Bita Batenian, an MSVU student from the Middle East, has embarked on an impressive journey to pursue her dreams in Canada. In January 2023, she began her second master’s degree (first at MSVU), this one in Curriculum Studies, after previously earning degrees in English literature.

Back in the Middle East, Bita faced obstacles accessing academic articles. Her solution was unconventional, but effective – she visited annual international book exhibitions, and she would snap pictures of books, sometimes capturing up to 200 pages a day. Her love for reading was insatiable, and the prospect of ready access to knowledge in Canada filled her with excitement.

What awaited her in Canada was beyond her expectations: plenty of classroom discussions, hands-on learning, and reflective essays. Bita says it was a stark contrast to the traditional, lecture-heavy education she received at home. But she feels like she has finally found her ideal learning environment.

It’s not just the academics that attracted her to MSVU. The welcoming atmosphere, supportive professors, and warm embrace of the International Students’ Society have helped make her feel at home. Though not on her radar before her arrival in Canada, Bita has delved into Indigenous studies, gaining insights into Indigenous aspects of Canadian history, culture and society.

Despite the challenges she’s faced, including financial and housing struggles, Bita’s determination never waivers. She dreams of continuing her education, having a house for her family, and helping young international students settle in Canada. As she faces setbacks, Bita says she always remembers that setbacks are opportunities to learn and grow.

MSVU’s history is rich with the stories of countless people who’ve had an impact on the university and in the broader community. To mark our 150th anniversary, we’re featuring mini stories about those wonderful MSVU students, faculty, staff and alum. Check back often to meet more amazing MSVU people!