.

Kaur heard about TRU from an international student friend who is studying at TRU in Kamloops.

Priya Nikhil is the married one in the group. She is from Kerala province in India and also heard about TRU from an international student friend.

She is a registered nurse in India and has attended university there.

“I did not plan to go to a particular university but was researching different universities and trying to see what would be better for me.

There were many consulting agencies that could help us get a visa for study purposes, so I was going through an agency and they told me TRU was a good university. And my friend in Kamloops also said it was good,” Nikhil explained.

Hailing from Manila, Philippines, Cyrille Soliman said she attended a TRU World seminar in March 2012 at her university back home.

“There were a few Bachelor of Science in Nursing students who  were interested in taking nursing here and I was one of them. I am an RN back home,” Soliman said.

It’s a big adjustment coming from a city of 10 million people to Williams Lake, she added, and at first she could not find much to do.

English is a second language for all of the students, and they are fluent.

“We don’t find any difficulty,” Nikhil said.

Although sometimes their accents might be difficult for others to understand, Kaur added with a chuckle.

The students are living in home-stay situations close to the campus.

They admitted they miss ethnic foods, their parents, and “everything,” but one of the biggest adjustments has been the weather.

“We all come from places that have tropical weather,” said Nikhil. “We’re used to 30 to 40 degree temperatures.”

Their class has 15 students, which is making school “easier” said Soliman. “How they pace the students here helps too.”

Nikhil described the teachers as “nice and helpful” and the other students as “nice.”

A $5,000 grant received by each student in the first year is also a “big help” because as international students the fees are higher. The grant is paid out in two installments — one for each term, and is dependent on maintaining a C+ average or higher.

“It’s one of the reasons I moved here from Toronto because it makes it a lot easier financially,” Kaur said.

Kaur has a work permit and is employed part-time at the Husky and the Mohawk gas stations in town. One night she called up Nikhil to tell her someone from India was walking into the Husky.

“I’m from south India and haven’t found anyone from my state here yet,” Nikhil explained.

All three students are looking forward to their month-long practicums taking place during the month of December. They will have a practicum each term at care faciltities such as the Seniors Village.

“It should be fun,” Nikhil said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Maggie Ferguson continues to deliver pet food to communities in B.C’s Central Interior and North. She hopes to make things easier by eventually purchasing a truck and trailer through fundraising efforts. (Perfect Pastures Animal Sanctuary Facebook photo)
From Delta with love, Maggie Ferguson helps northern pet owners with food

Animal sanctuary owner leads efforts in delivering thousands of pounds of pet food

A man wearing a mask against coronavirus walks past an NHS advertisement about COVID-19 in London, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
92 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths: Interior Health

The region is reporting 92 cases after the weekend

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Williams Lake RCMP are investigating after suspects assaulted two employees at a convenience store and fled with cash and merchandise. (Black Press file photo)
Williams Lake RCMP investigating robbery at local convenience store

The robbery occurred Saturday evening, Feb. 27

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A student from Dawson Creek is the winner of Tolko’s Orange Shirt Day design contest for 2021. (Tolko photo)
Tolko contest features northern winner

Student from Dawson Creek beats out entries Canadawide for Orange Shirt Day design contest win

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

Vernon’s Noric House long-term care facility’s COVID-10 outbreak has been declared over by Interior Health. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
COVID outbreak at Vernon’s Noric House declared over

10 deaths were linked to the outbreak at long-term care facility

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Most Read