I vividly remember arriving at Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport from Paris on August 23, 2006. While fatigued from the long trip, I still recall the indescribable delight of setting out on my journey as I was about to begin studying political science at Concordia.
At age 17, I was joining more than 160,000 students who attend one of Montreal’s four universities each year. I was also among the thousands of non-Canadians at Concordia — today it’s 6,300 out of a total of 46,000-plus — who come from more than 150 countries around the globe, from Australia to Zimbabwe. Since then, I’ve met students from countless nationalities, and through their cultural perspectives I’ve travelled the world. (Concordia students can also literally travel the world through exchange programs; see “Students break away for a semester abroad” on page 17).
Like my fellow international students, I was full of enthusiasm and some anxiety — yet couldn’t have imagined that the time I would spend at the university and city would become the most significant of my life.