CsF Student Stories

CsF Student Stories

Check out the inspiring stories below to hear our CsF students speak about their experiences at Brock!



Bruno Belmonte
Representing Canada and Brazil at International Conference

The Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) is a worldwide organization with members in 90 countries on five continents. Members include teachers, educators, researchers, administrators, curriculum developers, deans, assessors, students and trainees in medicine and the healthcare professions. AMEE supports teachers and institutions in their current educational activities and in the development of new approaches to curriculum planning, teaching and learning methods, assessment techniques and educational management, in response to advances in medicine, changes in healthcare delivery and patient demands, and new educational thinking and techniques.

This year, the annual AMEE conference will be held in Milan, Italy, from August 31 to September 4. According to the AMEE website, 3000 participants from 100 countries are expected, bringing with them a rich range of cultural experiences, and making this the largest annual international medical and health professional education conference. As a teacher, researcher or a student, coming to AMEE 2014 will improve participants’ knowledge about key developments in curriculum planning, approaches to teaching and learning, assessment methods, and more!

Every year, the AMEE conference provides an opportunity for all with an interest in medical and health education to meet together to hear about what’s new in the field, to share ideas, and to network with colleagues from around the world.  To stimulate student involvement, the AMEE offers 35 free conference student registrations based on applicants’ previous involvement and experience in the field of medical education. Those students will be a part of the Student Task Force and will receive financial support of 500 Euros to cover part of airfare, accommodation and food. 

This year, AMEE had almost 500 applications from all over the world and my name was selected to represent students from Canada and Brazil. Currently, I am investigating the teaching and learning process with Professors Gail Frost and Maureen Connolly in the Department of Kinesiology at Brock University, and I feel that my attendance at the conference and exposure to new ideas in the field of medical education will be very useful for the work I’m doing and contributions I’m making at Brock University. My participation is an important opportunity to enhance my internship experience at Brock University and to network with professionals in my field. The information I learn and the connections I make at the conference will be valuable for my future career in medical education.



Leonardo Veras Costa Sousa
My experience with the Visual Arts Department at Brock University

I would like to share here my experience working within the Visual Arts Department at Brock University. It all started when I became a Visual Arts student in the winter term of 2013, which was the period I consider to be the one that introduced me to the arts field and defined me as an aspiring artist. In one of my classes, I had Jean Bridge as my Professor of Digital Medias, and I had the opportunity to see her talent as an artist and to develop a relationship with her.

My internship with Professor Bridge began in May 2013, when we worked on one of her artistic projects to be finished before the end of the year. The idea behind the project was concrete, but everything involving the composition of the work was still to be defined. The tools, images, colors, materials, and everything that involved the visual compositions of the project were undefined, which required creativity and team work from both of us.

The new project initiated with Professor Bridge was called Elision. The tool used in this project was Maya 2012 from Autodesk, a 3D modeling program commonly used for animations, films and videogames. I had learned this program in the 3D Modeling and Animation course during the winter term. However, I had learned only the basics of this program, and Professor Bridge had no experience with it at all, so we learned together and used external help from some professionals in the area.

I was able to continue working with Professor Bridge after my initial four-month internship ended. We held an exhibition for Elision in November, which took place at the Brock University Center for Performing Arts. At the end of this project, I felt happy for having accomplished such an important step for my future career and having greatly increased my personal and professional experiences. I am also glad to have made such a great friend as Professor Jean Bridge.

Click here to see Leonardo's pictures!



Diego Augusto de Moraes
My story at BioLinc and Turn180

When I came to Canada in January 2013, I didn’t realize that I was starting one of the most important phases of my life! Not only in my personal life, but professionally, I was about to grow so fast in my major. When I started my internship at BioLinc and Turn180, I was inserted in a new perspective. I worked with modeling for plastic injection and also some projects in the Turn180 shop, which included the use of 3D Printers. I know some of you are asking: “How did this work?” Well, let me tell you.

BioLinc is a business incubator that was established at Brock University by the Federal Government of Canada, and is managed by Dan Lynch, but they are so much more than that! They also support small companies by providing office and laboratory space and equipment, business assistance and counseling, professional network opportunities and interaction between student projects and companies!

The company Turn180 entered into a partnership with BioLinc, and they provided all of the support to develop my activities. Turn180 is a Custom Prototyping company situated in Vineland, approximately 15 kilometers from Brock. Rob DeVries and Susan DeVries founded the company. They develop Electronic Design, Mechanical Design, Rapid Prototyping, and Plastic Mold Injection as well! For this, they have a mill CNC center, a lathe, an injection machine, two 3D printers, two laser cut and updated CAD, CAM and electronic circuit simulation software.

During my internship term, I spent some days working in BioLinc, and other days I visited the Turn180 shop. I specifically focused on developing mechanical models for injection mold and 3D printer design. I also worked on machining and assembled molds for injection. Rob and Dan supervised all of my activities.

I am so proud that I had the opportunity to work with them during my internship term. I learned so many things that have helped me think outside the box in different ways, focused on results. Even now that my internship term has ended, we continue to have a good professional relationship! Thank you to everybody involved and I would like to say: let’s innovate!

