International students have a very challenging time building relationships and connecting to locals while they are going to school in Winnipeg.
I moved here from Brazil by myself to take the Creative Communications program at Red River College. As time went by, I saw many domestic students don’t realize the emotional and social challenges international students face like, living away from their families, studying and working in a different language, and building relationships based in a different culture.
For these reasons, I wanted to create a resource to help domestic students understand why international students come to Winnipeg and hope to stay after their graduation.
My goal is to facilitate the relationships between Canadian and international students. I want to end the misconception that immigration takes jobs away and instead, it is economically and socially beneficial to Winnipeg.
In November I launched that resource – I Chose Winnipeg. The web series showcases stories of international students who left their home countries to make a home in Winnipeg.
This project shows how international students struggle in building relationships with locals. Most international students stick to each other and don’t integrate. It’s designed to break down barriers between Canadians and international students. I Chose Winnipeg has reached over 900 people so far.
You can view the project at www.ichosewinnipeg.com
All photos by Ligia Braidotti