Kevin Rebelo, 22, is making a rare decision of moving to Poland for his masters degree in architecture.
He is graduating at the end of the Winter 2017 semester with a bachelors degree in unique program; Visual Arts and the Built Environment. The program was founded in the University of Windsor, in association with the University of Detroit Mercy and for the senior students now it’s only based out of Detroit.
Kevin holds a Portuguese passport, making him a member of the EU, and this influenced his decision with him saying, “I’m actually a European citizen, so it’s cheaper for me to go to school there. It’s currently USD 40,000 to go to school in UDM. If I Go to school in Europe, it’s USD 4,000.”
The price is one factor, second only to his girlfriend who lives in Poland. Sylwia Pędziejewska, 23, moved back to Poland in the summer of 2016 after an exchange program between Detroit and Warsaw ended. “I met her she was in my studio. There was a major project called Connect6, where you work on neighbourhoods in Detroit. She was in my group and we fell in love.”
“I wanted to be an architect since I was three.” Kevin says that his highlight of the VABE program is the Connect6 project where he met Sylwia and also learned to apply his skills as an architect in the real world saying;
The project was successful enough to have benefited the community that a book named ‘Connect6’ was published.
Kevin visited Poland for the Christmas holidays to see his girlfriend and to experience the country. “I like the shock of different cultures. I grew up in Toronto but moving to Windsor and going to school in Detroit was a huge culture shock and I haven’t experienced anything like it before. So, I think it’ll be really cool to learn a new culture and maybe a new language- I’m working on it. I speak Portuguese and English fluently, but Polish is Germanic based so it’s crazy hard.”
Studying in a foreign language is difficult for most, but Kevin says, “I’ll be studying in English because it’s an international program. Thankfully it’s in English or I’d be screwed.” He explained that the hardest part is leaving his family saying, “Well my family wasn’t very happy about it at first, they still seem to be in denial. But they love me and want to support me.”