After hearing about Cape Breton University through the Indian recruitment agency, Santa Monica, Jolly Vincent made the life-changing decision to move with her husband and young daughter from India to Cape Breton.
A certified doctor in India, Jolly started the Bachelor of Science Public Health Program in 2018 and graduated in the Spring of 2020. Being a student in a new country is typically hard, but for Jolly, who had to juggle being a mother, wife, student and part-time employee, this new life was even more difficult. Jolly recalls having to work harder than ever before and, thanks to a strong support system, was successful in her studies.
“It was both challenging and exciting,” says Jolly. “Just like so many others, I had to step up my game as a mother, a wife and a part-time employee, all so that I could focus on my studies. I had friends who helped with babysitting when needed. I must say that it was not easy, but there has always been someone there to help along the way.”
Jolly is quickly becoming a connected member of the Cape Breton community and has made many amazing friends. Fellow students, co-workers and friends have all helped in significant ways. Two groups have had an immense impact on Jolly and her family.
“The professors and instructors at CBU I’ve had during my studies were exceptional,” says Jolly. “The amount of effort they invested in us as students and the patience they harboured is beyond words and that dedication I won’t soon forget.”
While Jolly focused on her studies, she was working toward her permanent residency. One organization in the community has been working hard to make that process as easy as possible for her, the Cape Breton Partnership.
“The Cape Breton Partnership has played a significant role in helping with my Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program application process,” says Jolly. “Along with that help, they have also provided us with opportunities to connect with the community.”
Jolly is developing a deep connection with the culture and beauty of Cape Breton and the compassion and care of the people. Jolly recalls one evening when a stranger’s kindness made her fall more in love with her new home.
“Once, one of my friends and I were going to look at an apartment, so we took the bus and asked the bus driver about the address, and he said he would help us. It was raining heavily that evening. The bus stop was close to the address, and the driver gave us some directions. We got off the bus and walked a little, and then we heard someone calling at us from behind. To our surprise, it was the bus driver. He stopped the bus and got down and ran toward us, and pointed at the direction to go as we were walking up the wrong street.
I will never forget that act of him stopping the bus, running to us in the rain and pointing us in the right direction. He waited to see if we were going to the right street. The mental stress you go through when you do not know a new place is unfathomable. To have people like him are a blessing. I came across numerous other situations in Cape Breton where Cape Bretoners went above and beyond to help me.”
Although she misses many things from home, such as her family and her mother’s cooking, Jolly is hoping to become a licensed medical doctor here in Canada and make Cape Breton her permanent home.