Candore College welcomes refugee student

The school year starts for many on Tuesday and for one student at Canadore College, it’s a start of a new life.

"The journey from the Middle East, Jordan, it was so hard. That time was so hard because I was leaving my friends and family to come to Canada," Sameer Aljabawi said.

"The life in the refugee camp was so hard. You need to work hard, know how to take care. You don’t get opportunity, no chance, you must work hard for the future to get out."

Aljabawi is enrolled in the pre-health science program at Canadore and hopes to pursue a career in the medical field.

"This program will let me commit to something, kind of medical, or dental hygiene. Something like that," he said.

Aljabawi came to North Bay through the college's partnership with the World University Services Canada Student Refugee Program, giving him pathway to becoming a permanent resident in Canada.

Canadore’s student health insurance is covering the cost of his tuition and living arrangements.

"We’re looking forward to not just what we can give him, but what he can give us," said Aamir Tayieb, from the college's international services department.

"We change him, Canada changes him, North Bay changes him, Canadore changes him, but Sameer changes us as well. Sameer changes Canada, Sameer changes Canadore College. He’s the only student refugee we have."

Aljabawi told CTV News he thinks North Bay is beautiful and said he’s looking forward to starting class next week.