One thing that has always been on my bucket list has been to travel across Europe. Practically however, I’ve decided I should get this whole “education thing” done first.
So when my friend mentioned that she was applying for an exchange next year, it hit me that hey – maybe I can kill two birds with one stone!
This week the Centre for International Experience held their Exchange Fair. Representatives from dozens of different partner schools around the world all gathered in the Cumberland House to hand out information to prospective exchange students.
While some representatives were ambassadors of their Universities, many were students from the schools currently here at U of T on exchange! It was really unique to get to talk to actual students – versus someone who’s being paid to promote their school. You got a more genuine account of what the school was like, as well as the experience of being on exchange. I also felt that since many of them had been here at U of T already for 2 months or more, they were better able to understand the situation U of T students were coming from, and how the exchange school would differ from U of T.
Since I’m a Political Science and History major, most of the schools I looked into were in Europe. However I did talk to fellow community crew member Michael, who was scouting out schools in Asia for engineering exchange opportunities.
Something that I only found out after attending the fair was that if you go on an exchange through the U of T program, you continue to pay tuition to U of T. You don’t have to worry about paying international student fees or dealing with pesky currency conversions. You pay your tuition fees as normal, and U of T takes care of the rest.
I also learned about the self-designated programs, which is for students who want to attend a school that’s not on the approved U of T list. In this case, the CIE helps you to work individually with the University to design a program that works for your credits and your budget.
After visiting the exchange fair I realized that going on an exchange is a big deal. It’s not just something you can think about and apply for a couple weeks before the end of the summer. It’s an academic and financial commitment that you want to make sure you’re ready for. My advice would be to check out www.cie.utoronto.ca, or make an appointment with someone at the CIE who would be more than happy to assist you!
While I still have a big decision ahead of me, and a stack of brochures to get through a mile long, I feel as if I know that the people and resources at the CIE will be there to help me every step of the way. If you’re looking for more about U of T exchange experiences, make sure to also check out the CIE blogger Brett who’s currently blogging about his exchange experience in Tokyo!