Study in Toronto
Toronto is one of the world’s truly outstanding cities. With a population of over 3 million, Toronto is Canada’s largest city. In addition, it is the capital of Ontario, Canada’s largest province. Toronto is located on the north shore of Lake Ontario, one of the North America’s five renowned Great Lakes. Therefore, Toronto is a great place for you, the international student, to travel to, to study.
Study in Toronto
Toronto has earned its reputation as a safe, clean, peaceful city, with an exiting international population. It is a cosmopolitan city, rich in theatre, music and music and culture. Some of the internationally known attractions are: on Ontario Science Centre, Royal Ontario Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, Roy Thompson Hall, O’Keafe Centre, Royal Alexander Theatre, Canada’s Wonderland, The McMichael Collection, Ontario Place and the Canadian National Exhibition.
Studying in Toronto Toronto’s post secondary institutions have long recognized the benefits of having people from many different countries as part of their student population. Many colleges and universities have an international office of liaison person dedicated to looking after the needs if international students and providing services designed to help them adjust to life in Toronto. All diploma / degree-granting colleges and universities are government regulated, and subject to very high quality standards, ensuring that both diplomas and degrees are nationally and international recognized.
In Toronto, there are 3 universities, offering a range if undergraduate, graduate and English language programs. Most bachelor’s degrees take three to four years of full-time study to complete. There are also 5 colleges in the metro region, offering diplomas and certificates in a variety of fields, such as Business, Arts, English, Applied Arts and Technology. In many cases, students are able to transfer their college diplomas towards university degrees. Time spent in a college can vary from 1-3 years. You will also find many short-term training programs in the Toronto area. English training in Canada/Toronto is knows as English as a Second Language (ESL). This is offered in most colleges and universities, as well as many private institutions. Students can choose ESL for either academic or conversational purposes.
The academic year runs from early September to August, and if often divided into two or three semesters - September to December, January to April, and May to August. September is the main entry date, although many other many institutions offer start dates in January or May.
The People and the Culture Students coming to Toronto are often amazed and pleased by the rich blend of personalities and ethnic groups that have brought their unique experience to Canada’s increasing diverse population.
Toronto is a multi-ethnic society, and Canadians are recognised for their tolerance, understanding and respect for human dignity. As an international student, you can expect to be welcomed whatever your heritage, cultural or religious beliefs. In Toronto, women and men, and all people regardless of their cultural background or economic status are treated as equals.
Canadians are outdoor enthusiasts. Favourite pastimes include hiking, beach combing, rollerblading and cycling. They also enjoy winter sports, including downhill and cross-country skiing, ice-skating and hockey. The food/restaurants in Toronto reflect the diversity of its people. A wide range of different cuisines can be found. From Chinese to Indian, and Italian to Ukrainian. Canadians generally eat three means a day; breakfast, lunch and dinner. Tipping in restaurants, and for some other services (10 to 15 per cent) is customary.
Toronto, Day to Day The dress code is more conservative than in the United States, and less formal than in Europe, Students dress casually, usually in jeans and a T-shirt are standard in the summer. You will need warmer clothes, wool sweaters, by late October. You will need purchase winter wear once you arrive in Toronto.
Toronto has four very different climates. During the summer, the weather is warm and pleasant. Autumn is cool and spectacular, with leaves changing colour, and clear crispness in the air. Winter’s cold weather offers students the opportunity to participate in skating, ice hockey, down-hill and cross-country skating skiing. The spring is warm and fresh as the city renews itself.
Many colleges and universities have on-campus residence. Living on campus is a great way to meet Canadian students. Many students live separately, or in groups in off-campus house or apartments. Most college and universities operate a home stay program, where they arrange for you live with a Canadian family.
Most of the world’s major airlines fly into the Toronto Pearson Airport. When travelling within Canada, keep the size of the country in mind. Travelling by plane or train are the two main forms of transportation when travelling to another province. Different means of transportation within the city include: automobile, subway, bus, street car and taxi. Conducted bus tours or rail/bus excursions are offered, especially in the peak tourist months. Canada’s cross-country train service provides travellers with a unique way to see Canada’s/Toronto’s breathtaking landscapes.
Author: J. Susan Byng International Student Recruitment Seneca College
photo courtesy of Ontario Min. of Culture, Tourism & Recreation