Natcha Fongsrisin

Natcha is a Biomedical Engineering student in her 2B term. Here is what she had to say about her first year at Waterloo.

Why did you choose the University of Waterloo?

I chose the University of Waterloo because of its world-renowned co-op program and its strong academic reputation in Engineering.

When you received your offer of admission, how did you celebrate your success?

I was both shocked and ecstatic when I received my offer and I got myself a cake to celebrate. 

Before you arrived, what worried you about coming?

I was worried about going somewhere where I did not know anyone and having to start over in terms of making new connections and friends. 

What did you expect Canada and the University of Waterloo to be like?

Canada definitely lived up to my expectations -- people are kind, winters are brutal, and Tim Horton’s is amazing!

Was there anything that surprised you? How so?

I was surprised at how close knit the community of students in Waterloo is with two big Universities and a college. It is a great atmosphere to be a student! 

Were there any highlights to your first term at Waterloo?

My highlight during my first term was meeting my best friend. We do everything together and school is much more fun with her!  

What has been like moving to a new country?   

I moved to Canada in Grade 9 and it was a big transition for me. I had to adapt to the new culture and way of life while still trying to figure myself out as a teenager. It was one of the most rewarding and exciting experiences of my life.  

Did you face any challenges in your first year? If so, how did you overcome them?

I was very overwhelmed with the workload that was put on me during my first year of University. I tried to overcome them by seeking help from the resources that are available and to cut myself some slack and take breaks. 

NatchaMy best friend and I at University of Waterloo’s carnival.


What main differences have you noticed between your home culture and Canadian culture?

I think Thai people and Canadian people are very much alike in that we are very friendly people. 

What were your experiences like when you returned home?

I was so excited to finally get to eat some real Thai food and soak in the sunshine and warm weather!

If you were arriving as a new international student again, what would you do differently, or the same?

I would put in more effort to get to know more people and learn more about their background and stories.

What is one piece of advice you would share with new Waterloo students?

Take advantage of the resources available on campus whether that be your professors, clubs, communities, they are there to help you.


Enjoying the Canadian Fall pumpkin picking at a farm in Waterloo.

You are away from home and away from family. What practices helped you stay grounded?

Calling home helps a lot. Even though you are across the world, you are only a phone call away!

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