Hi my name is Bharat Nayyar. I’m a 3rd year Business student and recently transferred to Canada in fall 2013. I’m doing majors in Finance. Coming to Canada is one of the best things that has happened to me. This has given me a chance to explore what exists beyond my home country “India”. I had never thought of studying abroad but UFV Chandigarh provided me and other students a chance to be here.

I had heard about the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies (CICS) at Abbotsford campus and met Satwinder ma’am during an award function in Chandigarh, India. On coming here, I met the coordinator of the centre also, and was delighted to talk about so many volunteer opportunities available here. What delights me is that I got to involve myself with the people on campus by volunteering, making connections and having fun. My first volunteer experience was with the CICS during a Diwali function at Clark theatre in Mission. I was happy to see the Indian community celebrating together, Indians kids performing cultural dance even though they’re born here, and not to forget the loud Punjabi music!

There weren’t many job openings during fall 2013 semester but I tried during this winter 2014 semester to work on campus. I applied for a Pioneer Research Assistant position with the CICS and was lucky to be selected. I know a lot of things about India where I was born, but very little about the people living here in Canada. My job is helping me to gain knowledge about the South Asian community living in Canada. I learn something new whenever I listen to an interview of a pioneer who has so much to share about his/her experience on coming here, settling in this country and working with Canadians. I was amazed to hear from one of the pioneers how the Gurudwara which is now a national historic site was built, what were the wages in early 1900’s, and what was the cultural diversity at that time.

As they say, “The wisest mind has something yet to learn“, there is a lot to learn as I work with the CICS, and I’m happy that I got a chance to work here.

Talking about myself, I love travelling. Some of my favourite destinations include: Dal Lake (Srinagar), Gulmarg (Kashmir), Jim Corbett Park (Nainital), Rajasthan and I wish to explore South India in future. I also love to cook all Indian dishes, thanks to my mom who made me learn cooking before coming to Canada. My phone cum Camera Nokia 808 Pureview is one of the gadgets I never forget to carry while travelling. The creative side of me helped me learn Photoshop myself and I ended up being a graphic designer working for Nokia Online Store.

If you wish to volunteer and meet awesome people, then CICS is definitely the place to come. We’d love to talk to you, come and meet us!