My Canada #4 – Larisa Santiago

Brazilian Wave wants to know your Canada through your experiences and opinions. Discover Canada by singer and songwriter Larisa Santiago. Larisa participated in Wave On-The-Go, Wave’s podcast. Check the link.

Original article in Portuguese. Translation by Google Translate

Where you are from? Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais
What city do you live in Canada? Toronto, Ontario
How long in Canada? Eight years
What do you do in Canada? I follow the profession of singer and songwriter

Why Canada?

I chose Canada to be my exchange student when I was 17 years old. I always wanted to speak English fluently, and when I almost reached the level of a teacher in an English Culture, I thought it was time to do an exchange and put all the pieces of my English together. As I also wanted to follow my dream of an artistic career, I chose a High School that had a very strong art curriculum. I ended up falling in love with the school and the country. The long-planned 1 year of exchange ended up becoming 2 and then I was accepted at the University of Toronto after graduating from high school and today I am staying in Canada.

Something you like about Canada

I love Canadian’s open and friendly way. Many people say that Americans are cold people, but I thought the opposite. It is very easy to interact with people here – from friendship to professional. You can, for example, send an email to someone you feel like talking to and learn more about their career and the person agrees to have coffee with you and talk. I think this is amazing in Canada!

I also really like the different scenarios that Canada has – for example, Victoria is completely different from Toronto – the country has an immense natural variety and is very beautiful. Without taking away that you can learn about each culture in the world without leaving the country. Canada’s multiculturalism is also something that enchants me a lot. It is very difficult for me to say just one thing that I like about Canada haha!

Something you don’t like about Canada

Winter – and I think even the Canadian himself doesn’t like it … haha. It’s very cold around here. And when it gets cold, the longing for Brazil squeezes hard and sometimes I ask myself “Why am I here?” – but then winter passes and Toronto becomes even more charming, during spring and summer.

A place you would like to visit in Canada

I have several places I would like to visit, but one especially is Banff. I see pictures from there and it’s the most beautiful thing! I also want to visit Montreal, Ottawa and Kelowna.

A favorite place in Canada

Victoria was the first city in which I lived in Canada and it was where I learned to actually speak English. I did my last two years of high school there and so I got to know Canadian culture up close. I was very well received and I met people who are my friends until today. Victoria, we can say, is my place of baptism in Canada. It was my first impression of the country and it will always have a place kept in my heart. There is my second home in Canada, say, after Toronto. My best friend is from there, so whenever I can, I go back to that city.

What advice or suggestion would you give to anyone who would like to come here?

My situation of leaving home was very different from that of many people. For students who are still in high school and planning an exchange, I 100% recommend Canada. If you are looking for a place to live too, I totally recommend it. The only difference, I think, is that when you come during your teenage years, the adaptation process is easier than when you are an adult.

Apart from other requirements – as an adult, most of the time, if you want to immigrate, you must already have a job here, or apply for permanence, different aspects.

For students, I think that there must be a well-researched study of where the person wants to study and what is the location. As for adults, I think that the person must have already done a very well planned financial planning and prepare to face heavy work at the beginning, because, even if the person has seen work, sometimes entering the work branch that I did in Brazil is not easy. Here companies do not accept degrees from other countries – one way or another, the person must have some Canadian academic training. I think the final suggestion I would give is to research well what you want to do, learn everything you can about the country and make a realistic plan (from financial, educational – learning English, going to college/university, even housing). Moving from one country to another is not easy – sometimes it means starting from scratch and making sacrifices – things that everyone has to analyze.

A photo that you like

My performance at school in Victoria, the capital of British Columbia.

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