Santiago Gomez Montenegro (Year 1 MSE) is among five Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship recipients who arrived in Toronto this summer from countries across the globe. The Pearson scholarship, named after Canada’s 14th prime minister, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and U of T graduate Lester Bowles Pearson, recognizes exceptional academic achievement, creativity, leadership potential and community involvement. It covers tuition, books, incidental fees and residence costs for four years.
This year’s Pearson Scholars recently spoke with writer Liz Do about their experiences so far, and how they’re managing the challenges that come with building a new life in Toronto.
Montenegro says his first six weeks have exceeded his expectations.
“The challenges that come with a completely new lifestyle are outweighed by how much I’m enjoying my program — I really like my mechanics course — and the friendships I’ve made so far,” he says.
So far, Montenegro says he’s become friends and met students from Greece, El Salvador, Panama, Guyana and Turkey, among others. “Meeting them has been a blessing,” he says. “Going out to concerts and restaurants wouldn’t be as exciting without the company of my new family here in Toronto.”
Montenegro says the greatest challenge, common to many students here, has been adapting to a new life without family and friends from his hometown, Panama City, Panama. “Some of the homesickness is alleviated through the friendships I’ve established and by staying in constant communication with everyone back home.”
Read full article by writer Liz Do for the UofT Engineering News