Earlier this week, we engaged in a conversation with TRU Alumnus Oriol Salvador, who is originally from Barcelona, Spain. Oriol describes himself as a “Journalist in the age of new media.” While in TRU, Oriol was also a contributor for The Omega.
What brought you to Thompson Rivers University?
I came to Thompson Rivers University as an exchange student to study Journalism as a part of my university pathways in Barcelona. I had several options to choose from and TRU definitely came in the top 3 that fit in with my priorities and requirements. My first impression of TRU was the videos I saw on the YouTube channel. I was very influenced by those videos and I was really excited to see everything the school had to offer.
What did you like about TRU and Kamloops?
This was my first time to North America in general and I was really wanting to go to a place that I could relate with. After all my research, I was a lot more interested in Canada than any other country. I saw videos by tourism Kamloops and I was very inspired by the natural beauty. My enthusiasm for snowboarding and active winter sports got me very excited on seeing the landscape Kamloops and its surrounding areas had to offer. It was just perfect. Kamloops is centrally located in BC and its barely 2o minutes from excursions like Sun Peaks and Paul Lake.
Tell us more about your first month here..
When you travel and explore different places, its an experience you would never forget. But when you travel and live in a different place for this long, it can be quite surprising. It’s challenging in its own way but it has its pros and cons. When I first moved to Kamloops from Barcelona, I experienced everything a typical student would. I was living on campus in Upper College Heights and luckily the bus stop is right outside the building. But, in general, I did face some challenges in getting used to the public transit system of Kamloops. However, once you know how it works, you can make your ways around it.
Did you enjoy your program in TRU?
So I did get a culture shock when I started going to school, but for the good reasons. Smaller class sizes, more one-on-one interaction with instructors made it a lot more personalized for me. The Journalism Lab was the best part of the program. It was like a newsroom, the perfect environment for stimulation. I learned a lot from my program and my instructors. I also learned how perspective towards Journalism is different in different countries.
Also, I must credit my instructors, faculty and staff for being so welcoming. It is essential to feel welcomed to a new place and especially for an international student. I felt extremely comfortable because of how warm they were to me and that is something I will always respect them for.
What are the highlights of your overall TRU experience?
When I was in Barcelona, people around me used to criticize me for being on social media and thought it was a waste of time. But, in Kamloops, people encouraged and empowered me. I loved the world of social media and new age journalism. I found value in what I loved doing when I came to TRU, and that is my career today! Also, the diversity, the multiculturalism and interculturalism in this university, exposed me to several cultures and helped me grow as a person. Another thing that I enjoyed was the landscapes, the scenic beauty and the natural beauty of the province of British Columbia.
Did your experience in TRU help you in anyway?
Studying in TRU really helped me a lot. I met like minded people and I learned from them. I also was a contributor for The Omega and my role was to interview people, take pictures, and learn their story. I enjoyed it a lot! This was my only work in English writing and I used this to enroll for a special program in Finland which appreciated the same. My experience in TRU helped me in many ways. I cannot put all of them in words, but lets just say, it was an experience of lifetime!