Student Ambassador Blog Articles

My Journey Across the World to Attend Optometry School in the U.S. by SCCO Student Ambassador Collette Dsouza

A series of articles written by SCCO Student Ambassadors, here is Collette Dsouza. To learn more about Collette, where she is from, and why she chose SCCO, find her bio here listed alphabetically.

My Journey Across the World to Attend Optometry School in the U.S.

by SCCO Student Ambassador, Collette Dsouza

Dsouza_ColetteI’m an international student so moving to foreign countries is second nature to me!

Beginning a professional program is difficult and nerve wracking on its own.  It is even more overwhelming when you have to pack up your life and move across oceans to turn your dreams into reality.

My journey to optometry has been filled with so many pleasantries, but with that also came some hardships that everyone has to go through one way or another. For me, it was moving away from my home and coming to America. Born in Pakistan and raised in Dubai, I had already experienced this when leaving my home from Dubai at 19 to begin university in Canada, I thought that making a big move to California to attend SCCO would be easier, but as the time to leave came closer, the more I felt that I would not be able to go through with it.

Landing at LAX was something I had always dreamed about, but when the day arrived, all I felt running through me was homesickness . Coming to a new country is exhilarating and exciting, but when you come to a new country leaving your family behind, it can be overwhelming.

In the days leading up to orientation at SCCO, I began to question everything. Would I make friends?  Would I be able to settle in?  What if this dreadful feeling of leaving home never goes away?…

But when the day came, it finally clicked in my head that coming to SCCO was one of the best decisions I could ever have made! My peers, the faculty, the campus and the sense of camaraderie at SCCO radiates through in every sense of the word. It is difficult to leave home, but when you are surrounded by like-minded people, who are on the same page as you, it’s easy to not feel alone.

A few weeks have passed since my move to the U.S., and looking back, I do not think I would have done anything different. If you ever feel like you can’t do something, take some time out, sit and reflect on your situation, and realize that you are capable of doing anything you set your mind to.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at

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