Marjielou Balili couldn’t have been more excited to come to Terrace. It had been her dream to study as an international student in Canada, and when she got accepted as a Post Degree Business Diploma student at Coast Mountain College the dream was actually becoming real.
There was just one problem, though. Balili and her husband came to the Skeena at the height of the pandemic. “We arrived in Terrace days after when they locked the border,” she says in a new video posted by Coast Mountain College.
They needed to isolate for 14 days, so they took that as an opportunity to go driving to remote parts of the Skeena without any people nearby.
“We went driving for like 6 to 8 hours. We got to see bears, cariboo, deer and moose–every experience that I had in Canada was memorable,” she said. “It’s my first time to see the snow, it’s my first time to drive in a four wheel vehicle.”
Balili and her husband have two kids that have been stuck in the Philippines because of the pandemic. Luckily, she has an aunt that’s lived in Terrace for 20 years, and is friends with other Filipino students in the town, which makes her feel less homesick.
Balili works at A&W when she’s not studying, which is also comforting for her, because she worked in a fastfood restaurant back in the Philippines. It’s no doubt been a tough and stressful time, but Balili is still thrilled to be here.
“Terrace is the best place that I could recommend,” she says. Watch the full video here.