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Alice: China

My name is Alice Yao Wang.  I was born in China.

In 1991, I came to Canada as a visiting scholar.  Upon my arrival, I was so excited and curious to discover new things that were different from my home country.  I was inspired by the natural scenery and enjoyed the freedom of thoughts and speech, the courtesies of the nation, as well as being respected no matter who you are and where you are from.

Everything seemed so gorgeous, until I studied Business Administration at Wilfred Laurier University - the education system is so different.  In China, if you review your textbooks, attend class and do the homework, you can surely comprehend requested information.  However, without Canadian cultural background, I could hardly grasp the main ideas of the content, although I thought I understood every single word.  For instances, the professor mentioned Johnson & Johnson and the Easton Centre as a case study, technically I understood the theory of management concepts, but in reality, I was totally lost, not knowing who is Johnson and what happened at the Eaton Centre.  In Canada, students are trained and encouraged to do their own research, whereas in China, everything is taught in class or is in the textbook.

After I immigrated to Canada, I realized life was not easy! My skills and diploma were not being recognized here.  I had to start from scratch.  I felt uncertain, distressed and lost confidence in myself.  This issue lasted for years until I started my own business.

Through opening a restaurant business, I gradually gained my confidence.  I felt useful and helpful in the society by providing employment opportunities to local people and new immigrants.  Through participating in community activities and inviting Chinese immigrants to join local events, I no longer feel deserted, on the contrary, I have become an enthusiast in the community.  

Looking back on my past experiences, I would like to give some advice to newcomers: the best way to settle in a new environment is to move into a community where there is someone you know well, such as a friend or a relative.  It will help you release emotional stress to a great extent, and you will get the desired assistance you need.

Last, but not least, I would like to share with you is, I love Canada, not only for its natural beauty with four distinguished seasons, but more importantly for the people that make you feel welcome! Canada opens its arms to embrace people of different cultures - that has made Canada the greatest country in the world! I cherish Brockville, a small city full of vitality and friendship.  It's my second hometown and I would love to live here for the rest of my life!  

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