Waleed Khokhar knew exactly what he wanted from a university experience, but it took patience, travel, and a chance meeting to finally find it at St. Thomas University.
Khokhar was born in Pakistan and moved to Dubai when he was young. He began his pursuit of higher education in London, England where he completed a foundation year in business. Though most of his friends would stay in London to continue university, Khokhar had his sights set on Canada.  
While he awaited approval to study in Canada, he returned to Pakistan for a short period before having to leave again for Dubai. He began his formal university studies at the Canadian University of Dubai as a step towards getting to Canada.
Approved to study in Canada, he made his way to Fredericton, a small city he imagined would provide a good academic environment with minimal distractions compared to a large, busy city.
He hadn’t even heard of St. Thomas when two international students from the university invited him the Multicultural Festival on campus.
Khokhar decided to attend the event. Soon after that, he enrolled at St. Thomas.
“I was moving a lot, and I was starting to feel completely lost. I had trouble finding the right university for me, and one that would accept my transfer credits from the Canadian University of Dubai,” Khokhar said.
After his introduction to St. Thomas, he knew he found the place for him.
“STU is different. It’s culturally diverse and everyone knows each other. STU feels like home—like a family.”
Everything started to come together for Khokhar. He has made many friends, connected with his professors, discovered courses he loved, and completed two internships. Though he will have only spent two years at St. Thomas, he said it was worth the wait.
“Everything is clear for me right now. I’m finally finishing my school—which is a big deal for me,” he said.
With his graduation coming up in May, Khokhar said it’s been the small size and community atmosphere that’s made all the difference.
“St. Thomas is the reason I’m finishing my education and getting to where I wanted to be. I can go talk to my professors about anything, and if I want people to study with, I can just go to James Dunn Hall. People are studying there all the time, and you can just join them. Everyone is so welcoming.” 
“I will miss not being a student here, but I think what matters now is that I share my experience with other people, so maybe they can have the same experience I did here,” Khohar said.
He said he even hopes his younger brother considers St. Thomas for his higher education.
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