Like other many students, I came to Ottawa as an international student and the journey so far has been a rollercoaster. From being homesick to finally being able to call Ottawa as my home is an experience in itself. Social media is one such platform where we are able to connect with our families, friends, and relatives who are far away in other land. Social Media has made the life of international students much easier than before. Back in the days, we were able to talk to our families using international calling cards, FaceTime or Skype Video Chat but in today’s date, there are much more options out there which can bring your loved ones one step closer.
WhatsApp: WhatsApp is one of the newer versions of chat and connection. Before you were able to send messages but now you are able to make a video call from any part of the world using your phone number. To some people, it may not look like a big deal but for people, like me and other international students, this is a blessing. Whenever any student miss their family, they have the ability to call them and see them right there and for their parents, living abroad, it is an opportunity to see their kids growing year by year. All those years that they live separate from each other, they have something that they can use to share their experiences, journeys, or their personality development. It also help students to deal with the emotional distress, depression or loneliness.
Community Pages: I have my maternal family in Canada so I guess it was little bit easy for me to adjust here but for people who have no connections or relatives, it is harder but now community pages have removed that barrier too. There are many different pages on social media like Facebook where students get to know and meet with people with similar background for any kind of help, be it educational or work or personal. Algonquin College Indian Students and South Asian Connection Ottawa are one of those community pages where students can ask others for accommodation, food or school. International students are able to connect with these pages before moving here and make arrangements with people which also gives a peace of mind to their parents, and families back home.
LinkedIn: One of the most underutilized tool is LinkedIn for international students. Many of them are still not aware but other students familiar with the LinkedIn would agree with me that it has helped them professionally. From listing your qualifications, skills to experience, everything can be done in one profile. Employers are always looking for people who are avaliable on LinkedIn as it helps them to pick candidates for the jobs without going through all the resumes. Some of the companies even offer to create the online profile using LinkedIn as they can pick and transfer all the important information from LinkedIn. It helps international students to build their future career professionally and personally.
Personally, I have used all these platforms to educate myself, and for personal and career growth. I strongly believe that, if social media was not there, I would not have been able to stay here and call Ottawa Home.