Hong Kong Student’s Experiences in Canada
The role of higher education institutions in society may be difficult to define, though many individuals can do it by analyzing their own experiences. I have a good understanding of it as an international student who studies in a country with completely different traditions and standards compared with the ones in my native land. Undoubtedly, my experience in higher education in Canada was positive in most cases and largely contributed to the awareness of the significance of higher education institutions in our society.
One of the most amazing features of my undergraduate education was the focus on practicing my skills in real work environments. The opportunities to get not only theoretical knowledge but also practical experience are vital for every student. Higher education institutions must give this opportunity, as it opens new horizons for learners and help them to realize their educational and career goals. I disagree with Bok, who stated that it was a problem that “vocational programs had risen sharply over the past several decades, while the percentages majoring in traditional liberal arts subjects, especially the humanities, had declined.”
Modern technologies reshape people’s lives each day, and they need to adjust to these changes but not reject them. Therefore, the focus on practicing my skills in real work environments can be more useful than studying history. Fortunately, higher education institutions in Canada pay much attention to it; thus, they make a positive and far-reaching impact on their graduates, as well as society in general.
Furthermore, if I could travel back in time and give my ‘pre-undergrad’ self some advice, I would have many ideas. One of them is to engage with the world directly. Unfortunately, many students stay in the comfort of their colleges and avoid facing real-world problems. Higher education institutions should assist them in exploring complex reality but not protect them from it. People need to step out of their comfort zone to succeed in the modern world. Students can mostly do it and gain new experiences only outside of colleges.
Besides, I would advise my ‘pre-undergrad’ self to become an enthusiastic member of the university community, who not only gains knowledge but also take an active part in the life of my college. It is about obtaining a unique experience and becoming more broad-minded and reflective. Therefore, future undergraduate students should face real word problems and participate in university life to make the most of the higher education experience.
In conclusion, being an international student helped me to realize the significance of higher education institutions. I was surprised to discover that colleges in Canada create the opportunity for students to practice their skills in real work environments. It is a considerable benefit, which helps students to broaden their horizons and realize their goals. Besides, I clearly understand that the best advice for future undergraduate students is to step out of their comfort zone and get involved in university life, as the knowledge and experience gained by such practices are highly beneficial.