Vancouver Robson Street, Vancouver Seymour Street, and Coquitlam Centre…
These are some of hot-spots for international students and tourists. There is a joke that goes, “if you bump into somebody on Robson Street, you might as well just say, “[Sil Lae Hap Ni Da] (“Excuse me” in Korean)”. What about Vancouver is so attractive so all these people continue to flock in?
When I first came to Canada as a grade 11 student, my Caucasian high school friends called me a FOB.
My Korean friends said FOB stands for Fresh Of the Boat.
That was nine years ago. I came to Canada at my mother’s suggestion. She thought Canada would be a milder version of USA-cheaper dollars and no guns. Things are different now. The Canadian dollar is worth almost as much as the US .
However, it seems those factors do not slow down foreigners to move or just to visit Canada.
I met a tourist now turned into an ESL student from Korea- Dong-yoon Nam.
He and his friends are visitors in Canada. He likes it so much he’s staying on to study English at UBC (UBC English Language Institute program).
He says he fell in love with the nature and relaxed atmosphere of Vancouver.
I asked him if he knew about growing population of visible minorities in Canada. I wanted to know if he was aware of the hardships some immigrants face.
A blank stare…
I didn’t mean to crush his hopes and dreams.
He then showed me some of the pictures of his adventure in Canada for the last few weeks.