SAIT’s first-year international students were zipping up their warm jackets and adding mitts and toques to their wardrobes after scrambling in the early October snowfall in Calgary.
On Oct. 2, a massive storm paralyzed Calgary, dropping 32.8 centimetres of snow.
The weather change was a big shock to SAIT’s international students, who have recently come to Canada.
“I bought a coat to keep myself alive when I was coming to school,” says Simarpreet Kaur, who is in her first year of business administration program and is an international student.
According to Environment Canada, the storm obliterated the Oct. 2 snowfall record of 4.6 centimetres set in 1954. It also broke the one-day snowfall record for the entire month of October, which was 30 centimetres, set in 1914.
Kaur says that it looked beautiful when it was snowing in the beginning, but it became a big challenge when it didn’t stop.
“Snow was everywhere, and I was stuck in the back alley when I was trying to get to the bus stop,” she says.
“It was my first snow in Canada, and it made me depressed,” says Johnny Choe, a first-year electrical engineering student at SAIT.
“When I woke up and saw the snow, I took my coat out from my closet right away to get outside.”
Choe,who moved here from South Korea, also said that he didn’t have enough warm clothes to get through the cold snap.
So he had to fill up his wardrobe with some new jackets, coats and warm pair of socks to be ready for the next one.
Weather in South Korea is entirely different from Canada, and it was challenging for him to suffer in the snow.
“I couldn’t come to the college on time due to the delay in transit services,” he says.
It took him three hours to reach at SAIT from his house which “was not easy for him.”
“I knew that it snows a lot in Calgary, but watching that massive snow early in October was totally unreal,” Choe said.
“I just got to the heater after I saw outside my window,” says Isaiah Omiasore, a first-year engineering and an international student at SAIT.
“I was not ready for the snow at all and had no warm jackets,” Omiasore says. “I had to buy some new ones.”
Omiasore is from Nigeria, where the temperature usually stays around 24 C, and he had never experienced the snow before October.
Snow was everywhere, and I was stuck in the back alley when I was trying to get to the bus stop. – Simarpreet Kaur
That led him to feel depressed. To improve his mood, he and his friends tossed snowballs outside and had some hot chocolate.
“My brother told me that it is Calgary, and I have to get used to it,” he says.
Everything was running behind on Oct. 2. Class schedules were changed, buses were out of service, and the snow was not looking friendly, said Steven Song, a third-year geographic information system student and an international student from China.
“This is Calgary, and everyone gets used to it (snowfall) after spending some time,” he said.