EDUCATION | student voice

Canada Broadened My Perspective of the World

BY

Canada is one of the top choices for international students to study and migrate. We had a pleasure to talk to one of the students, Danah Reyes, a graduate from Interactive Media Design program from Seneca College in Toronto. We talked with her about her background, studies, and overall experiences being a student and now working in Canada.

Why did you choose Canada, specifically Toronto? 

Apart from the program and location, I chose Canada because I loved the lifestyle. Canada is really a good place to live. The healthcare system is great and there is lots of activities to do. The disparity between the poor and middle class is not as obvious compared to the Philippines. You can afford simple pleasures, like traveling and eating out, even when you’re working a trades job. It is not like that in the Philippines.

Danah at Toronto Island Park, Ontario

How do you find your program/school?

“I studied Interactive Media Design at Seneca. It’s a 2-year diploma program. I always have the passion for design, but I was unsure where to go with my passion. I went to a few seminars on study abroad back in the Philippines and Seneca was one of the attendants (they were not my first choice at the time). In the seminar, I learned how to apply as a student and the pathway for permanent residency. The research process can be overwhelming, but the seminar helped me to get relevant info and necessary steps to achieve my goals. After much consideration, I found that Seneca was the perfect choice for me. I also wanted to start immediately in the winter, and Seneca was the only school that offered that option.”

Danah came to Toronto, Ontario back in 2016. She visited her relatives in Canada back in 2013 without any plans to study abroad here. After experiencing the lifestyle here, she decided she wanted to live in Canada. She did some research and the best way to immigrate to Canada is through studying here. Danah came across Seneca College’s Interactive Media Design program and it was the perfect match for her. She already had a degree in Marketing and Advertising back in the Philippines while teaching herself graphic design. The program at Seneca helped her improve her skills as a designer and exposed her to more possibilities. She is currently working as a graphic designer at Canada’s Largest Automotive group, where they have dealerships from Audi, Porsche, Honda, Mazda across the country.

How do you like studying at Seneca?

“Through the program, I was exposed to different fields of design. My time at Seneca made me interested in other areas like user experience, layout design and illustration. Another important thing is that I also learned what I don’t like within the field so I can be more focused. 

The professors here are also supportive. They helped students to focus on things that they want to pursue. From the college itself, there is a lot of support and guidance for students when they want to look for jobs. There are career workshops and following up after graduation.”

Danah at Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, Quebec, Montreal

Tell us more about your experience as an international student

“I enjoyed having classmates from different countries and backgrounds. The Philippines is not as diverse as Toronto, so it was an interesting experience for me. I got to meet and work with people from different cultures and I learned to respect differences. It is really nice that even though we have different beliefs, we still can respect each other. One of the culture shocks that I experienced is that a joke that people in my country find funny might be viewed as inappropriate here in Canada. I had to be courteous with my words and make sure I don’t upset anyone.

Being an international student in Canada also broadened my perspective of the world. Canada is a really diverse country, and by living here I felt like I got a peek of the world. It was an eye-opener for me to have someone from a different nationality look different than how you’d imagined them to be. It was a great learning experience for me!

As someone who grew up in a tropical country, I had to adjust to the weather. I initially love winter, but then I realized the snow in Ontario can take 3-4 months of heavy snow. I am still getting used to sunsets at 4 PM during the winter. But, I love that you get more daylight during summer. 

Danah at Squamish, British Columbia

Any advice for upcoming international students?

“Do not be afraid to ask questions if you are unsure! People are nice here in Canada. 

It is okay to feel homesick, it usually will only last for a few months. You just have to focus on why you are here and what are your goals. Focus on your study and meeting new friends!”

You can find more about Danah here: 

Website: https://danahreyes.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/danahreyes/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/designeverydaydana/

Dribbble: https://dribbble.com/danahreyes

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