Juan Fernando Yepez
Juan Yepez is an accomplished engineer and entrepreneur from Ecuador. After founding a successful engineering firm with an undergrad classmate and running it for eight years, Yepez came to a realization – he needed more knowledge, more academic skills. Fastforward to August 2015: with the help of a SENESCYT Scholarship awarded by the government of Ecuador, Yepez uprooted his life to improve those skills, embark on a new academic path and make a life for his young family in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Since arriving, Yepez has had success from all sides. He was welcomed at the airport and helped integrate into Canada by a family he met online. That family has since become his adopted Canadian family and godparents to his son. His work on pattern recognition has earned him the Russell William Haid Memorial award from the U of S College of Engineering, and an offer to continue to his PhD from his supervisor.
Watch his video testimonial (double click to make it full screen):
He traveled 6,388 kilometers from South America to get here, but the journey has been well worth it for Álvaro Espinosa. The 21-year-old University of Saskatchewan (U of S) student from Ecuador faced an array of adjustments—most notably climate and culture—when he first came to Canada, but eventually found himself at home on campus. “I had to face some challenges myself and that helped me grow a lot, I think,” said Espinosa, who is from the Ecuadorian capital city of Quito, located only 25 kilometers away from the equator. “It’s been a great experience and it has definitely changed me.”
Espinosa was one of 3,033 International students—out of the total enrolment of 23,691—at the U of S in the 2015-16 academic year, including 42 scholars from Ecuador. He initially applied, and was accepted, at a variety of universities across North America, but chose the U of S after weighing all of his options.
“I was looking for a great program in mechanical engineering and (the U of S) has a good internship program, plus I received a lot of financial help too,” said Espinosa, whose command of English comes from his mother, who taught him the language from an early age. “I was looking for a really high-quality education and that is what I have found here.”