Many local students at CMU, especially those who come from Winnipeg, wonder why anybody would choose to study in a different country far from home, especially knowing it could mean not seeing your family for 3 or 4 years.
For Sincerely Sibanda of Gwanda, Zimbabwe—a first-year student in CMU’s Redekop School of Business, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration—there are two answers to that question. Partly, she says, it was about career training, but partly it was about adventure—the chance to learn, grow, and experience a country completely different from her own.
“I left home because I thought it would be good to learn how to be independent, responsible and principled without my parents. I wanted to come to Canada because I thought it would be interesting to meet people from different places and get to know different cultures and different languages. I also wanted to come so that I would have opportunities to do volunteering in different places and to work, regardless of being an undergraduate. In my country one works when they have graduated, and there are just a few voluntary opportunities.”
But “why Canada” and “why CMU” are, to some degree, two different questions. Sincerely’s older sister Nonsie Sibanda is also a Business student here at CMU, and Sincerely says that having her sister here did have some influence on her decision, but she stresses that there was a lot more to it as well:
“I applied to CMU because I wanted to have good learning environment. I wanted to learn more about the business world through the Redekop School of Business, and I wanted an opportunity to work with certain businesses through the Bachelor in Business Administration Co-op program so as to gain experience in my career. Learning more about God was another part of what made me apply for a place at CMU.”
But what about all the hassle of communicating? For most high-school graduates, applying to university is frightening enough when your school is near by! Sincerely says communicating long-distance with CMU during her application process was never a problem.
“I sent my application in November 2013 and by the 1st of January 2014 I received my acceptance letter. I spoke to quite a number of great people from the Administration department like Sherry Funk, Mitch Krohn, Lisa Kelly, and Lois Nickel and they were very welcoming and always available to help.”
Now, at the end of her first semester, Sincerely has made great friends, and loves her program: “First and foremost I enjoyed the different fun activities that we had during orientation. They were helpful to me because I was able to build good relations with other students early. The best part of this year, for me, has been the classes that l am taking this semester. All my professors and other students are willing to help whenever l don’t understand a concept. There are groups of students that are available during the week to help in different classes and I have learnt a lot from them too. Also, I always have a wonderful time at Chapel and Wednesday night worship.”