Jacqueline Lourdes Rios
PhD in Kinesiology – University of Calgary
When choosing a PhD program, the University of Calgary was the best option for my studies because it is one of the most relevant research programs in joint/musculoskeletal health in the world. Completing my graduate training in this environment has, and will, expose me to state of the art facilities, equipment, and personnel not available elsewhere. It is amazing to work and to discuss my research with the professors/researchers that have written the textbooks and papers that my undergraduate and master degree were based on. Furthermore, there are people from across the globe doing research here, what is excellent to expand networking and cultural exchange. Additionally, it is quite an awesome experience to see the snow over Christmas time.
PhD in Microbiology – Université Laval
Being a full PhD student at Université Laval has been a great experience so far. As a Microbiology student, I have been in a very exciting scientific environment where I have the opportunity to perform cutting edge research and be part of a group that is known globally by its research with bacteriophage and CRISPR (the prokaryotes adaptive immune system that has been used as a genome editing tool). As a result, I have opportunities that I just dreamed of and it has been an intensive learning and productive experience for me. At UL, I have access to a number of facilities that allows my PhD to progress in fast pace (e.g. platform for genes and genome sequencing, proteomics, electron microscopy and others), and the laboratory is fully equipped with reagents, materials and equipment.
In terms of mentorship, my advisor has been a great leader who I deeply admire! He is very dynamic, intelligent and a great scientist. Definitely, I could not ask for better! Although UL is a francophone University, I have been able to perform my graduate studies in English and learn French while I am here (but it changes from group to group). However, knowing French it is definitely a way to enjoy life in Quebec even more. The university staff is in general very nice and helpful with all the issues and questions that I had so far. I have also to mention the experience applying for the full PhD in a fast track program intermediated by CALDO. CALDO program coordinator was very caring and efficient! The experience was great and very fast, and I had assistance during all the process.
Life wise, live in a country so different of ours it is a very challenging but also rewarding experience. You learn a lot about yourself and it makes you stronger and better adapted to other societies, cultures and environments, learning how to deal with obstacles that you were not used to. As a bonus for studying at Université Laval, I live in Quebec City! Quebec is lovely, touristic and it is the most European city in North America, which makes it very charming. I always feel delighted when I go to the Old City, especially during summer, to enjoy life in a touristic place. Quebec is also very safe and has many parks and activities that we can enjoy throughout the year! Although winter here is beyond a Brazilian imagination, as soon as you learn the tricks (“dress warmly and in layers”, “protect the body extremities”, “always check the forecast”, “take vitamin D”, “choose a winter sport”, “do something fun outside”, etc.), you start enjoying it a lot, in fact, even more that we enjoy in our home country.
From my experience, I cannot do anything except encourage people to choose Université Laval for graduate studies!
PhD in Food Science- University of Saskatchewan
Patricia Tozatti is a trailblazing food engineer from Guarapuava in the southern state of Parana of Brazil. She jumped straight into a PhD after her undergraduate degree and a stint in the food industry. Funded by the government of Brazil through the Science without Borders scholarship program, Patricia is examining wheat and baking quality in her PhD in Food and Bioproduct Science. Agriculture has always been close to Patricia’s heart – she comes from a family of grain farmers. Patricia is fulfilling her own dreams and those of her parents by coming to University of Saskatchewan – her father dreamt of studying abroad but didn’t have the necessary support.
Watch her video testimonial (double click to make it full screen):
Je m’appelle Débora Oliveira Cardoso et j’ai étudié à l’Université Laval pendant l’année de 2013 quand j’avais encore l’âge de 19 ans. J’ai fait un Certificat en Journalisme/Communication Publique au niveau du baccalauréat. J’ai eu la chance de faire cet échange grâce au partenariat entre l’Université Laval et le gouvernement du Brésil (Programme Science sans Frontières). En fait, j’avais jamais pensé au Canada comme destin, mais je voulais vraiment faire mes études dans un pays francophone pour améliorer mon français. Quand j’y suis arrivé, en janvier, il faisait -40 degrés: je ne connaissais personne, je ne comprenais pas l’accent. C’était pas facile au début, mais l’évolution c’est donnée rapidement à cause de l’immersion culturelle, mais c’est surtout la vie dans le campus qui m’a aidé à mieux comprendre la langue: écouter mes professeurs et essayer de beaucoup écrire. La principale différence entre étudier au Brésil et au Canada c’est que dans mon pays les cours sont beaucoup plus théoriques et les professeurs sont tous les temps en train d’exposer un contenu qu’ils vont évaluer seulement à la fin de session, pendant qu’au Québec les cours étaient beaucoup plus pratiques. À chaque jour je retournais chez moi avec plein de travaux difficiles à faire comme, par exemple, enregistrer des capsules radio toute seule en français. Au cours de 2013 je me suis tombée d’amour par le Québec et par Canada. La vie était tranquille, les gens étaient gentils et le pays est absolument beau. Tout marche bien, même s’il faisait -40 degrés, mon autobus était toujours à l’horaire, j’avais tous les services que j’avais besoin dans le campus avec une structure parfaite. C’est certainement le meilleur choix et la meilleure expérience de ma vie.
