Meet Swajeet at the University of Toronto!

Name: Swajeet Jadhav
Nationality: Indian
University: University of Toronto (Scarborough)
Degree: Bsc. Statistics (Major)
Current Year of Study: First year


10 Questions:

How did you choose your university destination and course of study?

When I was looking I considered mostly academic reasons. I saw studying abroad in a Canadian university as a rare opportunity to get a really world-class education. I was greatly helped to choose the best campus by Ms. Sarah. Some of the things I would recommend students to focus on are the features that they would love to have in the university of their choice, such as: the social environment or the weather or scholarships.

For me, I always loved the clickety sound of a computer from my childhood and so I desired to study the subject in more detail which led to me choosing to complete my A levels in Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics.

What have been the highlights of your academic programme so far?

First year is common for all students admitted into the Computer-mathematical science department. I have made many great friends and spent a couple of all-nighters getting ready for exams and trying to ace our daily assignments.

What do you enjoy most about living in Toronto?

Toronto is the most multicultural city I have seen. In Toronto, anyone can be a Torontonian; no matter where you are from or how long you have lived here everyone is part of this large community. The best example of this is if you live in Toronto you can walk ten minutes and you can find Indian food or Chinese cuisine making it better for a foodie like me.

How supportive is your university to international students?

University of Toronto is one of the best universities in the world and the ISC or International Student Centre is one of the best support systems for international students at UTSC. It provides all types of support from immigration, academic support to extracurricular and fun activities such as cool events and trips. I feel part of this amazingly diverse community and have felt no different to my other domestic friends.

What have been 3 of the main challenges you have faced during your time at university?

  1. Difference in the academic level between high school and university – when I first started university, I found instantly that there is a scale up in the level of work and, where my A levels where more topic oriented, the studies at university are very proof oriented. For my A levels the concepts focused on topics such as integration whereas university studies focus on the proper use and understanding of these concepts with a proof based approach.
  2. Balancing Life aka Time Management – the University of Toronto is tough and time management is one of the most crucial skills you can learn and it makes a huge difference to your attainment in University. I found making a very detailed Apple Calendar or Google Calendar, or even a physical planner is super helpful at keeping me on track. Although I am a great time manager it is a struggle to keep a daily track of how quickly the syllabus shifts and so it is best practice to be as efficient as possible.
  3. A life altering experience – moving to a new country, adjusting to the terrible weather, and living on your own all at once might feel overwhelming and can be very difficult. Keeping up with all your studies might make you feel exhausted, but you can adapt. For me, it has been a lot to adjust to in a few months but as I got to make new friends, got to know the city and create a well organized routine it all slowly improved and became easier. This can be demanding but it will slowly get better as you get into the flow of things.

What activities are you involved in outside of your academic programme?

Outside of university studies I am involved in a few great clubs such as the ISA or the Indian Association Club at UTSC and had the joy of hosting many cool events such as the Deepavali Celebrations and Indian Food night out. Besides the ISA, I am also heavily involved in the activities of DS3 which is the Data Science and Statistics Society whose mission is to make a contribution to the student community by creating opportunities for engagement in data science and statistics.

How easy is it to find accommodation? Can you describe your living arrangements?

Finding an apartment in and around Toronto is serious business. It requires a lot of searching and negotiating. To add, the rent in Toronto is increasing. However, it is possible to find a good accommodation to live off campus with the help of the UTSC residence team who can guide students on how they can find an affordable and well-located apartment. For my first-year, I have decided to live on campus and the university provides a few options to live on campus.

Do you think your university experience is preparing you well for the working world and do they offer support with finding jobs and internships?

UTSC provides a great exposure to students for chances to get jobs and internships. In fact, UTSC is the only campus out of the three U Of T campuses that allows its students to work during designated work terms, which is called the Co-op program. This way the students can have the best opportunity to understand the job market and create a strong CV before graduation.

UTSC has many clubs that also help add to the job profile before graduation. Alongside Co-op, the university provides extra help to build strong resumes and help students practice for job interviews. Finally, with many seasonal job fair events it exposes its students to the job market and the latest skills needed for different companies and brands.

What opportunities have you had to travel and explore during weekends and vacations?

Being part of the University of Toronto has many perks. Although the University is rigorous it provides the students a great opportunity to relax and explore the city during weekends and vacations and breaks. For example, during the start of the new term UTSC provides many trips to Downtown Toronto to explore the city or trips to other malls around Scarborough. To add, during the festive winter break the University provided fun events and allowed its students to have an incredibly relaxing Christmas.

What are the top 3 pieces of advice you would offer an international student thinking of coming to Toronto and Canada to study?

  1. To be ready for the unpredictable weather of Canada and immerse yourself into new experiences and make friends from all around the world. Finding a life balance outside of the classroom as Toronto has many great experiences.
  2. Get outside your comfort zone and communicate with the professors whenever you have doubts. The upper years can also give you much information to make the right next step. Never be afraid to ask for help. There is always help at university.
  3. Finally, and this is according to me the most important advice I can give, learn to manage your time smartly, be careful of how you manage to study for many courses. It is always best to create a schedule using a calendar so that you can divide each day into more productive chunks.

Find out more on the links below

First Christmas in Canada
Local produce
Local hikes
Fall on campus
Scary classmates!
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