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Turning dreams into reality, the inspirational story of VanWest Alumni Orlando


IALC-accredited Canadian language centre VanWest College brings you the story of Orlando Contreras, a student of VanWest College in Vancouver who first came to Canada in 2012 when he was just 18 years old.


Orlando dreamed of becoming a pilot and he travelled from Mexico to Vancouver because he knew that he needed to learn English in order to achieve his dream.


Like with most students, the beginning was tough. However, Orlando studied diligently and worked his way up the levels of the school. He eventually improved enough to take a variety of high-level English courses, from Advanced IELTS to BULATS.


Orlando believes that the most memorable day of his time at the school was his graduation day: “I knew that I would close a chapter in my life and start a new one,” he said.


A week after his graduation, Orlando went to Dallas, Texas to begin his aviation studies and two years on, through hard work and determination, Orlando can now proudly state that he is a licensed pilot.


This success is celebrated by all of his previous teachers, who still remember his time at VanWest.


“Orlando was a friendly and sociable student who contributed to my class with enthusiasm,” recalls Kris, a teacher at VanWest College in Vancouver. “Personally, I am so happy that he fulfilled his goal to be a pilot.”


“I was very happy to learn that he was now achieving his dream of being a professional pilot,” said Edward. “I have had a lot of students over the years, but Orlando is one that I remember easily and fondly.”


Orlando is always on the lookout for new challenges. He says that his next dream is to eventually work at the Emirates, in Qatar.


IALC would like to congratulate Orlando on his inspirational journey and commend all staff at VanWest College for helping him on his way. To read the full story you can click here. 

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