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.”