Editor’s note: The following was the winning submission in a Letter to the Editor contest for international students within the Strait regional centre for education.

Being in Canada is a dream come true. It was the first thing that I really wanted in my life. I remember when I said I wanted to be an international student to my mom, but she told me that it was really late. I felt so sad. But I couldn’t let my dream disappear, so I begged. I begged my parents to continue trying. We tried and tried and then… Nova Scotia gave me the opportunity.

I was ready. I never felt so excited as when I was in the airport waiting for my plane. Of course, it was hard to say goodbye to my family. But my hunger for adventure was much bigger.

When I arrived, I saw three people holding a poster with my name on it. Those people with a really big smile on their faces were going to be my new family. It was so nice to know that two of them were going to take care of me and one of them was going to share crazy adventures with me.

The time arrived to go to school. I was so nervous! To be honest, I was scared about how my classmates were going to be. Then, I realized that there was nothing to be scared about. They were so nice and helpful. In my first day of school, everyone was so welcoming and also the ambassadors were always there for me if I had a question or a problem.

Canada helped me so much. It helped me to defeat my fears, to be more social, to find a way to solve problems by myself, to be more independent, to learn, to listen and the most important thing, to learn about how capable I am to move forward.

Every day you have here is a great experience that happens so fast. I am going back to my country really soon and I just cannot believe how many friends I have now from all over the world. I just cannot believe that I have a sister from another country! Can you believe that?

I am going to miss Nova Scotia so much; my friends, my host parents, the beautiful views, the fresh air, poutine, how people get so excited for the hockey games. Something I am going to treasure so much in my memory is the “O’ Canada” that I heard every morning during school.

I know that no matter how much I describe Canada, it cannot assimilate how awesome it is. I know that no matter how far away we are, I am going to have friends that will last forever and I know that no matter how much time passes, I will remember Canada with a big smile.

Danae Duhah Izquirdo

Port Hawkesbury