Marian Aquino: Why early setbacks should not stop you from studying in Canada. 

“I want to study in Canada,” is a simple sentence with only six words that fuels every international student’s dreams. Everyone has their own reasons for why they wanted to study in Canada. For some, it’s to refresh or upgrade their knowledge and skills, try and be independent and immerse themselves into a different culture, or take a shot in the student pathway to permanent residency. Each one should have a strong reason why they wanted study in Canada, if not, early disappointments will surely dishearten you and impel you to just give up. 

Life has its plot twists that just really surprises us no matter how prepared we think we are. Marian Aquino has had her fair share of tests that she had to overcome to get to where she is now. Her story is an inspiration of why early setbacks should not hinder you to achieve your goals even if we all know how insurmountable things may seem to be. 

Here’s Marian’s story and encouragement:

“I wanted to study in Canada because, like everyone else, I wanted to create a better future for myself and for my family. If there are any significant persons that made impact in my life – it’s my parents who have supported me from the beginning up to this moment.


“After I graduated from college I took up another vocational course (Dual Certificate in Caregiving and Health Care) which is in-demand that time abroad, but I haven’t had the chance to apply it sa Philippines. So I decided to attend sa mga educational conferences or seminars (who knows I might get an idea) but after awhile dahil sobrang expensive pala, so from then on nakalimutan ko na or rather I just accepted the fact na talagang sa Philippines na lang ako. ’Til one day I met this friend of mine and encouraged me na subukan ang student pathway. 

“So I talked to my family about it, but it took a while before I [could convince] them. To make it short, I started my application last November 2019 for the May 2020 intake but the pandemic happened! So I deferred my application to January 2021. My agency lodged my first application in October then got my refusal on December 18, 2020. Pakiramdam ko pinagbagsakan ako ng langit at lupa. Sobrang sakit sa puso. I cried. I even wanted to give up. 

“But of course you still have this “what if” sa susunod na apply ko “approved” na and through the encouragement of my agency and family, I decided to apply again. So start ulit kumuha ng mga expired na requirements there are times parang pakiramdam ko hindi ako umuusad.

“It’s like bumabalik at bumabalik lang ako sa kung saan ako nagsimula. So on July 10, 2021 my agency lodged my application for the second time. I prayed silently to God sabi ko “God this will be the last time kapag wala pa din baka hindi talaga ako para sa Canada

I will stop pero sana tulungan mo kong tanggapin lahat ng maluwag at magaan sa puso ko…” 

But I guess God really listens in the silence of the heart, so August 26 when I received my “VISA APPROVAL”. So we just really need to keep going. Everything we need will come to us at the perfect time.

How is it going? 

“I just arrived last December 19, 2021 alone at Prince George, BC. I am pursuing a Post Diploma in Human Resource Management. My life here in Canada is different from my home country. All my life I am living with my parents and this is the first time that I got separated from them. I am learning how to be independent because obviously I have to cope on my own. I have to look after myself and sort out everything on my own.

“Honestly, it’s not easy. I have to work 20 hrs per week while studying aside that you have also to pay your own bills such as groceries, phone plan, tuition fee, etc. mga bagay na sobrang layo sa nakasanayan ko.

Minsan I am thinking kung bakit ako nakipagsalaran pa pumunta sa ibang bansa despite of having a good life in the Philippines. But at the end of the day I am still thankful dahil mas madaming naghahangad ang nasa katayuan ko ngayon.

“Right now I am working as team member at a renowned food brand. After graduation I am thinking to take a CPHR exam, having it means to have a nationally recognized level of achievement within the field of human resources. My current school can help me to meet my future goals through job or employment referral programs. Aside from that we also have a subject for formal writing of resume, cover letters, etc.

“My tip for other who also wants to pursue education in Canada is to never give up on their dreams no matter how hard it gets, because it is difficult to wait, but harder to regret.”

As the old saying goes, if there’s a will, there’s definitely a way. Like what we learn from Marian’s story, there’s a lot of things that could happen all throughout your journey as an international student, but what is important is we reflect on our why’s. The stronger the reason we have the more bearable the fight is, we will not be easily defeated once we encounter a challenge on the way. Just like what she did, all it takes is one more try, if it did not workout the way we are expecting it to be on the first try, your dreams deserves a second, third or as many try as possible, because regret lingers longer. Good things come to those who wait, but fate favours those who do not give up on their dreams. 

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