Venezuelan student Valentina Selviz has always been interested in nutrition and is passionate about fitness and wellness. When researching schools in Canada, she realized Acadia’s School of Nutrition and Dietetics was the only school that provided an option to add a minor in disciplines such as Psychology or Kinesiology to her chosen major. While other programs focused heavily on food science or food chemistry, Acadia’s program offered an opportunity to study food in a practical way. Valentina is now about to complete her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition with a minor in Kinesiology and, as a fourth-year student, she’s not only been able to explore her career interests, but also to reflect on her experience as an international student.
Having lived in more than one country in her life, Valentina is no stranger to bold moves, but she says living in Canada long-term is something she’s considering after four years as an international student. She initially chose to study in a Canadian university thinking of the experiences a multicultural country like Canada could offer.
“I like Canada’s open culture,” she says. “To me, it seems as though you’re free to be and do whatever you want without judgment.”
While her siblings chose to study in larger universities and cities, Valentina is happy to have experienced student life in Wolfville.
“Everything here revolves around the university and its students, and because of this, you can intensely focus on school,” she says.” You know that everything in this town and at Acadia is designed to accommodate and benefit its students.”
“The environment itself is centered around a student’s lifestyle, a luxury not easily found in larger cities or universities.”
Studying at Acadia has meant much more than an academic achievement for Valentina. It has affected her on a personal level and it’s led to her personal growth.
“As a student here, all of a sudden you’re pushed to do things you never thought you could do,” she says. “Your professors know you, sometimes they even become your friends. They truly want you to develop to your full potential, so you know they’ll challenge you.”
More specifically, as an international student, Valentina points out her experience has been slightly different than local students. For her, it’s represented a risk, and looking back at her first year at Acadia, she says it definitely wasn’t easy.
“At first it was difficult and intimidating to make a move to another school in a foreign country away from everything and everyone that you know,” she says. “It was a huge risk.”
“But these decisions are what shape you and help you grow and become independent,” she adds. “I know now that If I was able to move to another country and be a student in a different language, then I can get through anything.”
And this is a message she hopes to share with future international students.
“If you don’t take risks, you don’t win,” she says. “You always have to put yourself out there.”
After graduation, Valentina plans on pursuing a career in Sports Nutrition.
Learn more about the School of Nutrition and Dietetics at nutrition.acadiau.ca
Find out more about international admissions here.