Recording Arts Canada Student Review: Andres Puche of Venezuela

RAC Digital Arts College Student Review by Andres Puche of Venezuela.

Why are you studying Sound & Music Recording?  I wanted to expand my knowledge.  I had production and performing experience in Venezuela so I decided to expand my opportunities in the music industry in Toronto.  I’d like to be active with my band.  I think Toronto has a lot of options and opportunities and I’ve meet a lot of people and made a lot of very good connections in the short time that I’ve been here.  

Why did you choose RAC? I checked out schools in Toronto and then in Los Angeles. After I met with the people of RAC I decided this was my best option.  

Why did you choose to study in Toronto/Canada? Toronto has its own soul and a strong hip-hop and rock scene and I wanted to continue to produce hip-hop artists

Did you apply to CITEZENSHIP & IMMIGRATION CANADA on your own or did you use an immigration consultant/lawyer? I did it by myself while I was in Los Angeles.   If you do it from Venezuela or other Latin countries where the embassies are not completely active you have to send your paper work to Mexico and it takes more than three months to process.  Since I did my visa application in LA it took only 27 days.

What was the biggest challenge when preparing to study in a foreign country? Money was the biggest challenge.  We have exchange control in Venezuela so we have to wait for the government’s authorization to exchange and withdraw my money.  Fortunately Stephanie (RAC’s registrar) was able to help and we worked out a flexible payment schedule which allowed me to start the program.

Are you allowed to work while studying at RAC? I’m allowed to work part-time up to 20 hours per week.

What recommendations do you have for an international student wanting to study audio in a foreign country?  You have to prepare yourself in advance.  You need to consider that there’s a technical vocabulary and if English is not your first language you should prepare.  But money is always the first challenge and then it’s the technical vocabulary. 

Do you plan to launch your career in Toronto? Yes.  I’ll apply for an extended work visa then permanent residency.

How did RAC help you? RAC staff have been very friendly & helpful right from the beginning. RAC offered to provide a consultant if I felt I needed one.  The staff at RAC simply have a helpful mindset.  That’s something I really like about the school.  Actually there was an incident recently where I had some questions about an assignment and I was able to talk directly to the director of the college.  So that’s how high you can go within the chain of command, straight to the top.   And the director teaches himself so he knows what you need to know.  It’s good to have access to every person at the college.  

Do you feel welcome in Toronto?  I feel welcome and comfortable in Toronto.   And being able to work covers at least my rent.  I like the city.   I’ve had no issues regarding racism or anything like that compared to several U.S. cities I’ve been in such as LA, New York, Jackson City, Austin… you see prejudice floating around.  And I don’t see it in Toronto.  Actually I’ve asked other people if they experienced any issues and they haven’t.  I think it’s a good city.  I like the cultural planning, especially through the summer.  There is no way you can get bored in Toronto.

What is the best part of your experience so far? The best part is meeting people in the business.  For example Grant (program coordinator) who explained some business opportunities that might be available after I graduate.  He is also helping me with an application to SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada).  I want to become a member.  I really appreciate all the parts of the RAC machine.  They try to do what’s best for the students and everybody here has a different goal.  If I want to be an engineer the advice would be different if I wanted to be a producer or studio owner or whatever.

Would you consider providing direct feedback to someone from Venezuela considering RAC? Yes