Celebrating International Students

A circular graphic that highlights the domains of innovation associated to this project.

This project sought to gain a better understanding of the international student experience at U of T. The project combined data collected about the international student experience directly and analyzed existing data from the Innovation Hub archive of 600+ interviews

Three icons of individuals connected by a circle, with a key in the middle.

Access for Every Student

All students have equitable access to programs, services, resources, and spaces.

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Fostering Connectedness

Students experience a sense of belonging and connection within the UofT community.

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Whole Student Development

Students receive the support they need for their holistic well-being (physical, psychological, social, and emotional).


The international student experience at U of T is neither homogeneous nor easily captured in just numbers.

All students in this complex group have unique stories and experiences, which we set out to explore. We took a human-centred, qualitative approach to studying international student experiences. While all of their stories are unique, they share commonalities in the challenges they face and in the way that they brave these challenges.

We found that international students brave the unfamiliar, challenging themselves to be resilient.

The overall findings play out in three themes:

1) Daring Dreams and Discoveries
2) Communicating Courageously
3) Making Bold Connections

We also provide a special section called 'Exceptional Times', which highlights how international students braved the pandemic with incredible resilience. Alongside the themes and insights, we developed 'Building Bravery Design Principles' to guide how to honour the courage and resilience of international students at U of T. Learn more by accessing our report, which is linked below.

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Read more about the project:

Research Team

Danielle Baillargeon, Data Analysis Team Lead

Danielle Baillargeon

Robin has curly hair, looking towards the camera and smiling

Robin Martin

Serena Tran

Serena Tran

Yuwei wearing glasses, a blue shirt, and white cardigan - smiling to the camera.

Yuwei Jiang

Design & Communications Team

A photo of Kaitlyn smiling to the camera, with trees and buildings in the background

Kaitlyn Corlett


Akshay Mahimtura

Marielle standing outside on a sunny day

Marielle Dilla

Nikhil smiling towards the camera in front of a colourful backdrop.

Nikhil Pawar