Karamjeet Bhandal made Calgary her home after immigrating as a teenager. Photo supplied by: Karamjeet Bhandal

Karamjeet Bhandal no longer considers herself a newcomer to Calgary, but she can still recall what it was like starting fresh in a new city. 

Bhandal immigrated with her family from India as a teenager 20 years ago. Having to overcome leaving her friends and family back home, she understands why her parents made the choice. 

“My parents just wanted to give their kids a better opportunity at life, a safer environment and better educational opportunities, so that is why they brought us here,” Bhandal said. 

After Bhandal completed high school, she took time off to work and travel to be able to find her true passion, eventually pursuing a respiratory therapy diploma at SAIT– which opened many doors for her.

Opportunities for better education and the ability to choose her career path in life made her realize how much she values the freedom she has in Canada to choose her path in life. From that experience, she feels, “I appreciate Canada a lot more than people who are born and raised here.”

YouTube video
Calgary Journal reporter Jasleen Bhangu spoke to Karamjeet Bhandal about her experience as a newcomer in Calgary.

Having worked in Lethbridge, Winnipeg and even Saudi Arabia, Bhandal eventually chose to settle down in Calgary. 

“I always knew I would come back to Calgary even when I moved to all those different places. Calgary is my home even more than India has ever felt home to me.”

Even though her parents made the choice to move their family here, Bhandal knows this is where she belongs. 

“I love living in Canada, I can’t imagine living anywhere else.”

Each year, thousands of people from around the world move to Calgary to make a new life. Our partnership with CLIP explores what it means to be a newcomer in our city and how that experience is different for everyone.

You can see all the video profiles here.

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