Bursary Alumni Profile: Mislaine Spes Nshimirimana



  • What did you study at CC and what did you transfer to?

When I was attending Columbia College, my concentration was in Economics so that I may later transfer to UBC in the same program: Economics.

  • How do you feel CC prepared you for future studies? What has been the biggest challenge at UBC so far?

Columbia College is an institution that I believe, offers a valuable first-hand experience of a Canadian college experience. Attending the college has largely contributed to the career path I am now on. It is from CC that I have been able to transfer my credits and got accepted at UBC. Additionally, I’ve benefited from the counselors that were there to assist and guide me during universities’ application process. Thus, I am grateful for CC for introducing me to a Canadian college experience and helping me meet my long-term goals. The biggest challenge at UBC so far has been adapting to the larger class size, where direct interactions between professors and students are less common than there are at Columbia College.

  • Is there something you miss the most about CC?

On this note, I do miss the personal/ one-on-one connection which I could have with my professors at Columbia College. The small class size did facilitate that. Moreover, it made it easier to follow through with courses’ content and consequently, a better academic performance and focus. Besides that, I also miss the community feeling of Columbia College. It was definitely easier to get to know people during the classes but also during events and club activities.

  • Is there something you wish to tell future students about transferring to University?

Each student has their own experience of University Transfer. However, one shared experience is the change of environment and fast-paced rhythm of university classes. On this matter, I would tell future students to be patient and gentle with themselves especially during their first days of university. I would also advice students to seek help when they need to, to reach out to advisors and counselors and to have a well-planned schedule in order to keep up with their works and readings.

  • Did our Bursary Program help you to meet your goals? Do you think you would be able to keep studying if the bursary wasn’t there?

I will always be grateful for the Bursary Program I got from Columbia College. It has been a valuable contribution towards meeting my goals. Thanks to the Bursary Program, my last two semesters at Columbia College were covered. A special thanks to Chelsey Acierno for providing me with that opportunity which I was not previously aware of. The Bursary Program has greatly helped me in financial terms but also for my overall well-being since I felt supported by the college even though my status had changed. Once again thanks to college, I was spared from the challenge of having to think about the last question given that with the extreme generosity and reduced fees, I didn’t have to make any additional payment.

  • Any message to future students whose status changes in Canada to protected person? Any guidance, advice?

For any future student whose status changes in Canada to protected person, I have realized that the change can be challenging to adapt to. However, my advice would be not to see yourself as a victim of your situation but rather; to perceive this status change with gratitude that the Canadian government is able to provide you with protection and hence, new possibilities. Furthermore, this change is an opportunity for you to benefit from a quality education and accessible services that can help you meet your goals.