“I feel fortunate to come to work each day and teach individuals who are reaching for a better life for themselves and their families.” ~ Nick Veinot
The students' spring festival, a shared initiative of both the English for Academic Purposes and ALP-EAL programs, celebrates the many cultures of their students with samplings of food, dance, and dress so each student can use the fun event to share a snapshot of their culture with the entire campus community.
The spring festival celebrates the many cultures of the students in both the English for Academic Purposes and ALP-EAL programs.
After leaving Bhutan with her mother at the age of one and a half, Tulsa Subedi’s home for the next 18 years was a Nepalese refugee camp. At the age of 20, she was finally able to leave the camps for Canada with her grandparents and sister and start a new life in Nova Scotia.
It was in Halifax that she met her husband, also a native of Bhutan and an NSCC graduate, and says how liberating the move has been. “It was like leaving ‘Hell’ and coming to ‘Heaven’,” says Tulsa, now 27. “There is so much more freedom and so many opportunities to be what you want to be and make your dreams come true.”
She arrived in Canada with the goal of becoming a nurse, but she hadn’t received her Grade 12 and she needed to strengthen her English.
Tulsa found the program that would put her on the right path at NSCC's Institute of Technology Campus in Halifax. The Adult Learning Program with the English as an Additional Language (EAL) Concentration helps students whose first language is not English and builds their language skills while they complete their High School Graduation Diploma.
Nick Veinot, one of the program’s faculty members, says he appreciates the amazing strength of character and personal conviction he sees in the students like Tulsa in his classroom. “Every individual has had a unique journey and so you meet each student where they are and try to understand and support their challenges,” he says. “Many of these individuals have lost such an important support network after leaving their country that it inspires you to do what you can to assist them and help them succeed.”
Nick says the students in his classes come from many different countries including Nepal, Rwanda, Liberia, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Eritrea. But he is always impressed with what everyone learns from each other, beyond the curriculum. He notes that instead of dividing the class, the many differences help foster a real understanding of the religious beliefs, cultures and sensitivities of one another. “There is so much to learn, but much of it is just about compromise and learning about new ideas. It is a rich, rich experience for everyone.”
Fullfilling her dream
She accomplished her first goal this June. With her high school certificate in hand and a greater confidence with her English, Tulsa is ready for a new challenge. “I am so excited to be a grad and I am looking forward to seeking the funding to apply to the Continuing Care Assistant Program at Waterfront Campus,” she says. “Once I complete this program I will have learned more of the terminology in the field and will get important practical experience along the way.”
This proud Canadian says she’ll then be ready for her next step: applying for studies in Nursing and realizing her dream.