Campus Life (I)
In the following weeks, I will post a series of anecdotes that I have been living in the past few weeks getting to know the U of T campus. I will present a selection of sites that you can sight and the things that you can do around campus and outside OISE. The various University buildings are scattered in downtown Toronto. OISE students are a bit removed from the rest of the campus, not by distance, but in relation to activities and facilities. Our building is very large and there are always things to do around here. Being in my last semester of the M.Ed. in Social Justice Education, I decided to leave OISE’S building and discovered whatever the university has to offer. As international students, part of our transition is to also feel part of the city. Don’t be like me during my first year, go out and meet the campus and the city. Toronto is awesome.
For this first post of Campus Life I visited three sites around campus that can help you make a better transition into being a new international student in Canada and its educational system. They are all are at 563 Spadina Av. 15 minutes walk from OISE.
The first is The Centre for Women and Trans People
This centre is close to Kensington Market on Spadina (if you want to go and eat after your visit). In there, you can find a safe space to discuss any concerns you have about sexual and gender identities, and how they are being addressed by the University. Moreover, you can find spaces available for work and a friendly, feminist, and inclusive environment to study or just to have a nice conversation.
In the centre you can find out all about the activities conducted by the university and the city for social and gender justice. I encourage you to participate in this center and its initiatives as a member or volunteer. For more information, visit their website.
The Centre for Aboriginal Initiatives
The next place I visited was the Centre for Aboriginal Studies and Initiatives Aboriginals. In this centre you can find literature and research related Aboriginal peoples’ studies, primarily in North America. Activities have been suspended for the summer. But stay tuned for news during the academic year. For more information, check out their website.
The last place I visited was the First Nations House. I must confess that this place has been my favorite until now. In here, you can find a friendly environment and nice people to talk with. The first thing that struck me when I got there were the paintings with indigenous demonstrations across the floor.
In the centre you can find all kinds of help. The staff is ready to help with literature research, academic advice, help with grammar and spelling, among other things. You can also find free coffee and snacks, as well as computers and a cozy reading room.
If you need it, you can talk to some of the Elders found in residence. Being in the center feels like home. For more information, visit their website. If you are interested in helping and volunteering, contact Jackie at firstname.lastname@example.org
If for some reason you find it difficult to go, check the magazine of the residence so you can be aware of the activities around the house.
In Spanish: Campus Life (I)