Click here to see Diego's pictures!



Caroline Andrade
My Experiences at Brock University in Canada

I am currently participating in the Canada-Brazil Ciência sem Fronteiras/Science without Borders scholarship program at Brock University. Living in Canada has been such a great experience for me. During my first four months here, I studied English in the Intensive English Language Program (IELP), which greatly helped to increase my English skills. In the IELP, I met a lot of people from different cultures and different parts of the world, which I had never done before and was really interesting.

At the same time, I volunteered at the Athletic Clinic at Brock University, where I had the opportunity to learn and observe treatments for sports-related injuries and rehabilitation, which is my area of interest as a Physiotherapy undergraduate student in Brazil.

Right now, I am doing an internship at a clinic, Brock Chiropractic, and I am supervised by the Physiotherapist. I have been following all the cases she receives, not only at Brock Chiropractic, but at the owner’s other clinic in Hamilton, as well. The clinic receives all kinds of patients with very different issues, from children to elderly people, and from athletes to all-day-office workers. My internship has been a great learning experience and has given me the chance to see a bit of everything.

I am really happy to be experiencing Canadian culture.  I love my homestay family, the city (St. Catharines), my internship placement, and Brock University. Being able to enjoy some of the beautiful natural places around St. Catharines is awesome. I am very thankful to God for having sent me here, to the Brazilian government, who has paid for everything, and to Canada for receiving me so well.

I am loving it!

-Caroline Andrade

 Click here to see Caroline's pictures!


Layla Katharine Santana
Learning How to Succeed in Canada at Brock University

My name is Layla Katharine Santana and I am an Occupational Therapy student from Brazil, studying at Brock University through the Canada-Brazil Science without Borders / Ciência sem Fronteiras Scholarship Program. I have been here in Canada for almost one year, and I can say that it has been one of the most perfect times of my life. Every day, I wake up and give thanks that God gave me this opportunity to live in another culture and learn so much.

During my first term at Brock University, I had English classes in the IELP (Intensive English Language Program), which really helped me understand how the University works here, as well as get used to the "Canadian rhythm". My time in the IELP was awesome, and I also had the chance to meet some amazing friends in the Brock Christians Fellowship (BCF and P2C) who helped me adjust to life in Canada.

After the IELP, I had my first academic term at Brock. I was so nervous during the first two weeks, especially in the seminars, where I was supposed to talk and be more outgoing.  So, I made the first step and looked for help from the teachers, TA's and some classmates. They were all helpful and awesome. I was so scared, because I was taking five courses, but I realized that no matter how many courses you are taking or how difficult they seem to be, the most important thing is your confidence, that you take those first steps, and that you admit when you need help and look for it. Above all, you have to give your best effort. I opened my mind and I saw that being an international student did not make me weaker, but actually stronger, because everything that we have to do requires extra effort. I'm proud to say that I did great in my first term.

Nowadays, I'm completing an internship placement with Dra. Lauren McNamara in the Department of Child and Youth Studies. I'm learning a lot, even though my placement is not a direct match to my field of study in Brazil. I'm participating in Dra. McNamara’s research related to preventing bullying during elementary school recess. I'm able to use my Occupational Therapy point of view to give suggestions, take notes, and contribute to the research. I'm also working as a volunteer in a hospital with the Parkinson’s Program Rehabilitation team, which is a huge learning experience every week.

Here in Canada, I learned to face obstacles and I realized that I'm stronger than I used to think. So, to all my Brazilian friends and international students, I say: Don't be afraid! Take the first step to your success.


Click here to see Layla's pictures!


Guilherme Silveira
Experiencing an Earth Science Field Course at Brock University
"Field Camp-Solid Earth" in Espanola, Ontario - May 2013

During the first two weeks of May 2013, I had the great opportunity to travel to Northern Ontario in order to collect, record, and synthesize filed data for 10 days as a part of a Brock University Earth Science field course, ERSC 3P99 “Field Camp-Solid Earth,” that was led by Professor Mariek Shmidt.

We were a group of 15 people, including 12 students, 2 professors and a teaching assistant. Our accommodations were in a Housekeeping Cottage Resort, located on an island that was close to Willisville, south of Espanola. To access our cabins, we had to cross a river by boat every day. That was cool! The course consisted of practical classes in the field, including a visit to Sudbury and the mapping of an area located approximately 2.5 km from the place where we stayed.

The experience of spending 10 days in the field, speaking in only my second language, learning about Canadian culture, and studying geology was amazing. It was snowing in Espanola on the day we arrived, which was not very good for the work we were going to do. The snow could have prevented us from visiting some outcrops and, consequently, prejudiced our studies. Fortunately, all the other days were sunny and warm. Besides working in the field for most of the day, we spent our free time cooking together, canoeing, hiking, playing cards, talking and toasting marshmallows around a bonfire.

It was very nice to improve my English by observing and talking to the new friends I met during the field course. The best part about talking to Canadian people of my age was the slang that I learned. I have been in Canada for five months and that was the best experience I have had since coming here. Canadian culture is amazing and I hope to spend the time I am living in this country as a real Canadian.

Click here to see Guilherme's pictures!