UOIT Student Celebrates A Special Milestone

Durham, ON, Canada / channel12

The impossible became the possible for one refugee UOIT student Friday.

It’s a day Jean Nsanzeryaka will never forget.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, in doing so, jean became the university’s first Refugee student to complete a degree.

“It’s a mixture of feelings.  Something that you didn’t expect or thought was impossible becomes possible.  It’s so exciting, so exciting.”

Nsanzeryaka spent his entire life in refugee camps. Back then, he says he never imagined the opportunity that would come along for him.  But, thanks to efforts of the university in connecting to World University Service of Canada – the opportunity for education came his way.

“I was in Malawi and a refugee and got selected among 20 students that came to Canada all the way from Malawi.”

Mary Olaveson, Senior Lecturer, UOIT

“He’s amazing, so humble.  Definitely a pleasure to teach him.”

Annette Tavares, Senior Lecturer, UOIT

“He’s a very inspirational student.  He inspired me to be a better teacher.”


“There are so many people that have gone on this journey.  I guess the sky’s the limit to really go forward. I want to spread the message of hope to children around the world to tell them there’s always hope.  When we’ve given up there’s always that second chance in life.”

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