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A day in the life of an international student in Canada|Discover what studying UI/UX at Cornerstone

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

Ever wondered what a typical day looks like for a student in Canada? UI/UX Design student Lily Guo, from Taiwan, shared her daily routine at Cornerstone International Community College of Canada (Or CICCC, for friends 😉).

Studying in Canada, of course, always starts with a choice. Students pick their programs based on the schools, their immigration purposes, what the industry is like for the profession they want to study, and let's not forget about the weather!

In Lily's case, deciding to study the UI/UX program was a little bit different for her. She first studied the Web Dev program at CICCC, which helped her land a job in the field. While working there as a web developer, she realized how important it was to know about website design! Looking at some beautiful designs by some co-workers, she decided she wanted to study UI/UX design.

Do you have no idea what UI/UX design is? Don't worry. We talked to CICCC's Head of the Tech Programs, Fernanda, to tell us all about it:

"UI design stands for User Interface design, which is the process of designing a digital product's look, feel, and interactivity. Basically, all the design elements you see in an app, for example, the shape of the buttons, the colours of the website, the layout, etc. Are all elements of UI design
As for UX, it stands for User Experience, and it's the process of designing and developing how the experience of a user is going to be while using a product. So everything that has to do with how a user interacts and behaves while using a digital product." Fernanda, Head of Tech programs at CICCC.

Thanks, Fernanda! So, back to Lily… Once she worked in the web development industry for a bit and realized the importance of understanding UI/UX, she decided to return to school and study this program.

So how's a day in Lily's life as a student in this program? Let’s hear it directly from her:

“For me, studying at Cornerstone has been all about getting the right foundation on UI UX design to have a solid understanding of it and decide what you want to focus on. You know? It’s like, whenever we have a class, Elle (Lily’s teacher) always explains to us some crucial concepts about design. Then she asks us to put them into practice by creating our projects. And, in that process, we need to search for more information on how to do stuff in order to deliver (or at least that’s how I do it), and I really like it!”

So what about a day in your life? What does that look like?

"So I kind of have my routine already. I wake up early in the morning to come to school on time, as our classes are in the morning. I come to school, talk with my classmates about any updates we have for our projects, and try to pay attention to what our teachers say and then it's time for me to go back home.
I usually go to have lunch at my place, practice some more UI/UX Skills in Udemy or watch videos about whatever we learned at school that day. Then it's time for me to get ready for work. I then head to my job, where I work as a part-time server, finish my shift and then go back home and prepare for the next day."

So what do you like the most about this program and about Cornerstone?

"Well, I think for me my classmates and teachers are a big part of it, we always have a really fun environment, and we all support each other! I also like that we always have things to do here. The school always promotes events like activities, Halloween parties, or even professional events like talks or job fairs. Oh! And I also appreciate how practical the program is and that we work with real clients during our studies. It's fun but also challenging, you know?"

Is there anything you would like the program to improve?

“Mmm, I think the only thing missing might be having more common areas on campus. Like sometimes there’s not enough space for you to sit down and work or spaces other than the classrooms to meet with some of the real-life clients that the school gets for us.”

*Note: Did you know that CICCC is working on a new campus for all tech programs!? It is expected to be ready by next year 😉 Stay tuned with Thrivve to know more about it.

So what do you like the most about UI/UX?

"Uh, I don't know.! I think what I enjoy the most is that, for me, working on solving problems through design is kind of like putting a puzzle together! You need to collect all the pieces first by doing some research about what your client wants. Once you have that, it is your job to develop all the logistics on how to put it all together so people will not only understand but also find it visually appealing. Like, by creating a really beautiful app for example. To have the opportunity of helping other people's vision become a reality through design is something that I really really like!"

Is Lily’s journey something you would like to experience yourself? Then we can help you! 😉

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