German Anita Enns loves and values the child care education she's getting at Red Deer College.

German Anita Enns loves and values the child care education she's getting at Red Deer College.

Students learn, explore at RDC

Mixed in with the thousands of Albertans and Canadians who apply and get accepted into Red Deer College, are international students.

Mixed in with the thousands of Albertans and Canadians who apply and get accepted into Red Deer College, are international students.

They choose to come to RDC for a variety of reasons, including getting their Canadian equivalency for their already earned education, exploring a new country or learning English.

Anita Enns, 24, an outgoing young traveler, was born in what is now Uzbekistan, but because of her family’s German heritage they were able to move to Nord-Rhein-Westfalen in Germany when she was three.

She finished her training as a childcare assistant there when she was 20 and decided she wanted to explore the world.

Friends of hers were in Red Deer and she came here on a travel VISA in 2009 and worked in the Central Alberta city. She met her boyfriend and they went out traveling again together. But eventually came back to Red Deer in 2012.

She enrolled at Red Deer College in the early learning and childcare program, similar to her education in Germany.

“I really wanted to go back into my profession after traveling around so much,” said Enns.

“I was looking at the program and I thought ‘that’s perfect.’ I know a lot and have a base knowledge, but it is different because it is English.”

Though the program lengths are similar, both two year programs in Germany and Canada, Enns said the biggest difference was the hierarchy and structure.

“We had to listen a lot, we had to write a lot, there was no real communication with the instructor.

“It was really direct, you have to be on top of things and there were personal barriers, it was like that is your teacher and you’re the student,” said Enns.

“Here it is all equal. Same thing with jobs, you can talk openly to your boss and you can hang out with your boss, it doesn’t matter. It is really comfortable.”

Her move to Canada was her first time leaving her parent’s place so it was a bit shocking.

“I could actually afford a big house, we were living with roommates, but it was a big house,” said Enns. “In Germany if you move out you have a bad apartment, except if you have money.”

She could also afford her own car.

Alexander Keeper, 31, came to Canada with his wife Luba, 27, and their son Ilya, 5, trying to build a better life for his family.

Born in Moldova, located near Romania and Ukraine, he moved around living in Germany, Siberia and Moscow.

After finishing his second university degree in Moldova he moved with his family to Russia.

After living in Russia for four years, two in Siberia by himself and two in Moscow with his son and wife, they decided they would come to Canada.

“We opened the map and looked at where we can go,” said Keeper.

“We had some choices and we could choose between Gatineau, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver or Calgary.”

From there they narrowed it down to the Calgary or Toronto areas and because they already had some friends, who had previously been to Moldova as missionaries, living in Three Hills they chose to move out to Alberta.

The missionaries helped the Keeper family out when they came to Canada in May 2012.

One of the factors in deciding where they would live was to go to improve their language skills.

While they could have moved to a larger city Keeper said they could have easily fallen in with a small pocket of their culture and never assimilated into Canada’s culture and language.

“If you are in that community for a long time you will lose your ability to improve your English,” said Keeper. “You find a way to use only a few words in English and mostly your Russian with people you know. We want to assimilate into this society and be a part of it.”

While Calgary was considered, it was too big and would have cost the family more money.

Whereas Red Deer has the same conveniences, but is not as costly to live in.

Keeper is a student at Red Deer College and is working towards getting his education from Eastern Europe recognized in Canada.

“Now I’m attending this English course here at the college,” said Keeper. “Because I want to continue my education as an accountant and I have two Bachelor degrees in my country and I hope to take here the classes to get my equivalency.”

He is working with the Alberta International Qualification Assessment Service, which says his two degrees are similar, but not equal, to a bachelor of commerce in Canada.

In his first few days in Canada Keeper couldn’t believe he was here.

“First of all here it was everything is big,” said Keeper.

“Big food, big cars, big houses everything is big. Then it was how people are so friendly.”

In Moldova Keeper didn’t have much access to hockey, but now that he is in Canada he has followed the sport a little more. He specifically follows the Russian players such as Alexander Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Evgeni Malkin and Pavel Datsyuk.

People opened their doors and invited the Keeper family over for dinner or into their home.

Enns shared the impression of friendly Canadians when she first arrived in the country.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Black Press File Photo
Valentine’s Day shooting in central Alberta leaves one man in hospital and another in custody

19-year-old Francis Edward Nepoose from Maskwacis has been charged with attempted murder.

Minister Rick Wilson poses with Katie at the Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin, both wearing her Pink Shirt Day design. Facebook/ Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin.
Be kind and wear pink for Pink Shirt Day

Katie with the Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin created this year’s Pink Shirt Day design.

Bookings for COVID-19 vaccines for people age 75 or older start Wednesday. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Updated: Delays for seniors booking for vaccine appointments

Phone lines were swamped and the Alberta Health Services website crashed on… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland and Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau as they meet virtually with United States President Joe Biden from his office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Biden on China’s detention of two Michaels: ‘Human beings are not bartering chips’

But the White House offered no hints about how it might help secure their release

Meteor spotted over Edmonton, Alta., on Feb. 22, 2021 by several, who took to social media to share their surveillance camera captures. (@KixxAxe/Twitter)
VIDEO: Fireball meteor streaks across sky, spotted by early-morning risers in Alberta, B.C.

Videos of the quick streak of light flashing across the sky before 6:30 a.m. MST

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney makes his way to the chamber in Edmonton on Friday, March 20, 2020. Kenney says a recent bump in energy prices in the third quarter of the budget is helping the bottom line as his government prepares to introduce its 2021-22 budget. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Higher oil prices boosting Alberta’s bottom line as budget looms Thursday: Kenney

EDMONTON — Premier Jason Kenney says a recent bump in energy prices… Continue reading

Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien gives instructions during practice in Brossard, Que., Tuesday, July 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
CP NewsAlert: Montreal Canadiens fire head coach Claude Julien

Assistant coach appointed interim head coach

NFB hiring new execs to lead anti-racist practices, forge ties with Indigenous groups

TORONTO — The National Film Board of Canada is creating two key… Continue reading

The cast of “Schitt’s Creek” pose for a photo after winning the Award for Best Comedy Series at the Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto on March 31, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Schitt’s Creek’ earns third consecutive ensemble win at ACTRA Toronto Awards

Tamara Podemski won outstanding performance by a female on ‘Coroner’

NBA chooses All-Star reserves, with Zion among first-timers

NBA chooses All-Star reserves, with Zion among first-timers

FILE - In this March 9, 2020, file photo, New York Yankees' Clint Frazier runs to the dugout during a spring training baseball game in Clearwater, Fla. Brett Gardner's return to the Yankees won't displace Clint Frazier from taking over as New York's starting left fielder. Manager Aaron Boone said Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, that the 26-year-old Frazier remained his first choice in left while cautioning developments during a season could alter intentions. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
Yankees finalize deals for Brett Gardner, Justin Wilson

Yankees finalize deals for Brett Gardner, Justin Wilson

Jon Rahm tees off on the 10th hole in front of cardboard cutout fans during the first round of the Genesis Invitational golf tournament at Riviera Country Club, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
West Coast behind, more fans about to show up on PGA Tour

West Coast behind, more fans about to show up on PGA Tour

Most Read