My International Student Experience

As I walked past my house door, bidding goodbye to my family, my dog, my friends, and lastly, my country, I realized a lot of things. I did not have answers to the who, what, and when that came to my mind at that moment, since I had made the decision to move to Toronto for my undergrad where I knew nobody. My thoughts and fears were justified, hence, the only solution at that moment was, “I’ll get through this”.

Just as the aircraft took off from India, I took a deep breath and promised myself that through this journey, I’ll make myself & my family proud. 

Performed at Orientation.
My first Orientation performance at University College.

Once I landed into Toronto, I felt strong, confident, and hopeful for one of the best experiences of my life. Leading a life without your family is tough, but not impossible. Before diving deep into academics, I engaged in the various activities offered by the Centre for International Experience (CIE) that assisted me tremendously in expanding my social network and meeting some of the most interesting people at U of T. If you ever feel the need to meet people, then Student Life and CIE events are the go-to places for you! The first week of September, just before classes began, was extremely special, too, since Orientation is the most fun time of the year; a time when you indulge in learning more about the University’s long-existing student culture and how to deal with academics as well. 

When lectures began, schedules became more hectic and people got busier. This is when I was introduced to the various resources available for students, including academic assistance, learning strategists, mental health services, and more. I visited every resource office and understood their importance as I saw an overall improvement in myself. The many interesting opportunities, activities, and resources both showcase and reflect the important message that this place is not just for academics, but for overall growth. 

Keeping up with Academics.
Keeping up with academics.

Balancing life is another important lesson I learned as an international student. By the end of my first year, I had mastered the art of preparing my meals well in advance, doing laundry, engaging with other like-minded people, and studying. Doing all this while balancing academics was not easy initially, but after some time, I got so used to it that now, I love doing each of the activities mentioned above. 

From FaceTime becoming family time to balancing life becoming the ultimate goal, I learned a lot. As I go into my second year, I hope to learn more about myself and improve my overall efficiency.

My first family photograph the day I landed in Toronto.
My first family photograph on the day I landed in Toronto.

1 comment on “My International Student Experience

  1. Beautifully penned down, definitely an interesting read for all the upcoming international students, who are going to go through the same rollercoaster.
    Keep making your family and friends proud of you:)

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