Migrating to Ontario: The Story of Polina Ignatova, a Ukrainian Refugee Pursuing Higher Education in Toronto

2024-02-19 11:00:00

Of all the women we met at CACI, Polina Ignatova, 19, was the one who had the best command of French, in addition to speaking English.

Published at 6:00 a.m. Updated at 5:42 a.m.

But today: poof! His French has disappeared.

“It’s true,” she agrees, on the other end of her cell phone. “I could express myself a little in French, for a simple conversation, but that was before I moved. Now I am in another province, Ontario. And since I speak English, I don’t need French. »

Why in Ontario?

“I applied to several colleges and universities, and was accepted into a university in Toronto, studying data science,” she explains.

Polina adds that she could have studied at Concordia University in Montreal, where she had also been admitted. But the cost of studies was too high. Ukrainian refugees have access to primary and secondary school free of charge. But at university, they must pay tuition fees charged to foreign students, more than $30,000 per year.

I prefer Montreal to Toronto. But life is easier for me here, because I can speak English with people.

Polina Ignatova

Will she ever return to Ukraine? “To live there, no, I don’t think so,” said Polina. It’s not safe. Plus, my mother works here. In Ukraine, she wouldn’t be able to get this job. »

That doesn’t stop him from being bored. From his city, Kyiv, of course. But especially his life before the war. “I spent my childhood there. I have lots of memories. If the country was safe, if I could work there, build my career, have my own apartment, I would prefer to return to my country,” she admits.

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