"There’s always a way to go and study abroad. Everyone who has the opportunity to do it should do it. It will give you great life experience and experience in general! You will meet so many people from so many backgrounds – interact with them! Grow as a person. Develop your global citizenship and the global aspect of your life. Look for opportunities to study abroad. University comes from “Universal” and UAlberta is a great example of this. Get involved!"
Diego Luces is a 4th year computing science student at UAlberta. He is originally from Guayaquil, Ecuador, where he attended Colegio Politécnico. Diego studied computing sciences in Mexico for two and a half years, but decided it was not as challenging as he wanted. In 2010, Diego had the opportunity to visit his brother, who was studying at UAlberta at the time. He attended some lectures, met other current students, and spoke with some inspiring computing science professors. After spending the summer in Edmonton and seeing how beautiful and alive the city was, Diego decided to apply to study at UAlberta.
Diego’s first memory of campus was how big it was. The private university he attended in Mexico was very small, and he had never seen a large university campus. The UAlberta campus is in the middle of the city of Edmonton and integrates very well into the surrounding neighborhood. Diego didn’t know where campus started! He also loved how green campus was in the spring. People are always in quad (a large grassy area in the middle of campus) laying in the grass and playing Frisbee.
Diego’s favourite class so far is CMPUT 410: Web based systems. This course focuses on developing web applications. The professor is very knowledgeable, stays up to date, and is very passionate about the subject. When Diego is working on projects, he likes to go to one of the upper floors in SUB (because they’re quiet!) or to one of the study spots in the Telus building because of all the windows and natural light.
When Diego is not working on school work, he stays very busy! He likes hanging out by the fireplace in SUB because he always finds people he knows around there. When the weather is nice, he enjoys laying in the grass in Quad and chatting with friends. Off campus, Diego likes to check out the Legislature grounds, high level bridge, and the river valley trails.
Diego co-founded the Latin American Students’ Association (LASA) at UAlberta last year. They have events like conversation clubs, movie nights, Latin parties, and a formal gala at the end of the school year. This gala had a dinner, volunteer awards, and a dance.
Diego lives in downtown Edmonton. He moved in with his brother when he first arrived in Edmonton. After his brother moved out, Diego found it very easy to find a new roommate as he had met a lot of people at UAlberta.
Some words of advice from Diego: “Get involved with student groups as soon as possible. Transitions, clubs fair and welcome week will make everything easier – more friends, connections, and opportunities to get involved. Student groups are one of the greatest resources to develop leadership and a sense of belonging. There are a bunch of student groups willing to do so much – take advantage of it!”