Bringing the world to Camosun: Sukhdeep Kaur’s journey from India

Since arriving in Victoria last year, the Camosun student has embraced her new culture and is grateful for the warm welcome she received

With top-notch grades coming out of high school in India

With top-notch grades coming out of high school in India

With top-notch grades coming out of high school in India, Sukhdeep Kaur could have gone anywhere in the world to further her education, but Canada was always her first choice. “With my test scores, everybody was telling me that I should go to Canada,” she says. “Canada is known as a safe country and what I really like about it here is the respect for talent. There is no partiality.“

No one in her family had ever visited Canada, but the country’s positive reputation was a key selling point. After attending an education fair in her home city of Kurukshetra in Haryana, Northern India, she came away convinced that Camosun College would be the best choice to advance her studies and her career. “I was really impressed with what they said and I knew right away that I wanted to come here,” she says. “There were lots of colleges at the fair, but the Camosun representatives really encouraged students to come to Canada and have a positive international experience. They helped me overcome all the challenges with immigration and things like that.”

Since arriving in Victoria in August 2015, she has embraced her new culture and is grateful for the warm welcome she received. “When I first arrived here I was so excited, and everything was so neat and clean,” she recalls. “My host mum came to pick me up at the airport and she took me home. It was a really nice feeling.”

It took some time to get used to her new city as she learned to navigate the bus schedule, explore new neighbourhoods and orient herself to campus life. “I’ve missed my bus many times because in India we drive on the left side and here we drive on the right side,” she says laughing. ”Sometimes, I’m standing on the wrong side of the road, but the bus is coming from the other side.”

At Camosun, she was particularly impressed with the organization of orientation activities for international students which take place over five days. She believes the longer structure allows for the perfect mix between formal learning and social activities. “It was a good experience because we were given useful information,” she says. ”After, we’d have fun and get to make new friends, and then get to go out and experience Victoria. I really like how Camosun’s orientation gave us the opportunity to experience each and everything about being a student.”

For the past year, Sukhdeep has studied electronics and computer engineering technology at Camosun’s Interurban campus. During her first term, she achieved a remarkable perfect GPA in all of her classes. Believing that it is important to fully immerse herself in campus life, last year she ran for and was elected Interurban Education Council representative where she has worked as part of a team to review and draft policies. This year, she is running for election to Student Council. She credits her achievements to supportive parents and caring instructors who go the extra mile to ensure student success. For example, she has found the flexible learning environment and willingness of her teachers to take the time to answer questions to be especially helpful as she had to learn different methods from those taught back home. “In India, our math textbooks showed a completely different method than what we are studying in Canada, even though we’d get the exact same answers. I found my teacher really helpful, because we sat together and worked out both methods. Now I understand both ways and how to use them.”

Growing up in a family that values education, Sukhdeep’s parents always supported her and her brother’s success equally. “My father is a tutor—he teaches many students and that’s the environment I lived at my home,” she says. “My parents are very broad-minded so that’s why they decided to send me here to Canada to get international exposure.”

In her spare time, she enjoys painting and listening to music. During high school, she was a national Taekwondo champion. In addition to her studies, she holds down a busy part-time job in retail.

Smart, motivated and passionate students like Sukhdeep are key to Camosun’s success and registrations from India have soared in recent years says Camosun Vice President Partnerships Geoff Wilmshurst. “India has very quickly become our second largest country for recruitment,” he notes. “A lot of that growth has happened because we made good investments in India in terms of staff leadership.“

Each year, Camosun welcomes over 1,600 international students from 80 different countries and India only ranks behind China in the number of international student registrants. Camosun’s growing reputable for academic excellence and a student experience second to none is driving that growth.

“Sukhdeep chose to come here because she knew that she would get a good quality education,” says Wilmshurst. ”I think that international students of her calibre bring incredible benefits to our local students in the classroom because they share different perspectives. There’s been a tremendous change at Camosun in terms of the diversity of the student population over the past few years. We want our young people to be exposed to different cultures, different ways of thinking and different languages. It enriches everybody.”

Looking ahead, Sukhdeep is enthusiastic about her future career. “After completing my courses, I want to work in electronics or computer engineering and I want to create something that will be new for the world that will help the environment,” she says. “I would love to stay and work in Canada. It’s my dream because Canada has supported me so much and I want to give back.”

For more information visit:



Just Posted

Elaine Kirwin in her Expedia Cruises office talks about the future of travel. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Sidney travel agency charts course through pandemic

Owner of Expedia Cruises in Sidney expects smooth sailing ahead once travel restrictions lift

Oak Bay Rotary Club member Lorna Curtis takes over as District Governor of Rotary District 5020 on July 1. (Courtesy Lorna Curtis)
Former Oak Bay recreation director goes international with Rotary

Lorna Curtis takes over as district governor on July 1

Police are asking opponents of logging near Port Renfrew not to involve their children following additional arrests Saturday. (Black Press Media File)
Police arrest eight protesters including two minors near Port Renfrew Saturday

RCMP ask parents not to involve their children in Fairy Creek logging protests

Co-creatorsAdrianna Hatton and Malcolm McKenzie stand next to the little free library revealed Sunday at 9710 First St. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Literary crowd helps opens little free library in Sidney

Located at 9710 First St., the book sharing box features original art and reclaimed wood

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read