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Santiago Guzman

Hear from our students

How did you end up here? How did you learn about Grenfell and why did you decide to come?

I went to a college fair in Mexico city where different Canadian institutions were promoting their programs. However, Grenfell was the only one that had a theatre, bachelor of fine arts degree. I decided to come to Grenfell because it had affordable tuition. I liked the idea of getting my post-secondary education abroad and the structure of the program itself, and the exchange to Harlow in the fourth year sounded very exciting (especially for a theatre student that wants to know more about Shakespeare and actually has a chance to go to England to study for a term).


What has been your favourite thing about living in Newfoundland and studying at Grenfell?

My favourite things about Newfoundland are definitely its people, culture, and traditions. I respect and admire the passion and love in which they express their identity and share it with the foreigners. A lot of Newfoundlanders have shared with me a lot of what they have and are as a society, and that is a gift that is really hard to pay back.


What I appreciate of Grenfell is that, since the campus is fairly small compared to other universities, I feel that my voice is heard. If I need to say something, I know where to go and who to talk to. The faculty and staff have always been willing to hear and help me. And I have to say that the environment among students at Grenfell is very positive, so I like that too.


What has been the hardest part of being away from home?

For me, I think the hardest part has been dealing with the meaning of home. After a year of living here and going back to Mexico, I felt like Mexico was not really home anymore. My house, did not feel like my house anymore. It was my family's, not mine. My country, well of course, it was and will always be my country but it kept changing while I was gone: new streets, new malls, new houses, and stuff. My friends and family were also changing, and I was not part of that process, so I felt alienated. Nevertheless, when I came back to Newfoundland, I realized this was not a place I could call home yet, mainly because of constant change from room to room, lack of family background/history in the are, cultural differences, language, skin colour, and accent.


As I have been spending more and more time in the province and with people of the community, I realized that gradually I am becoming someone, and, honestly, I appreciate that and kind of like that. I know more people in the theatre industry here that I know in Mexico. I have friends that are becoming my second family. And I am lucky to be appreciated enough to feel loved and welcome in a place that slowly is feeling like home.


This journey has helped me understand that home is me, and wherever I go, if I am with me, that will be home for me.


What are your plans when you graduate?

I am hoping to stay in Newfoundland and work in the theatre industry, share a bit of me with the community, and keep learning about the province, its culture, and its incredible artists.

Office of Student Recruitment

Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland
20 University Drive, Corner Brook, NL
A2H 5G4, Canada

Phone: (709) 637-6269