Our Student Contributors
Thinking of going abroad sometime while you’re at U of T? You’re in luck! The University has a wide array of options available for students to learn and explore course material outside of the country.
First, there’s the summer abroad program that allows students to complete a U of T credit in another country. There are small class sizes and everything is taught in English, by a U of T professor at the host university. My coworker has been abroad twice already and her favourite part of this experience was being able to immerse herself within the new culture and language, while also being surrounded by a group of other students from U of T. This made the experience less overwhelming for her, especially as a first-time traveller.
When trying to find a program for this summer, the summer abroad courses that worked into my degree were not offered at times that fit my schedule. So I tried the Centre for International Exchange (CIE). What’s cool about the CIE is that they have so many different affiliations with universities around the world. It’s different than the summer abroad program because it is up to you to do all the research. As I am finding out, the process is very long. There are so many things you don’t think about, such as researching professors, dealing with time changes, finding housing, booking flights, getting an international visa, applying for health insurance…the list goes on and on. It helped me to have a list of things that I had to complete, along with a list of deadlines. This way, I was able to complete each part of the process on time.
Some more tips? Make sure you pick a program and a school that interests you. I chose the University of California, Berkeley because of their great anthropology program, world-renowned professors, reputation as a public university and background in social justice, as well as the location of course! By knowing what you want, it can help to ensure that you are getting the most out of your experience and that it’s not just another vacation. Whether your purpose for going is to experience a new culture, perfect a second language or take a course that interests you, make sure you know what you want to get out of this experience.
There are also a ton of scholarships available for students from both the University of Toronto, host institutions and outside funding. Make sure to look into all of your options and get all of the details (such as payment deadlines…) before applying. Remember that dealing with other universities takes time, especially when there are different languages and time zones to consider. Have patience, try something new and get ready for an adventure!