“Studying overseas is by itself an amazing experience and doing this in a Canadian University is much better. I decided to apply for a graduate program in Canada because its well known reputation in education and research. The CALDO universities are among the best universities in Canada and in the world in engineering, Medicine and Science.
In addition to that, the CALDO team were always available to support my application, making their selves useful all the time. There’s no doubt that this experience will not only be challenge but also transformative.
And the Future? Lies ahead”
“My name is Filipo Mór, I am a lecturer and graduate student in Computer Science from Brazil. In 2014 I was awarded a scholarship from the Canadian Government called Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program. This funding allowed me to spend 6 months at Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS, working as a visiting graduate student. I chose to do my studies there for several reasons: first, my research interests were aligned to my supervisor’s agenda at Dal; second, what the infrastructure the Faculty of Computer Science had to offer me; and third, the possibility to collaborate not only with my Canadian colleagues, but also with fellow graduate students worldwide! In fact, not only was my research was greatly benefited by my time there, but also my research group, back in Brazil, was too! Also, now I have a much wider network of researchers with similar interest, not only in Canada, but on many different parts of the world. I don’t think that would be possible without spending this time working at Dal.
Maybe my major challenge was the adaptation to the cold weather. When I arrived in Halifax around October, it was warm and sunny everywhere. But soon after it rapidly became to change… I may say that was the snow, and not the cold itself, my biggest problem. Problem that I solved after buying appropriated shoes and jacket.
I think the biggest difference between studying in Canada is the independence you have. Once I heard: “here we don’t feed grad students too often”. The meaning, I came to figured out later: in Canada, you have the freedom to head your efforts on the direction you want, but you have to strive for yourself and balance your working and leisure time.
Finally, the language wasn’t a hindrance at all. Canada is a multicultural country and most Canadians are very understandable when they see you are having trouble with the English. The most important is keep trying, after some weeks you will improve and gain some confidence for sure!”
“Je m’appelle Elisa de Carvalho et grâce au Programme de bourses de leadership et développement durable de l’Université Laval, j’ai la possibilité d’y étudier. Je suis à la deuxième session de la Maîtrise en Administration, concentration en Développement International et je suis passionnée pour mon Programme et pour la remarquable structure de l’Université. De plus, il y a d’innombrables activités dans lesquelles on peut s’impliquer pour enrichir la triade : communauté, académie et marche du travail. Plus spécifiquement pour les étudiants étrangers, l’Université Laval offre plusieurs ateliers et services qui favorisent l’adaptation et l’immersion dans la culture et le savoir-faire locaux. Il y a du monde ici, cette diversité culturelle unique apporte au quotidien des échanges très enrichissants.
Les laboratoires, les locaux, la qualité d’enseignement sont excellents. Le système d’éducation est dynamique, les méthodes d’évaluation sont diverses et toujours axées vers la mise en application de connaissances. La versatilité d’accès aux contenus, soit en ligne ou soit en class, permet aux étudiants de développer leurs propres outils d’études et de mieux orienter leur formation ciblant plusieurs domaines d’intérêt.
En ce qui concerne le célèbre et l’effrayant « frette » québécois, qu’heureusement cette année a été doux, il peut être facilement géré et avec toutes les possibilités d’activités à explorer, le froid ne sera pas un souci. La ville est très charmante et offre une parfaite combinaison entre l’infrastructure d’une grande métropole et le contact avec une nature pittoresque, tout cela est rassemblé dans un seul endroit. Il est impossible de ne pas se tomber amoureux. Et le français? Ouais, la langue française est comme un « chum » ou une « blonde » qui requièrent de la patience et du dévouement pour construire une relation durable.”
“My name is João, I am from Brazil and I was a sponsored student at University of Ottawa from 2013 to 2014. During this period of time I had the pleasure to meet incredible people – EIP teachers, classmates, roommates – as well as learn a lot about their home countries’ culture. Academically, studying in Canada made me a better person/student, I was constantly exposed to new points of view that allowed me to solve problems in my field that I was unable to do before. Besides that, I was very well supported by the international office at uOttawa and CALDO staff for any question I had or help I needed, which made my exchange program awesome. I am more than grateful to everyone.”