Ankit Rampal was surfing the web at his home in Dehra Dun, India when he came across a link to the First Nations University of Canada.
That one click sparked a curiosity about First Nations people and eventually brought him to Regina. Here he studied Cree, other Indigenous courses, and had the chance to participate in powwows and traditional feasts.
Studying at the First Nations University of Canada was also his first experience studying abroad.
In 2014, Ankit graduated from the Interdisciplinary Studies Certificate Program.
“It was the real Canadian experience because I am an international student,” says Ankit as he reflects back on his time at the university and having the opportunity to learn about Aboriginal culture within his program.
Ankit took Cree Language classes with instructor Bill Cook, who taught him the basics like “Tansi” (Hello) and “Nitisiyihkâson Ankit” (My name is Ankit).
In fact, Ankit says that learning the language was the best experience in his academic career.
“I still remember the language,” he says when talking about Cree.
Ankit also tackled a few Indigenous Studies courses and learned about the history of First Nations people and “how First Nations people faced problems,” explains Ankit. He also adds that, “the First Nations people are hardworking people.”
Ankit attended traditional feasts and celebrations such as the Tony Cote Welcome Back Powwow and the annual spring powwow hosted by the university.
Since graduation, Ankit has been working in Regina. He also plans to enroll in the Indigenous Health Studies at the FNUniv.
Ankit’s advice to future international students enrolling in FNUniv is that, “you get to experience and learn about a new culture and new language.”