Senior Mag 2023: Seniors cross borders for new educational opportunities

June 6, 2023 — by Jonathan Si
International schools offer students new skills, unique experiences and an introduction to a brand new culture.

For many students, college is an opportunity to escape into the world, developing new skills, relationships and experiences that they couldn’t get from high school. For some, this includes studying abroad, exploring a completely new country and culture.

Ishir Lakhani: crossing the border to Canada

Ishir will be attending the University of Waterloo, majoring in Computer Science. Looking for colleges that provided immediately applicable skills outside of the classroom, Ishir said that Waterloo’s co-op program was one of the main reasons for his commitment to the university. 

Waterloo’s co-op program offers students resources to explore career options and gain paid work experiences while they earn their university degree. Every four months, students can alternate between studying at school in Waterloo and applying and working for various jobs. 

Ishir also said the school will help match students with companies, and since these internships can also be anywhere, over 2,000 companies have portals on Waterloo. Students can also apply externally using regular LinkedIn applications.

“I really liked having the chance to then take the other skills that I learned inside the classroom and immediately apply those to working in a job,” Ishir said. “Basically, I’m guaranteeing myself an internship every four months and it is something that I am really excited about.”

Anjini Mani: global health studies in China

For the next two years, Anjini will be studying global health at Duke Kunshan in Kunshan, Jiangsu, China. Having previous experience studying abroad last summer in Taiwan through National Security Language Initiative Youth scholarship (NSLI-Y), she has already begun studying Mandarin to overcome the language barrier. 

“It was difficult since it’s a tonal language and so different from English,” Anjini said. “Still, it was really fun since I was able to experience the culture alongside the language.”

As for culture, the food is something she looks most forward to. Not only is everything cheaper, but it tastes much better too. 

“I love their tofu,” she said. “I’m still thinking about it today.”

China’s significance in the political sphere was the main deciding reason for her commitment. Majoring in global health, she said understanding global communities is crucial for her studies and especially important for when she applies them to the real world.

“China is now and will be, for several generations, at the forefront of global affairs, and in the aftermath of the pandemic, everyone’s eyes are on global health,” Anjini said. “It is now more important than ever to learn mandarin and understand the relations between the U.S. and China.” 

Emma O’ Reilly: Native Canadian heads for Toronto on pre-med path

Emma will be studying at the University of Toronto next fall, majoring in neuroscience on a Pre-Med track. 

Born in Ontario, Emma said that one main reason for her decision was the cost of tuition, with domestic fees being around $6,000, as opposed to international tuition of around $40,000. Having attended an international school in Hong Kong for middle school, Emma noted she feels she would have no trouble readapting to a new environment. 

For academics, the University of Toronto offers students a Program of Study (PoSt), with choices of a specialization, a double major or a major and minor. She would first need to finish any prerequisites needed in her first year, but the following years would allow her to choose which majors to switch to.

“I’m planning to double major in Physiology and Health and Disease,” Emma said. “PoSt is a guaranteed program, so it makes it really easy to switch.”

Apart from the learning environment, Emma also noted she would feel safer in Canada, just for peace of mind.

“I just feel like the chance of me getting shot is much lower in Canada,’” she said.

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