I’m from Arica, Chile. I’m a full-time student in the Med in Higher Education at OISE, University of Toronto. I chose Canada because it’s a multicultural and multilingual country, I know I would be safer as a woman compared to my experience in Chile. I wanted a place that would care about indigenous lives and acknowledge the value of migrants’ stories and the lgbtq+ community.
- Why did you choose the University of Toronto?
The University is the number one in the country and 23rd in the world ranks. The education department, OISE, is one of the few with an interdisciplinary lens to education as a whole. Their vibrant research and academic staff stand from the rest of other departments because of its social impact. The learning experience is holistic and focuses on social justice. You will learn from excellent professors who are top-notch in their areas, and you will have access to the most comprehensive research and scholarly resources.
- What was/is your favourite things about the University?
It is lively, diverse and inclusive. There are many great opportunities for graduate students to connect with others and find like-minded people to network and share. Graduate students tend to be more isolated because of the nature of their program. Still, the University with all of its units offers a wide variety of clubs, work-study opportunities, mental health resources, and excellent sports facilities. Plus, it is incredibly safe. For instance, before this pandemic, every Thursday morning, I attended to some crafting sessions held by HartHouse. It was a therapeutic time for self-care, meeting people, having some free coffee or tea, and making some crafts.
- How was/is your experience as an International Student?
Welcoming. As I said, the University and the country are culturally aware of their demographics; you may find places to eat, places to pray and worship, and opportunities to improve your language skills in an academic setting. There are support and guidance. You will not feel like an island.
- How was/is student life like on and off-campus?
It’s been entirely satisfactory. There are opportunities to work on campus as well as off-campus, and I appreciate that. I guess I have had a great experience living with a Canadian family and connecting with the customs and their culture. The only downside of Toronto is its high rent price. It is challenging to find a place that is not pricy downtown. Therefore, I decided to move north and rent a place that can be affordable.
- Any advice for future candidates that would like to come to Canada to do their graduate studies?
Since I have my prior experience studying in the UK, I strongly recommend Canada If you are an international student. It might be cold in winter, but the cities are well prepared and suitable for such weather. I would recommend preparing their applications in advance. And UofT requires you to mail or post your documents. So that is something to consider in terms of time and your budget. Also, if you are worried about a tight budget, Canada is a great place to work, and there are plenty of job opportunities for us international graduates. Therefore, I recommend you to attend any workshop they may offer before and after you enter, and always check on the campus tours. UofT is an enormous campus, so, even if you have classes only in one department, go sightseeing in other units. You may find other libraries, places to eat, read and study, and perhaps do some exercise.
Master in Biotechnology – University of Toronto
1.- Why Canada?
A few years back when looking for options I found a list of countries by Human Development Index (HDI) which is a measure of how much of a country’s GDP does its government invest in its people (education, hospitals, health insurance, social programs, etc.), and at least back then New Zealand was #1 followed by Canada in #2. NZ was too far away for me, but Canada was much closer.
2.- Why the University of Toronto?
I was looking for a program that mixed Science with Business, and that’s when I found the MBiotech program. It had the focus I was looking for, located where I wanted to study.
3.- What did you enjoy the most about U of T?
Professors are highly-prepared, facilities are world-grade and the alumni population is very diverse. It has good values and a great vision that deeply resonated with me.
4.- How was student life like on and off-campus?
Being in one of the best universities in the world is a unique experience. On-campus you become a part of a community of scholars, all of them highly capable and driven. I thought I would be at a disadvantage coming from a developing country, but despite the fact that some of my colleagues did have more experience in our field, I discovered my own experiences, provided me with the tools to perform on par with them and even better in some aspects. Diversity brings benefits to all.
Off-campus, being in a foreign country in an exciting city gave me lots of venues to explore new cultures, food, experiences, places, etc. during what little free time I could spare. I think this aspect is often overlooked, but I think it’s as important as the academic side.
5.- Any advice for future candidates that would like to come to Canada to do their graduate studies?
Research as much as you can beforehand. Be open and flexible to new things. Prepare for as many scenarios as you can, especially financially. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from everyone involved, from your own family to the people at the university. If you reach out to people, even if you’re not a student yet, most of the time they are happy to offer guidance. Remember to enjoy the experience! It’s not easy to get there, so you better enjoy it and make the most out of it.
PhD in Food Science- University of Saskatchewan
Patricia Tozatti is a trailblazing food engineer from Guarapuava in the southern state of Parana of Brazil. She jumped straight into a PhD after her undergraduate degree and a stint in the food industry. Funded by the government of Brazil through the Science without Borders scholarship program, Patricia is examining wheat and baking quality in her PhD in Food and Bioproduct Science. Agriculture has always been close to Patricia’s heart – she comes from a family of grain farmers. Patricia is fulfilling her own dreams and those of her parents by coming to University of Saskatchewan – her father dreamt of studying abroad but didn’t have the necessary support.
Watch her video testimonial (double click to make it full screen):
Jesús Fabricio Guayaquil Sosa
“Vine a la Universidad Western sabiendo que recibir un título de una universidad de renombre como Western y estar rodeado de un respetable grupo de investigación me abriría un mundo de oportunidades en el actual mercado de trabajo.
Antes de venir a Western, hablé con otros egresados de Ingeniería de la Universidad, quienes actualmente tienen muy buenos puestos de trabajo, tanto en el sector académico como en la industria. Para mí, eso fue un buen indicador de que un título de la Universidad Western facilitaría mi incorporación al mercado de trabajo”.
Luis Carlos Luque-Moreno
Luis Carlos Luque-Moreno, PhD en Ingeniería Química y Bioquímica en la Universidad Western. “Decidí hacer mis estudios doctorales en Western University, debido a que encontré un apoyo sin precedentes para estudiantes internacionales, y porque el departamento tiene áreas de investigación directamente enfocadas en mi campo. Lo que más disfruto de Canadá son sus paisajes y en especial el invierno. En cuanto a London, es una ciudad que cuenta con muchos de los servicios de una gran urbe, pero con distancias mucho más cortas. El ambiente del campus, junto con las personas innovadoras y listas a ayudar me permitieron completar mis estudios en un laboratorio con equipos de última tecnología, y rodeado de grandes investigadores.”