When I was exploring the web before I came
to the university, I saw that the University of Toronto had three campuses and I’m like
hmm, where should I go to. Then I saw the Mississauga campus and it was green and I’m
like I’m going there for sure. Downtown here on the St. George campus I feel
as if I have a community, but just a few steps outside and I’m in the heart of the city.
You certainly don’t feel alone. You feel like you’re part of the living system. So I love
being down here. I chose U of T Scarborough campus because
I’m an athlete and I can train in the amazing facilities they have. They’re made for Olympic
standards and have an amazing education at the same place. U of T is ranked in the Top 20 in the world
which is excellent for me. I was born in India and I finished by high school degree in Hong
Kong, so for me it’s super important to have a degree that I can use in different countries.
So at U of T getting this degree means that it’s recognized all across North America.
It’s recognized in Asia as well. And it’s something that’s very valuable to me. I wanted to pursue Medicine but when I came
here there are so many options for me to choose from in terms of sciences, and so I ended
up majoring in Health and Disease and Pharmacology and also doing a minor in Psychology. My dream is to be an investor banker, so I
want to work on Wall Street. I like the courses I’m taking right now on capital markets, investment
banking, introduction to finance, these courses which I think will really be helpful in actually
pursuing a career in capital markets. I took this one particular course. There’s
three professors teaching thirty students and it’s three of the greatest minds I’ve
seen. It’s like you sit in a classroom with a research paper and the person who wrote
the paper is the professor in front of you. So that kind of experience you don’t get at
many universities. My transition from Taiwan to Canada was really
difficult. But luckily the Ones Program here at the University of Toronto, the class sizes
were only about twenty to twenty-five students and also offered me a lot of writing support. I was amazed by the fact that I could get
to do research as early as my second year and so when I saw all the options of all the
things I could research I was really blown away. My program right now is a double major in
biochemistry and neuroscience, but U of T gave me the opportunity to explore different
disciplines. For instance, we had five or six different electives that we could choose
from and I choose among philosophy, history, psychology. I did a “Religion in Film” course. What I
really loved about my electives is that they just challenged me to really just think about
the world in a different way and it really just changed everything that I knew and it
turned it upside down. I had no idea what to expect when I came to
Toronto, but when I got here I saw that there was so many cultures, there are so many choices,
so many things to do, and I was just immediately excited. I think in today’s world we are global citizens.
For an example, I’m doing a course right now — it’s a group project — in my group there
are people from different countries, like from India, from China, from Brazil, from
United Kingdom. Diversity is more than just diversity and
culture and colour, it’s more about diversity and interest in Canada. You can literally
be anyone in Canada. I have a really full life here at the university.
I work for The Varsity as well as for the Psych Student Association where I’m the head
writer. I’m part of the Indian Students’ Society, the Pakistan Development Foundation, and I
work at the Centre for International Experience. Apart from that I work off campus as well
for the Centre of Innovation in Campus Mental Health. I’m part of several clubs and academic societies
on campus. It’s a great opportunity to network with different people and that has opened
so many doors for me in my career path. I didn’t know anybody when I came here. I
thought I was going to be lost, but then I made a decision to live on residence and it
was one of the best decisions that I ever made. In my first year I lived in an apartment-style
residence, so we had a lot of freedom to do our own cooking and we used to all come together
at night and we used to have dinner together. We had this huge community feeling within
our floors as well. The residence life is actually what completed
my university life and it helped me adjust to the Canadian culture. At any time of the day there’s also something.
There are always people around. I feel very safe on campus and I also feel safe in the
city. At my Mississauga campus the worst that could
ever happen to you in terms of threat, I don’t know, maybe like a deer…it’s a very safe
campus. Courses at U of T can be really demanding,
but in a good way. I loved a challenge and I’m very proud of how far I’ve come. I think just being at the university there’s
so much promise and so much hope for me and there’s just so many places I can go and I
can take it. It just feels as if there’s a lot waiting for me out there.