As we committed to empowering students to achieve their goals, we are thrilled to share the story of Ana Bejarano from Ecuador who embarked on an inspiring journey to study abroad. She shared with us her experience of being accepted into St. Francis Xavier University in Canada, and we are proud to feature her story.
I decided to study abroad in my last 2 years of High School. Some of the main resources that helped me find my options to study abroad were university counselling services, college fairs hosted by my school (Unidad Educativa Monte Tabor Nazaret), web research, and the visit of an StFX recruiting agent.
I applied to different universities across the USA and Canada. I submitted the Common Application to the United States universities, and separate applications for the different universities across North America. The most challenging aspects of the application process were the application fees and the essay requirements, which sometimes varied across universities. University staff were helpful in the application process, which was especially true of universities in Atlantic Canada (Memorial University and St. Francis Xavier University). I didn’t know a lot about the specifics of Canadian and US universities. However, I did know that the weather would be a difficult change.
After submitting my applications and receiving the acceptance emails, I had three universities as my top choices: StFX University, University of Alberta, and University of Saskatchewan. After learning about class sizes and the weather at these different locations, I opted for St. Francis Xavier University. StFX university’s small class sizes, student support and its location in a small town at the East Coast of Canada all influenced my decision. My family was hesitant of my choice at first, but then they were supportive. The university was very supportive in the application process. StFX has an international advisor that reached out to students individually. This, along with the rapid responses from the enrollment and tuition offices all ensured a smooth transition in terms of paperwork. The university then hosted an international student orientation, which gave us important information about the university and the surrounding area.
Throughout the years, StFX’s office of internationalization has hosted trips to the city, beach trips and recreational activities, and more recently a Community Meal (which I helped organize as the dietetic intern) to help international students feel more at home.
So don’t be afraid to take the leap and relocate to Canada! Atlantic Canada is waiting for you.