December 2 2020

On November 19th, Architectural Technology Coop student Raissa Menezes Siqueira was a panelist in a ‘Sheridan Talks’ event sharing her experiences at Sheridan as an international student. Raissa is from Brazil, in her second year at Sheridan, although she lived in Canada between September 2014 and January 2016 when she attended U of T in an exchange program.

Raissa delivered her experiential message sharing personal insights in a charismatic and candid way. Her insights were relevant and incorporated both an academic and a personal message. Raissa is a Sheridan STAR and a Peer Mentor and has connected with other students, welcoming them to the Sheridan community, an activity which heightened her own sense of belonging within that same community. Working for Sheridan, Raissa was required to complete HR training which she feels helped her learn more about working in Canada and connected her more directly to Sheridan.

One of the biggest reasons Raissa chose Sheridan’s Architectural Technology program over other post secondary institutions was around the people and the opportunities. Her first experience with her Program Coordinator provided a receptive and helpful interaction and a comprehensive presentation of academic options and discussion around the many benefits of choosing Sheridan. It wasn’t just what he said, but the attention and care he showed throughout their discussion.

Beyond that initial conversation, what stood out to Raissa was the “Architecture Wall of Fame”; a wall displaying Architectural Technology student works. Raissa recalled that when she first saw that wall, she thought to herself ‘I would not be able to replicate any of the works because I didn’t already have the knowledge.’ This was in contrast to her thoughts of student works at other institutions she had visited, which displayed work she already knew how to complete. Her realization was ‘this place has something to offer me’.

Raissa has several suggestions for students considering studying abroad or who have already started their journey abroad…

  1. PLAN. If this is something you really want, make seven different plans to make it happen and start working on making it happen!
  2. COME WITH OPEN HEART AND MIND. You’ll meet people from different countries and that means different cultures. Look at the possible learning experiences from everyone that will contribute to your growth as a person.
  3. BE OPEN. Be open to meeting new people and making friends. Make friends so that you’ll have people who you can help (because that makes you grow) and can help you as well (because you never know when a pandemic will hit and you’ll find yourself all alone in the basement of a house). And also, nobody is successful alone. You become successful when you have a great team with you.
  4. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE RESOURCES AVAILABLE. Books, counselling, peer mentor events, professors or program coordinators, to name a few; all of these resources are fully available for all Sheridan students. Using the resources available helps you grow as a student and as a person, and increase the likelihood of success.

As it turns out, not only does Sheridan have something to offer Raissa, but Raissa has much to offer Sheridan. As a STAR, a peer mentor and a strong student, a bright future is in store for Raissa, whether it’s in Canada, Brazil or somewhere entirely different, we can hardly wait to see her excel!

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