International business student finds his home in Canada

Peter B. Gustavson School of Business

- Dianne George

While completing his UVic commerce degree, Damir Alnsour helped shape the experience of others by volunteering to introduce new international students to the UVic Business international exchange program. An international student himself, Alnsour arrived at UVic from Jordan and is comfortable in three languages: Arabic, Serbo-Croatian and English.

For his own exchange, he signed up to attend the BI Norwegian School of Management in Oslo. “It was one of the schools I had applied to attend as an undergrad, so it was fun to be accepted for the exchange,” he says. “But I am planning to stay in Canada.”

Alnsour’s decision to stay in this country was also based on his co-op work term experiences and rooted in his overall perception of Canadian society.

“Working after school and on weekends isn’t that common for the majority of students who arrive from the Middle East,” he explains. “So I didn’t have any work experience to add to my resume."

“The co-op advisers were really helpful and encouraged me to think outside of the box by highlighting my differentiating attributes, such as being multilingual. They also suggested that I network as much as possible in order to gain a better understanding of how Canadian social interactions differ on a professional footing.

“I was surprised at how easy it was to meet people. In the Middle East, social interactions take on a much more conservative form, and it takes much longer to build strong, lasting and meaningful relationships.”

Alnsour completed co-op work terms with Hyack Air and Scotiabank. He liked the banking experience so much that he is now studying the Canadian securities course with the goal of a rewarding career in the financial industry, possibly going on to acquire a master’s degree in finance.

For Alnsour, “Canada has definitely lived up to its reputation as a multicultural and welcoming country that fosters individual success and excellence and provides endless opportunities accompanied with hope for a better future.”

In this story

Keywords: international, commerce, student life

People: Damir Alnsour

Related stories