When Kyle Stiliadis first got to Ireland he didn’t have a cellphone. When he got to his residence at IT Carlow, there wasn’t anyone in the office. He later ran into someone who he knew from Durham College and was able to stay with him for the night.
He was nervous to be studying abroad at first, but once he got acclimated, he loved it.
Stiliadis went on to receive a student of the year award from his partner school in Carlow, Ireland.
Stiliadis attended Durham College for Music Business Management. After graduating, he attended Brock University before going to IT Carlow in Ireland.
At IT Carlow, he finished his final year and graduated with Bachelor of Business degree, all through the help of Durham College’s International office.
Stiliadis said he made lifelong friends, volunteered, travelled Europe, played basketball and much more while studying abroad.
The experience has also helped him career wise. “I’ve gone through a couple of different interviews since I got back, and having that abroad experience has been great for my resume,” he says. “It’s an easy conversation starter and seems like a more knowledgeable about more than just Canada”
It was difficult for Stiliadis at first since he was away from his family, but technology was helpful to stay in touch with them.
“They’re proud of you,” he said. “They want you to succeed too, so all in all, it was a great experience. No regrets.”
Stiliadis enjoyed his time abroad and felt it helped to make him who he is today.
“I would definitely recommend it to anyone and everyone,” he said. “You’re nervous at first. The first couple bit is always tough to do, but once you get your foot in the door, don’t be shy.”
Mike Lafleur, Durham College’s international education abroad assistant, agrees. He says it’s important for Durham College students to consider the bridge and pathway programs that DC offers because gaining international experience makes them stand out to employers.
“I think for students, having the opportunity to go abroad is a platform for people to grow personally and professionally – to broaden their perspectives and to gain intercultural effectiveness and the ability to adapt and work well with people from different cultures is pretty important in the globalized world,” said Lafleur.
Lafleur came to see Stiliadis receive the award from IT Carlow’s international coordinator Eoin O’Brien.
Stiliadis won student of the year for Level Seven. In Ireland, schooling goes by the framework of qualifications. In this framework, level one is compared to kindergarten and Level Ten is a PhD. In Stiliadis’ case, Level Seven is a degree.
“I’m delighted to be on site in Durham to award Kyle from last year, who was our Level Seven student of the year,” said O’Brien. “So, it’s a great achievement and a big achievement. He should be proud of it.”
With a smile on his face, Stiliadis received his medallion and award certificate. “It was a great honour to get that award, and I couldn’t be happier that I received it. Well earned, I believe.”