Marjan Ebneshahidi

Multicultural Livable Neighbourhoods: Immigrant Women's Experiences
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

Pursuing a graduate degree allows me to develop my research and critical thinking skills and broaden my knowledge and experience. In 2012, while a master's student in Iran, I found myself immersed in the world of socio-cultural and environmental studies. I examined children’s needs in medical environments aiming to reduce children’s fear and considering the effects of cultural and social factors in children’s hospital design. The experience gained in that research was highly beneficial to create a vision for me to realize how some creative topics in architecture and landscape architecture can benefit from interdisciplinary research and made me determined to pursue a Ph.D. in different fields. Additionally, I am very interested in spending my working life in academia, so pursuing a graduate degree is helping me to build a good career network, collaborate with faculty members, students, and researchers in a friendly, supportive and safe atmosphere, and take benefit of available resources on campus.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

As an international student, I chose UBC because it is not only one of the top universities in the world but also located in a livable, beautiful, and friendly city. By studying at UBC, I had also the opportunity to work with great and supportive supervisors.

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

I really liked the flexibility this program offers. I was also attracted by the opportunity to collaborate and make connections with people from different disciplines.

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

I really love the natural beauty of both Vancouver and UBC! I was also pleasantly surprised by how culturally diverse and friendly this city is. When I arrived, I didn't feel like an outsider!

What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

I believe the teamwork and research skills I achieved over the course of my academic studies and work experiences prepared me for this program. I learned how to plan and organize my tasks, meet deadlines, develop my ability to multi-task, be flexible in teamwork, and be committed to a job. But the most important lesson that I learned in my personal life was how to deal with failure.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

I like going to the beach and walking in nature. I am not a photographer but I really enjoy photography! Gardening is also one of my favourite hobbies. It makes me happy.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

In our schools, we have to answer so many difficult research questions, but the first challenging question we should attempt to answer is "what is the real meaning of life?" UBC and some non-profit organizations in Vancouver have a wide range of volunteer opportunities for graduate students. Try to become involved in those activities which can make our lives more meaningful.

Marjan Ebneshahidi, UBC graduate student ambassador

Learn about our faculties, research, and more than 300 programs in our 2021 Graduate Viewbook!