Growing up in Hong Kong, Brian Chan (BA ’22) became well versed in life in the big city.
He was accustomed to the sights and sounds of the bustling metropolis, but when the time came to find a post-secondary school to attend, he was eager to make a change.
Chan hoped to experience a different lifestyle in a smaller community, while staying close enough to visit a busy city centre when time allowed.
When he came across Brock University, he was immediately intrigued.
Chan enrolled in the research stream of Brock’s Psychology program in fall 2018, beginning his journey exploring Canada and experiencing its culture. Moving away from his family meant starting a life on his own and learning to be independent.
“I love that St. Catharines is a mid-sized city, not too busy but also not too far away from exciting places like Niagara Falls or Toronto,” Chan said. “It is an ideal location for what I was looking for and the community is great. Brock also has an excellent Psychology program, which seemed like a good fit for me.”
Chan has always felt a connection to Canada.
Despite growing up in Hong Kong, he attended a Canadian school in the city that offered the opportunity to earn an Ontario Secondary School Diploma.
“Even though I didn’t study in Canada until university, I always felt connected to the country because I learned a lot about it through its high school curriculum,” Chan said.
As an ambitious international student, Chan took time to learn about the many opportunities to get involved, both in and out of the classroom. He participated in many school events and, in 2019, began volunteering his time in the community.
The following year, he was hired by Brock International as a student assistant with the International Services team.
“I have had a lot of support over the years as an international student, so to be able to work for Brock International to support students is great,” Chan said. “It means a lot to be able to give back to the Brock community. Now that I am part of the Global Learning team, it feels even more rewarding because I understand how impactful international learning experiences can be.”
Chan found that wearing many hats on campus required a fine balance, especially during his final year. In addition to tackling his courses and completing his thesis, ‘Exploring the Relationship Between Perfectionism and Performance Monitoring Using Event-Related Potentials: Error-Related Positivity (Pe) and P300,’ he began a new position at Brock International supporting the student mobility team.
The experience only helped his appreciation for the University to grow. He felt supported by his friends, colleagues and professors, which made the transition between roles much smoother.
After graduating with his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology during Brock’s Spring Convocation last week, Chan offered words of wisdom to students beginning their university journey.
“Academics is obviously important but being involved outside of that is equally important,” he said, while encouraging students to be engaged citizens and volunteer in the local community. “You never know where that might lead you and it can certainly create opportunities that you would not experience otherwise. You can also gain a lot of core competencies that are extremely valuable to your future success.”
With graduation now behind him, Chan will continue working with Brock International to make a difference in the lives of fellow international students.