Written by

Montse Pineda


My Journey to UWindsor from Mexico City

Published On: Tue, Jan 25th, 2022, 2:35PMLast Updated: Tue, Jan 25th, 2022, 2:35PM3.8 min read
By Published On: Tue, Jan 25th, 2022, 2:35PMLast Updated: Tue, Jan 25th, 2022, 2:35PM3.8 min read

I  arrived in Canada to see Windsor and the University of Windsor campus for the first time, after studying remote from Mexico for my first semester. 

If you are an international student, just like me, I know it can feel overwhelming to move across the world alone, especially in the middle of a pandemic, and not knowing exactly when you can go back home.

I would like to share my journey to UWindsor! 


I was lucky to travel to Canada with my dad. I know not many international students are fortunate to have that support while travelling.  But honestly, maybe it would have been easier for me to adjust quickly if my dad hadn’t travelled with me. I would have only had to say goodbye once and not several times. 

My dad and I travelled together to Windsor. Before entering Canada, we decided to stop in Chicago and Detroit to save money. When we were planning our trip, we found it was cheaper to take a plane from Mexico City to Chicago and then a train to Detroit and finally cross the border to Windsor. 

I was focused on packing. Lost track of time, almost forgetting I wouldn’t see my family for months.The pandemic made us spend so much time at home with our relatives that we forgot for a second what it’s like to be alone. But because I knew I would be spending a lot of time on my own in the future, I wrapped up packing and went to spend quality time with my family before I left for university for my first time.  


It was hard not to cry when I had to say goodbye to my family. I felt like I didn’t spend much time with them as I would have liked. I think that day, I cried for hours in a row remembering the goodbyes over and over again. Our flight was at 1 am. So I couldn’t sleep, eat, or think about anything other than that my new life was about to start.  

The flight felt short. We arrived at 5 am deprived of sleep and food. We headed toward immigration. Of course – there was a system failure that caused a 2-hour delay. But, hey, we were almost there – and even though I was still crying, feeling tired and hungry – I was starting to get excited about my new life adventure.  

When preparing to depart from the US to Canada, we had to take a PCR test – this was quite the process, full of delays and unknowns. We had issues receiving our results on time, so we had to pay more to get expedited results. Anyone looking to go that route, note the cost can range from $95 to $375. We had no other choice, so we decided to pay.   


When I finally arrived in Windsor, it was snowing. It was already dark, and I couldn’t see the streets very well. But the next day, I appreciated the city a little more and was eager to explore my new home for the next 4 years.   

Windsor, to me, is a city with little movement and is extremely quiet. I come from Mexico City, where there are around nine million residents. So I am used to hearing all kinds of noises and seeing many cars and people walking on the streets.     

My dad left a few days later. Maybe we took a lot to say goodbye to each other, but it truly felt like we said goodbye in 3 seconds. I was trying not to let the situation affect my mood. I was ready to explore the city by myself and practice my English skills. But the Government of Ontario decided that the province was moving back to a “modified step 2 of the roadmap to reopen” for at least 21 days. Many businesses and services that were not essential had to close again until further notice. 

I’m not going to lie. These first few weeks have been hard. There isn’t too much happening, so sometimes I don’t bother to go outside. It is difficult to distract your mind in a situation like that. But the Return to Campus that the University of Windsor announced a few days ago is just the news I needed. All of us who have just arrived in Canada are eager to live the university experience we are paying for. We need to start building a life here and trust it will get easier to be away from home.  

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About Montse Pineda

Montse Pineda is an international undergraduate student from Mexico pursuing a degree in film production at the University of Windsor. Montse wants to become a filmmaker, film critic, and activist to impulse female directors. In her free time, she enjoys writing, creating, and sharing her art with others.