A NEW HOME Stories of refugee-TURNED-Mohawk college students

Since 2014, Mohawk College's international student population has been on a rapid incline.

Here are a few of their stories.

Fahed Diab

Fahed Diab

Fahed Diab arrived in Canada in the beginning of 2016.

“I thought Canada would be much better than the country I was in.”
“I was not allowed to complete my education in Lebanon. It is one of my goals to continue my education.”

Upon arriving to Canada, Fahed was enrolled in Mohawk College's ESL program for newcomers to Canada. This program is designed to test an individual's English speaking, listening, writing and reading.

The program is made up of 12 levels, each level requiring a full semester of work. Once an individual completes level 7, the student may enrol in a program of their choice at a college or university. Fahed is currently completing level 6.

After completing ESL level seven, Fahed plans to complete the necessary education in order to obtain a career in the Computer System Information Technology industry.

“I feel more comfortable, more safe. I like how multicultural Canada is. I feel like I fit in in Canada.”

Aykut Ayvaz

Aykut Ayvaz

Aykut Ayvaz first came to Canada in 2011 with his mother and sister. He left shortly thereafter to pursue education at a Turkish university.

"I feel comfortable [in Canada], better than before."

Aykut returned to Canada in October 2015.

"I thought I'd be able to make a good future for [myself] in Canada."

Aykut has a good support system around him in Canada, which made the transition from Turkey much smoother.

In between his studies, Aykut drives for Uber - a popular network taxi service. He says this is where he meets a lot of his friends.

"When I get in my car [to drive for Uber], this is my favourite part [of the day]."

Since finishing university in Turkey, Aykut only needs to complete two to three more years of education in order to start a career in his desired field of Engineering with specifications in chemical and plastic engineering.

Aykut says he'd like to continue his education at Mohawk College after the ESL program.

[NOTE: At 0:47, the question is supposed to read, "What's your favourite part about your life now?"

Omi Omo

Omi Omo

Omg Omo was born in Iraqi, Kurdistan, was raised in Syria and studied Aviation Engineering in Turkey.

He came to Canada in December of 2016 with his parents, two sisters and one brother.

Life wasn’t too easy for Omi back home. He would have to constantly travel from home to home and school to school because of the safety of his environment back home.

Since coming to Canada, Omi has experienced a whole new life, culture, and way of living here in Canada and has learned to love it here.

"New life, new culture, new friendship... everything is new."

Omi is very humbled by his new life here in Canada

"I see life as a test and it is here to either make us or break us. In the end, it is up to us if we end up as a victim or [in] victory."

Omg says he would like to continue his education in Canada, but not at the college level.

“I don’t like Mohawk College because it is a college."

Omo says he would like to further his education at a Canadian university.

Made by: Assam Elahi, Samantha Hoover & Amelia Jaggard.


Photo credits go to Assam Elahi, Samantha Hoover and Amelia Jaggard.

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