The Hub Nazira Chatur: An educational gift
Transforming Lives: Learners at AU

Nazira Chatur: An educational gift

By: Nazira Chatur

Transforming Lives: Learners at AU is a testimonial series written by AU students and alumni who want to acknowledge how AU has helped shape their lives.

It’s a space for those who want to thank the people who have helped to support and transform their lives through Athabasca University; all while looking forward to their future educational and personal potential.

Their stories are worth shouting from the rooftops! Have an inspiring story of your own to share? Email us! We’d love to hear it.

I am now 53 years old and am returning to university full time. When I turned 50, my son enrolled me into university as my birthday present. After so many years of giving and caring for others, he said now it was time for me to do something for myself.

I am enrolled in the Bachelor of General Arts program and just finished my first courses. With some additional volunteer work in criminal justice, whether a police station or court house, I hope to enrol in the Bachelor of Professional Arts in Criminal Justice program at AU, and then get my master’s in criminology from John Jay in New York City. I want to work in the terrorism field assisting women and children victims. That’s my ultimate goal. Somehow to give back to save lives and help nurture them.

From one course to fulltime

I then began taking one course at a time as I was working full time. Last November I enrolled as a full-time student with AU. It was the perfect opportunity to tackle the boredom of COVID-19. I worked hard and excelled in all my courses.

Nazira Chatur and with her youngest

I just finished my first set of courses and feel amazing. Results were all great. My sons were my biggest supporters constantly sending racing emails of how proud they are of me.

It was hard though, really hard. The essays, the references, the scheduling of for major courses, the multitude of readings, and when you are on student aid you only have 16 weeks instead of 24 weeks to complete the work to get funding.  I think that was the hardest part—learning what to do when.

The best medicine

I have chosen to restart my life after the age of 50 and build a better me. I tackled many traumas the last few years: facing panic attacks, anxiety attacks, having major surgeries, and catching tumours when they were beginning. It was a rough ride, but it’s all better now and school has actually been the best medicine and motivator.

You will never regret joining AU. The professors helped me so much guiding me on how to plan myself for projects, and also giving encouraging feedback to submitted assignments. I love being back learning.


Photo of Za and her family with an orange filter
Nazira Chatur with her family

“I wish everyone well. Bravo to all of us for taking this step to better ourselves. And always remember, you are never too old to study. Knowledge is the essence to a successful life.  ”

– Nazira Chatur

Online studies are less intimidating for me than large classrooms or huge campuses. From the comfort of your own home, you can succeed beyond your wildest dreams.

I wish everyone well. Bravo to all of us for taking this step to better ourselves. And always remember, you are never too old to study. Knowledge is the essence to a successful life.

Nazira Chatur was born in Tanzania and shifted to Canada in the early 1970s. And after living in many cities and countries, we finally ended up in Hinton. My family now consists of myself, my husband, three amazing boys and our little dog, Nico. Relaxed living at the gateway to the mountains and surrounded by majestic beauty. 

  • December 3, 2021
Guest Blog from:
Nazira Chatur