Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Challenge accepted by Saskatchewan Polytechnic international student

Rishav Preet Kaur has never been afraid of a challenge.  

After graduating from high school in India when she was 17, she was looking for a way to continue her education and explore the world. She embraced the challenge and applied to study at Saskatchewan Polytechnic straight out of high school in 2018. 

“I landed in Canada only three days before my program started,” she recalls with a laugh remembering her first days in Saskatchewan. As she recovered from jet lag, Kaur got settled into life in Canada and explored Saskatoon Campus. In hindsight she admits that arriving earlier to attend orientation would have been helpful. 

Enrolled in the Electronic Systems Engineering Technology program, Kaur soon discovered she was the only female student in her class. Through supports offered by the Sask Polytech International Education department and counselling services offered through Student Services, Kaur found the support she needed. By connecting with her fellow students and focusing on her studies she became more confident and was able to settle into life in her new home. 

“The best part was that I wasn’t treated differently at Sask Polytech,” she says. “The instructors were so helpful during class and offered assistance outside of class. I could ask for help at any time.” 

Kaur credits the instructors at Sask Polytech with teaching her the skills needed to succeed in her career. Knowledge in automation, robotics and coding have already served her well. 

“Sask Polytech has provided me with the skills to be successful,” she says. “I learned the skills needed to figure things out on my own. I was taught how to be a self-starter. These are important skills. In the real world the instructor is not going to be there to help you figure things out. You have to learn to do things on your own – and I did.” 

Kaur describes her program as equally challenging and rewarding. Time spent designing and building a solar-powered car for which she earned first place in the class competition and creating a clock that incorporated a Wi-Fi circuit board are two highlights.  

During her time as a student at Sask Polytech, Kaur worked in the International Education department, assisting fellow international students as they transitioned into their new life in Canada. As a proud alumni, she continues to support this department through presentations to incoming students and as a tutor.  

Assistance with English language assignments provided through the Library and Learning Services were helpful when she was a student. Kaur is also thankful for the support she received through Employment Services in her job search. When she was convocating in the spring of 2020, just as the world was shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, job opportunities were scarce. Despite shrinking employment opportunities, Kaur landed a support technician position with International Road Dynamics Inc., a global company that develops integrated technical solutions for the transportation industry with head offices in Saskatoon.  

Because of her driven nature and desire to continue to challenge herself, Kaur hasn’t stopped learning. She recently acquired her private pilot’s license and is now working to obtain her commercial pilot’s license.  

Kaur has settled into life in Canada and has begun the process of becoming a permanent resident. 

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Published March 2022.