Thousands of hours of hard work have come to fruition for nearly 1,400 students in Thunder Bay as Confederation College graduation ceremonies take place today at the Community Auditorium.

Angel Macwan came a long way to enter the Electronics Engineering Technician program. The 18-year-old is from a community near Mumbai, India.

Now, Macwan's ready to look for work in Thunder Bay.

“Since I'm graduating, I have to take a post-graduate work permit … and then I can work here, fortunately,” he said.

“So I have one job offer right now. I am waiting for a reply. They interviewed me.”

Macwan may have studied for his career far from home but he is not far from family. His sister Princy, 22, also graduates today from the Concurrent Disorders program and Critical Care Nursing program.

She already has a job as a home support worker in Thunder Bay.

The siblings had never been out of their home country until they came to Thunder Bay.

Important to go to school together

Angel said they were lucky to find that Confederation offered each of them the courses they wanted to take.

“We were flying far away from home, right?  And I was … 17 at the time, so my sister and I didn't want to go to different colleges.”

Both Angel and Princy said they were thankful Confederation gave them the opportunity they said no other college in Canada could offer — the opportunity to go to school together.

"Angel was in engineering and I was in healthcare coming in during the January intake. Confederation was the only college offering both courses together," Princy said.

Angel said that was important to go to school with his older sister.

"It was really helpful, having someone from your family here with you when you're so far away from home," he said.

The quality of education at Confederation College was perhaps the most important factor, he added.

Angel said that he was first attracted to Confederation College because of its hands-on approach and its high ranking among colleges around the world.

"It's a great place to get practical knowledge. In India the priority is on theory, but over here the program was equally balanced between theory and practical learning.”

For Princy, Confederation College gave her the opportunity to upgrade her nursing skills, as she had already trained as a nurse in India.