What does a new life mean to you? There are many reasons to start a new life.
I had to start a new life when the Cultural Revolution happened. When it finished, I was able to go back to school and could start life again. I decided to move to Japan to change my life then. As an international student, I was able to choose what I was really interested in. I had studied physics before, but when I focused on the new field of the psychology, I felt the happiness of a free mind flying in the endless sky. I was active in different universities, museums, libraries, schools, and community centers. I was like a sponge taking in everything that I was touching. After 12 years, I earned my degrees in psychology and received my museum, library and teaching licenses.
But at the same time I found that it was not possible to get a job in my field of research or teaching at universities in Japan because of policies restricting international students. I couldn’t stay in Japan, so I started looking for opportunities in other countries. I didn’t take an offer for a post-doctoral position in Australia, when I got the immigrant visa from Canada.
Moving to Canada changed my life again. When I arrived, I contacted different universities in Halifax. I found out that to be hired at a university, I had to take more courses or I needed Canadian employment experience. I was shocked and discouraged: I thought Canada had a lot of different languages and was open to different educational backgrounds. My focus was language development in the human brain and I was a leader in this field. I felt I had the knowledge to teach people.
I wasn’t happy but I needed to be flexible for my future- I had to open a new door for myself. I took English classes, and volunteered in the community. Two years later, I started my first and my only job in Canada as an immigrant service settlement professional. Although it wasn’t what I trained to be, I bring my knowledge of how the human brain works to help new immigrants cope with their many feelings and emotions as they start their new lives.