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Ryerson University, Canada

Ryerson University

Goodbye Sunshine, Hello Snow! It’s been two months since I’ve arrived in Toronto, Canada and to say that it’s been an amazing experience thus far, is an understatement. Toronto as a city is edgy, friendly, filled with good food spots and overall gives off chill vibes that are indescribable.

Studying at Ryerson University feels like studying at UTS. It’s situated in Downtown Toronto, where there is wonderful access to all types of restaurants, bars, supermarkets and it’s right next door to the CF Eaton Centre – a large shopping mall where I often find myself in half the time. The teaching style at Ryerson however, is completely different to back home. Here, most of my classes only have 3 hour lectures and no tutorials. This makes it easier as I’m only at uni three times a week but I find it more difficult to make friends in class since there is little to no interaction unlike the tutorial classes back home.

However, most of the classes that I am taking are extremely interesting and have nothing to do with Business Management. Growing up in a strong Business environment, I really wanted to take advantage of the elective courses that would push me out of my comfort zone and discover new things. I picked up Introductory Spanish, a Pop Culture class and even a ‘Philosophy of Love and Sex’ course, which is something entirely different to my degree and I’m glad I got the opportunity to take.

View of a frozen ‘Niagara-on-the-lake’

Whilst it may be difficult making friends in class, staying at Neill-Wycik Co-Op, a student accommodation right across the uni, has made it incredibly easy to make friends. Our unit has gotten so close to each other and the friendships created here will be incredibly treasured. Additionally, going on exchange allows you to travel without spending 24 hours on a plane, and so Reading Week (StuVac) brought our group to Cancun, Mexico with future plans to travel to different parts of Canada and the U.S.

Our Reading Week spent in Cancun, Mexico. We traveled in a large group of 13 people from different parts of the world!

In preparation for our “Cancun Bod”, Ryerson University also provides access to two different gyms (within a 5 minute walking distance), making it super easy to stay fit and healthy on exchange. The larger and newly built gym, the “MAC”, also holds Basketball and Ice Hockey Games each week. These uni games are extremely popular, they are fun to watch and participate in their highly competitive nature.

Ryerson University’s Mattamy Athletic Centre (“MAC”), Women’s Semi Finals Basketball Game

Like the stereotypical North American college movies, the student resident culture has our unit throwing birthday parties, Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day Parties with more parties to come later in the term. It allows us to meet and connect with other exchange students from all over the world, and live like the main character in those movies.

Our unit’s Valentine’s Day Themed party! My roommates consist of Arabella and Kamran – two other students studying at UTS, Campbell from Scotland and Vivian, a Canadian non-exchange student.

The cost of living in Toronto is very similar to living in Australia. Since I’m situated right across the uni, I don’t really spend much money on public transport however, since it is very cold, a lot of my money does go towards booking Ubers to different restaurants, bars, and clubs. Food wise, the supermarket prices are extremely similar to Woolworths or Coles, and of course with restaurants, the prices vary depending on where you go!

I always do and will encourage future students to consider and go on exchange because it is an experience that you will never be able to take part in after university finishes. I’m really passionate about it because it really helps you adapt to your new surroundings, make friendships and memories that you will never forget. At the end of the day, no matter where you go for your exchange, you will become more independent, self-assured and cultured.

Gena Cao
Bachelor of Business Management
Ryerson University
Canada

For more information about the UTS Global Exchange program please visit: www.global-exchange.uts.edu.au

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