Photo Courtesy of NAIT
By: Chaimae Janah
My name is Chaimae Janah and my story started in Morocco where I was born and raised. At the age of 19, I graduated from University with a management diploma. After that, I kept asking myself, “what’s next?”
My family and I came to Canada for a summer vacation. I remember thinking during my stay that I knew I wanted to start a new adventure as a student here.
I started applying to schools while I was still in Edmonton and I ended up choosing NAIT. I got accepted and went back to Morocco and worked as a customer service representative in a bank. While I was in Morocco awaiting to return back to Canada, I remember feeling excited and nervous at the same time. I was spending most of my time daydreaming, wondering how would life be far away from the beach and the beautiful Morocco weather, if I was going to make friends, and how moving to a different country would change who I am.
Fast forward to the first day in school – orientation day! The first conversation I had was with an International Peer Mentor, who later on became my co-worker. I remember thinking to myself, “there is no way I will be as confident as he is”. By the end of that day, I made connections and made friends that were from all over the world.
Today, I am now on the Campus Activities Board (CAB) as one of two volunteer coordinators. I have so much fun planning amazing events, getting to talk to students about what I love the most, which is volunteering and working with amazing people that I can call my friends. I also worked as an International peer mentor where I helped students and newcomers to adjust to their new life in Canada.
I’m grateful for the decision I made to come here. It has been an amazing experience and has definitely changed who I am to become more accepting and appreciative of diversity.