Student Spotlight: International Student Mary Karmen from Mexico City

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When I first chatted with Mary Karmen, she told me she came to the Fredericton campus from Mexico City to do the Graphic & Digital Media Design program. I first asked her how she was handling the cold (the weather seems to be on everyone’s mind right now), and then I asked her about her experience at the school, and why she choose to come to Fredericton. Here’s what she had to say!

CAT: So you came a long way to come to school! What made you choose Centre for Arts and Technology Fredericton?

I’ve always been interested in arts and technology. I was surfing around in the internet looking for new things and I came across the website, for a school in New Brunswick, Canada. At the time, I was in university studying Media Communications, but I wasn’t to really happy because there was not much room for creativity.

I had gone to Toronto when I was in the 6th grade to learn English and I really liked Canada, but I wanted to try something totally new. So when I found the Centre for Arts and Technology website, I looked through the campus and found Fredericton. To be honest, I had never heard of Fredericton, but I decided it would be a great option to see.

I talked to my sister who had just applied to university for industrial design, but she wasn’t sure if that was her interest, and after checking out the website, she really liked the Interior Design program CAT offers.

We talked to our parents who told us they would support us if we got everything in time for the next semester. We sent our essays and applied for our visas and everything was set to go.

The funny thing is all this happened in Mid-September, so it was a record how quick we got our visas and everything submitted into the school on time!

CAT: How have you adjusted to the Canadian culture, the school, and the cold?!

I have adjusted pretty well, although people in Canada are different than what I’m used to. But I love the school and my classmates are great!

CAT: What have you enjoyed so far in your program? Are there any classes or instructors that you’ve really enjoyed?

I’ve enjoyed that the classes are interactive, and how we get to try everything hands-on in the class we learn it in.

I have enjoyed Ms Nixon class – she makes learning really fun, and I also like Jean Rooney – she is an industry role model.

CAT: Do you have any advice that you would offer to an international student, on what it’s like to go to school in Canada? And at the Centre for Arts and Technology?

I’m getting along a lot with girls from Latin America that go to UNB and STU and they are always together. They don’t get as home sick when they have each other. But at the same time, they don’t get the real experience of Canada this way. So I would tell prospective international students to make a life here with the students from Canada, for the full experience.

I would also tell them the Centre for Arts and Technology is a small school, which makes your education very personalized.

CAT: When did you first become interested in design?

I have always like design. I remember since I was little I used to tell my mom I wanted to design logos and the logos from the liquor bottles.

CAT: What are your plans for after graduation?

I would like to stay here after graduation, but I also have a life back at home, so for now I’m just enjoying the experience here in Canada!

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