Gera (pictured right) at the Mosaic Festival
Photo courtesy: Facebook

By: Althea Alabat

Dishant Gera is one of the International Student Club’s (ISC) newest members. Gera was admitted into 3rd year of the BTech program, specializing in tech management after finishing a mechanical engineering degree in India.

Gera started his new life in Canada in mid-December of 2018 and shortly began his academic career at NAIT in January of this year.

Although Gera has only celebrated his one week anniversary of being a member of the club, Gera was introduced to ISC events long before he became an official member through VP Finance Joning Yu.

Both Yu and current ISC president Kihmary Somcio encouraged him to volunteer and get involved in events, with one of the events being Life After NAIT. Yu facilitated his introduction to the club by helping him register. Prior to volunteering for Life After NAIT, Gera had some reservations about joining the club.

“[Life After NAIT] was a confirmation for me,” said Gera when asked about his decision to join the club. “There wasn’t much convincing needed, I was already interested in joining.”

Over the summer, Gera plans to reunite with his brother and a college friend in Ontario for an exciting new experience he’s looking forward to. He hopes to experience the EdgeWalk at the CN Tower and visit the Kensington Market during his stay in Toronto.

“When I first arrived in Canada, I wasn’t a very outgoing person,” said Gera. “While I was excited, I was still hesitant about how people would interact with me.”

Being a part of ISC has allowed Gera to expand his network, meet new people, and make meaningful connections—all of which helped Gera build his new life in Edmonton.

“It’s a golden opportunity for myself to learn about other people’s’ cultures and perspectives because I haven’t traveled to many countries. [At NAIT], you get to experience a bit of everything,” said Gera.

After connecting with other members, Gera found himself a safe space in the club when he was able to express his opinions without feeling judged. Before, he would hesitate on sharing his ideas, but now he learns about others’ views through conversation.

“People have different ways of thinking and different ways of approaching their problems,” said Gera. “When you hear from other’s experiences, it seems like your own problems aren’t as big and you gain new knowledge. When you hear other perspectives, you start growing as a person.”