Double major in African studies and history.
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario.
One thing about me: Once I finish my degree I want to travel abroad and teach English.
Wish I had known: Take advantage of office hours, the writing clinics, clubs, programs and events. The resources will help to shape your university experience.
I had an opportunity to travel to Rwanda on an International Course Module (ICM) for an African Philosophy course. I wanted to better understand how Rwandans view life after genocide, because their philosophy is rooted in forgiveness and coming together to move on. At one point we had a chance to meet a Rwandan woman who is a member of a social assistance program that focuses on helping locals out of poverty. Through the ICM I realized that I want to be as inclusive as possible in everything I do, because our North American culture is quite individualistic. From the Rwandans I saw the healing benefits of coming together as a community.
Double major in peace, conflict and justice studies, and diaspora and transnational studies.
Hometown: Simi Valley, California.
One thing about me: I did a year of high school in Chile.
Wish I had known: If you want to do well, you can, but opportunities only appear if you chase them.
I was the Political/Economic Intern at the U.S. Consulate General Toronto in the summer after first year. I really wanted to get involved and volunteer, and one of my lecturers helped connect me to this position (with an awesome reference).
I got to conduct research and prepare briefing documents for the U.S. Ambassador to Canada on diverse policy issues like combatting human trafficking and countering violent extremism. It was a life-changing experience. The highlight of the internship was meeting the diplomats, who are well-respected professionals and now incredible mentors in my life. I never imagined I would have this opportunity by second year.
Double major in neuroscience and animal physiology.
Hometown: Richmond Hill, Ontario.
One thing about me: I play the piano and have my performance diploma for music.
Wish I had known: I found out this year U of T has a mountain-biking team, and there are all sorts of cool trails within Toronto.
Undergraduate studies are a great time to develop a breadth of knowledge and find out what you want to pursue next. Through my department I had the opportunity to work in local hospitals and at the Wheeler Microfluidics Laboratory. One of the areas of focus in the lab is drug screening on cancer cells. This lab is actually more about engineering. Engineering and biology may appear to be unrelated, but I have found that gaining experience in another area has helped me improve my understanding of biology concepts. You never know when something you learn in one area will help in another.