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Testimonials of international scholarship recipients

Receiving a scholarship to study in Canada or abroad can be a life changing experience. Find out what Global Affairs Canada scholarship recipients had to say about their experiences. Read their reviews. Learn how these scholarships have changed their lives and shaped their futures.

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Discover how receiving a scholarship to study or conduct research in Canada can be a life changing experience.

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Find out what international scholarship recipients from Canada have to say about their experience abroad and where they are now.

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Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program: Jesus Fajardo


Jesus Fajardo: My name is Jesus Fajardo

On-screen text: Jesus received a scholarship under the Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP) in 2019.

On-screen text: ELAP supports the next generation of leaders in Latin America and the Caribbean by offering short-term exchange opportunities in Canada.

Jesus Fajardo: When I applied to the ELAP program I was working on my Ph.D back in Argentina but I'm originally from Venezuela where I did my undergrad and my host canadian institution was the U of M the University of Manitoba, in Winnipeg.

On-screen text: What inspired you to apply to ELAP?

Jesus Fajardo: First of all, my co-advisor also got into the ELAP program when he was a Ph.D candidate himself.

Jesus Fajardo: So he always praised the experience and recommended it to me.

Jesus Fajardo: I think the second reason was that I was familiar with the research work of the principal investigator in the house laboratory in Manitoba, since he's a reference in the field and we knew that he was going to be ready to discuss our work with him in person and furthermore to have the opportunity to work closely with them.

On-screen text: What did you study?

Jesus Fajardo: I was interested in researching biomedical problems, particularly a microwave imaging problems, and I was also interested in applying artificial intelligence techniques to enhance the microwave tomography.

On-screen text: What advice would you give to students?

Jesus Fajardo: Yeah, I would say to them that if they meet the criteria to apply, I would definitely recommend experience even if they don't know people from Canadian institutions.

Jesus Fajardo: I just wanted to say that I'm really grateful for the opportunity I had and I look forward to seeing this program to keep growing and making ties between Canada and Latin America.

Benefits of the Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program


Ana Rocio Jouli, ELAP participant, PhD Literature, McGill University: You see the benefits and you think “Okay, this is too good”. Just the name, you know, “Emerging Leaders of the Americas”. When my friend sent me the link to this scholarship, When my friend sent me the link to this scholarship, I mean, I might be kind of good at what I do, but "emerging leader", that’s a lot.

Luis Andres Gonzalez, ELAP participant, Master's, Agricultural Science, University of British Columbia: Being an emerging leader, it means there is some potential, some capacity of doing things that have never been done before.

Queliane Gomes da Silva Carvalho, ELAP participant, PhD, Nursing, University of British Columbia: We always think “I am doing this for my patients, I am doing this for my university, for my students", and when you think that you can be an emerging leader, you think “Yeah, I can do this for my country”.

Carlos Magno Neves, ELAP participant, PhD, Health Sciences, University of British Columbia: I applied to ELAP with hope; hope to be here. And suddenly, that hope became real. It’s amazing to be here.

Viviane Cabral Bengezen, ELAP participant, PhD, Language Studies and Linguistics, University of Saskatchewan: The Emerging Leaders of the America Program is such an amazing initiative of the Government of Canada to open a great opportunity for us.

Guillermo Armando Corona Herrera, ELAP participant, PhD, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Memorial University of Newfoundland: The ELAP is really a great opportunity for all Latin American and Caribbean. This program offers us all the facilities to stay here, to do our research in the top level.

Gabriela Ulmo Diaz, ELAP participant, PhD, Conservation Genetics, Université Laval: And the people there actually want to help me to learn.

Ana Rocio Jouli: They're not just focusing on getting people employment, they're focusing on not having immigrants isolated, but to make them feel like they really have a community.

Gonzalo Matias Ronda, ELAP participant, PhD, Earth Geological Sciences, Dalhousie University: It’s a great experience for personal growth, for academic growth, for professional growth. In general, I would say “Go for it”!

[Upbeat music]

Gonzalo Matias Ronda: Some people in the ELAP program get the chance to go to Ottawa for a week, and it’s, I would say like, that would be, as we say in Argentina, “La frutilla del postre”. La crème de la crème.

Carlos Magno Neves: I have been in the Parliament. I saw them discussing topics; I saw them face to face. If I’m a Canadian with the right to vote, I could choose my next Minister there. I could say “No, I don’t support this guy anymore”, or I could say, "Yeah, that’s the idea I want to follow". "That’s the idea which is going to make my country better”.

[Upbeat music]

Ana Rocio Jouli: It’s very inspiring getting to know the social policies, the models for immigration, for reconciliation with aboriginal communities.

Luis Andres Gonzalez: I had the chance to meet amazing people, and meeting some aspects of Canadian culture, that has been an amazing experience.

[Upbeat music and applause]

Javier Porro Suardíaz, ELAP participant, Master's, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Concordia University: This study tour moved me to see the possibility of maybe I can become a leader.

Gonzalo Matias Ronda: I am very grateful of what this country is doing for my PhD project. I mean, there are few labs this specialized, I would say. So it’s a huge opportunity.

Carlos Magno Neves: Since I arrived here, I have no tag. I am one more inside the multicultural environment which Canada provides.

Daniel Holanda Noronha, ELAP participant, Master's, Engineering, University of British Columbia: You don’t feel like an alien, you really feel like a student because the first day you come to school, you’re already part of it. This is definitely something very different from my other exchanges, where I was the Brazilian guy, I was the different guy, and here, I’m part of society, and that makes me feel very comfortable how Canadians really welcome people from all over the world here.

Mariana da Rosa Martins, ELAP participant, Master's, Health Sciences, University of Saskatchewan: Here in Canada, you have a very strong network with a different perspective.

Carlos Magno Neves: And now, I have a kind of idea of what it means to be in Canada. The rights, a little bit the way of thinking. It’s really a huge opportunity for us.

Javier Porro Suardíaz: Wonderful and cold and warm at the same time.

[Upbeat music]

On-screen text: Contact your home institution to find out more about the Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP).

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Want to feature your testimonial? We are always looking for international scholarship recipient success stories, interesting accounts, and anything that would be of interest to our worldwide alumni community. Contact Global Affairs Canada’s International Scholarship Program administrator, the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) to submit your story.

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