I’m Rafael de Medeiros and I’m an international student from Brazil studying in an M.Ed. program in Teaching English as a Foreign or Second Language (TEFSL). Back in Brazil, I had been teaching English for about 5 years in a private language institute and also one-to-one classes at my own office. I graduated from a program called “Languages: Portuguese, English and Literature” and then decided to come to SFU for my Master’s degree.
What attracted you to come to SFU?
In 2006 I came to Vancouver as an exchange student and I took 18 weeks of English classes at an institute downtown. Having fallen in love with the city, I decided that one day I was going to come back. Still in 2006, I had a girlfriend that lived at UniverCity and I would often go up Burnaby Mountain to visit her. I got to know the campus and I just loved the environment of the university with its multiculturalism and beautiful campus on top of a mountain. When I graduated in Brazil, I realized that SFU offered the program I had always wanted to take, which was the M.Ed. in TESFL.
Who is a faculty member that you enjoyed working with at SFU and why?
I cannot name any one person I have enjoyed working with. As I’m in a cohort program, I believe that everyone who is involved has been of great help. All of the instructors are wonderful and the Graduate Programs’ staff, Teaching Assistant’s and Cultural Assistant’s were extremely helpful in getting everyone adapted to the program as well as living in Vancouver/Burnaby.
What would you say to prospective students who are considering graduate studies in the Faculty of Education at SFU?
I would definitely say “Do come!”. After being here for about 9 months in my program I can say that the experience is truly amazing and enriching. Having the opportunity to come to Canada and study at SFU has broadened my mind in ways I never though to be possible. The Education Building now is one of my homes. Not only because I spend most of my time there, but also because the people in Education are awesome. Whenever I get to the Education Building, I feel like I am entering an environment that can provide me with everything I need, from technical support to human support.
Do you have other things to share?
Another important point to mention is the university is very multicultural. In my program there are people from at least 5 different countries in the world, and this is something that enriches the experience even more. Being able to study with people from different countries means having an opportunity to understand how other cultures view the same issue, in my case, education and the teaching of English. Being able to share my own experiences and listen to others’ has made me realize how huge the world is and how important it is for us to broaden our minds to it.