Close to 100 graduates paraded through the autumn colours in King’s Square Friday afternoon, on their way to receive degrees after years of hard work.

“I wish my family back home could see me,” said Wael Bader, one of many international students graduating from the University of New Brunswick Saint John, before marching into the Imperial Theatre.

Bader, who received a master of science in engineering degree, hasn’t seen his family in Derna, Libya for four years.

Before he starts his job search – likely in western Canada – Bader wants to go home.

“It’s time to go visit them,” he said.

Jarod Zhao knows how he feels. Zhao, who received a master of business administration, hasn’t seen his family in Zheng Zhou, China since 2007.

But UNB Saint John – where he also did an undergraduate degree – has felt like home.

“All the professors are so friendly and warm-hearted and make you feel more like a big family,” he said. “We’re all family members here together.”

Read the full story at the Telegraph-Journal.