I’ve been in Toronto now for just over two weeks and it has been a wild and overwhelming time so far. I arrived on a Monday evening around dinnertime and I was so exhausted from the massive journey (via LAX) that all I wanted to do was check into the hostel and pass out. But the weather was so nice and warm, I figured I would go for a little wander around the area I was staying. The area is Kensington Market and its full of restaurants, cafes, and bars – there are lots of young people walking around all the time and its very pleasant to stroll. I didn’t last long before I had to go to sleep. I spent my first few days in Toronto walking around the city heaps and going into little shops and cafes I stumbled across. I also did a bit of shopping at vintage stores I found and went to some gigs – this is how I made my first friends. I met some guys at a gig and have made more friends through them, I also made a best friend through a housing Facebook page and we instantly hit it off. She is now my roommate which is great.
I have absolutely fallen in love with the way of life in Toronto and the people I have met have all been so welcoming – I feel like they are my kind of people. I have only done 2 classes at Ryerson University so far but they both seem incredible and like they will be quite challenging in a good way. The assignments seem very relevant and like they will teach me skills that are very applicable in the current media landscape. The teachers come across very knowledgeable but also approachable, so I am not hesitant to ask them things. As for the other students, they too seem very helpful and in the know so I will definitely be using them as resources during my time here to get the most out of my experience, both academically and socially. The campus itself is all just buildings in the downtown city area, so to walk between classes you’re just walking amongst the CBD area – it’s confusing at first, but I think I’m going to come to like it.
I didn’t get into the student housing which I was stressed about at first, so I knew I would have to find housing independently, but I am really happy it happened now. I met a really good friend on my first day in Toronto and now we have signed a lease together to move into our own place. The lease is only month to month, which is less common, so it means I don’t have to commit to a long-term amount of time seeing as I am only here for a semester. I am worried for the winter as the weather has been really pleasant so far, but I am also excited to experience it. I think Toronto is very similar to Sydney in a lot of ways and Ryerson is quite similar to UTS, except Toronto is bigger and has more going on. In terms of the music and arts scene, it’s quite similar in crowd. The only thing I would say is that people in Toronto seem more open and less cliquey – I am not sure if that’s because I am putting myself out there more though. I do not have my timetable finalized yet bit so far I am doing mostly new things I haven’t done before, which is really exciting.
I am excited to see how the uni semester goes and to compare it to studying at UTS.
Veronica Dulagil Moorhouse
Bachelor of Communications
For more information about the UTS Global Exchange program please visit: www.global-exchange.uts.edu.au