Discovering Cape Breton: Himesh Desai [5min Read]

The following blog has been taken and reformatted from SchoolApply. View the original blog here.

“CBU holds many cultural events and that makes it feel like my home from away home.” – Himesh Desai


Student name: Himesh Desai

Age: 26

From: India

Graduation: May 2018

Favorite class: I like all my classes but I think my favorite class is Accounting and Business Venture Analysis. I have enjoyed accounting since high school, and it holds my interest up to today.

Things you love: Cape Breton Island is one of the most beautiful places in the world! I like to travel around the island, take long road trips and hang out at coffee shops. Wherever you go, the people are always welcoming.

Five words to describe Cape Breton University: Beautiful, Diverse, Affordable, Great Faculty, Growing

Tell us a little about yourself. What were your school experiences like before Cape Breton University?

I am from Bardoli, a small town located in the state of Gujarat in India. I completed my Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees at Uka Tarsadia University in Bardoli. It is a very big university and it has many students. There is a completely different education structure in India compared to Canada.

Why did you decide to pursue your education in Canada and specifically at Cape Breton University?

I like to explore new places and I had always wanted to study in a foreign country. I came to Canada and CBU for a short time in the summer of 2015 as an exchange student from my previous university. While I studied a short MBA course, I found out that CBU has a unique program – an MBA in Community and Economic Development. They offered the degree at an affordable cost, plus, I could transfer credits for some of my courses and finish the Canadian MBA degree in a short time. In addition to all this, I liked the faculty and the flexibility of the program. I also loved how beautiful the area was, so I decided to come back in September 2016 as a full-time MBA student at CBU.

Did you have any issues adjusting to life in Canada or university?

No, not at all! I looked at moving here as a new adventure and I absolutely love adventure, and was very excited to explore this place. People from Atlantic Canada, particularly from Cape Breton, are very friendly and helpful. CBU and its staff are also very supportive. There are also many student services that have helped me adjust to university.

What has your experience been like as an international student at Cape Breton University?
CBU has small class sizes and the professors know each student personally. It has plenty of helpful facilities, such as a good field house and campus recreation centre where I can play sports. The university also organizes many events and festivals, even Diwali, from my own home country. CBU holds many cultural events and that makes it feel like my home away from home.

Are you taking part in any extracurricular activities?

Yes! CBU offers many extracurricular activities such as yoga, Zumba and dance. It also provides students with many volunteer opportunities. I have taken part in many activities here at CBU – so far, I have participated in kickboxing and volleyball. I have also volunteered to organize on-campus events such as Chinese New Year and Indian New Year. I have also volunteered in the planning of the Community and Economic Development Conference that takes place every two years at CBU.

What were your first few days at the University like?

I really enjoyed my first few days at CBU. I arrived in September and the weather was very nice. I really enjoyed “frosh week” and all the activities that were held for first-year students. I met so many new people from different countries and cultures, which I really enjoyed. As far as academics, I found that CBU has a very flexible and accommodating environment. The faculty and staff in my program are very nice and they took the time to explain the class syllabus and explain the Canadian education system to me since it’s quite different from India.
As a new person in the city, I wasn’t aware of many things, but the people are so friendly and helpful, they helped me to navigate my way around the city.

Are you holding a job while studying?

Yes. I have been working while studying. I was lucky to get three jobs on campus. I worked in the International Student Centre helping international students with their transition to Canada, assisting them in extending their study permit, visa and work permit, and helping make life comfortable for students in CBU as well as in Cape Breton. I also worked as a library assistant, helping the library staff in their routine duties and collecting, retrieving, and shelving books. I am currently working with the Campus Recreation department.

What would you say to international students who are considering studying at Cape Breton University?

CBU is a perfect-sized university with small class sizes and affordable fees. It offers so many student services, research facilities and other resources, plus, it offers a flexible learning environment to make student life comfortable. Cultural diversity is also a big strength of Cape Breton University. The campus is also quiet and beautiful, making it, overall, a wonderful place to study. I strongly recommend Cape Breton University to international students who really want to study and start a career in Canada.