Nicole - University of Toronto

B. Psychological Science
Semester 2, 2016

Academic experience

In order to fulfil my program requirements, I had to take both the 3rd-year and 2nd-year courses. It was not easy to find the equivalent courses to my UQ core courses and I had to submit multiple versions of my study plan. Another challenge was that I had to take 5 instead of 4 courses at Uni of Toronto and I found that each class had more content per week than at UQ, to which I needed to get used to. I think overall, the academic experience at Uni of Toronto was great in that it thought me how to be more independent and creative as almost for all my courses we had to come up with our own research proposals or even conduct them.

Personal experience

My exchange enabled me to travel to the North American continent, where I have not been before. I could visit the United States, and two Canadian provinces- Ontario and Quebec. I also met many interesting people from around the world and particularly from Canada, who I hope to stay friends with.

Accommodation

It was very difficult to find accommodation as an exchange student for one semester because all of the places wanted someone for the whole year. Therefore after many unsuccessful attempts, I applied for a homestay and I lived with a lovely family for the first month. It was great because they as locals were able to help me with settling in. Once I was there it was a bit easier to search for alternatives and so then I moved to a student accommodation on campus. I think students that come for one semester only should try to find a short-term accommodation first, like a homestay and look for another place once they arrive.

Budget

I found life in Toronto to be very expensive. The rent might have been comparable or even cheaper than in Brisbane (depending on the location) because the prices are per month, not weekly. But groceries, eating out and transportation were all expensive for a student budget. I would recommend budgeting around $1000 per month, not including any special travel plans.

Professional development and employability

Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls

I think exchange at Uni of Toronto made me best prepared for a potential career as a researcher. I have learnt to be more creative and independent, but at the same time, I also improved my teamwork skills during class discussions and assignments in my classes.

Highlight

Except for simply attending classes at the 20th best university in the world, for me personally, the highlight was being able to visit one of the world wonders - the Niagara Falls.

Top tips

I would definitely recommend to participate and start planning well in advance. For some programs, it might be quite simple, but some that have strict program requirements and courses that need to be taken, like the Bachelor of Psychological Science has, it is important that students plan their course enrolments well in advance so that they do not struggle with their study plan.

Nicole - University of Toronto