Tag Archives: Student Support

 Roxana Escobar  


by Roxana
Social Justice Education

Finding ourselves: Campus Life (II)

The second building that I visited for the Campus Life posts was the Koffler house. This is a really special place and I encourage all international students to visit it. In there you can find two wonderful spaces in where you can meet new people, get in touch wit your spIMG_1508irituality, and involve in great community programs around the GTA. As international students, this is a great way of getting to know the city and its people.


Centre for Community Partnership

In this centre, you can find several community programs to enrol. It is not just volunteering, it is a place in which you will learn and also give back to the groups you are getting involved with. There are different ways for participating. For graduate students like us, it only takes going into the second floor of the Koffler building and see which program you would fit. The idea is that you make a commitment to the organization that is going to take you, and together, make a change in the world.

Since it is a community driven process, it is expected that the relationship students established with their chosen centres be a reciprocal one.


There are two categories in to choose your programs:

  1. Co-curricular short and long term programs. This is really important. If you decided to participate, you need to be aware that this is a commitment for at least 4 to 8 months. Don’t worry if you graduate and you still want to participate. The Centre for Community Partnership encourages students after graduation to stayed contributing wit the organization they choose. We can make this relationship a life commitment.
  2. Academic courses: mostly for undergraduates

For more information about the centre visit their website: Centre for Community Partnership


The Multi-Faith Centre

The Multi-Faith Centre is a very important place for several students at U of T. It is a place where you can go and live your spirituality freely. In there, you can find different programs, classes, and people willing to talk and discuss religion and its implications in our life.multi-f

The Multi-Faith Centre offers multi purposes spaces for meditation, yoga, and pray. It is a safe space. Also, if you have any questions about religion accommodations there is always someone able to help you.

Something really important about this centre is that there are always encouraging students to go and discuss their different position on religion and spirituality with them. Thus, they help and fund initiatives related to any of those subjects. If you have a research in mind, a workshop or any other activity go and find out how the Multi-Faith Center can help you. There are no restrictions for your participation, it can be an art show, a performance, poetry, a talk, a discussion, etc.

If you have any questions, write Sameena at sameena.eidoo@utoronto.ca

For more information about the upcoming activities go the centre website: Multi-Faith Centre

You can also submit into their Newsletter

In Spanish: En búsqueda de uno mismo: Campus Life (II)

Free Course? Yes Please: Graduate Student Academic Support

by Wook
Master of Education student
Developmental Psychology and Education

In graduate school, there are more oral presentations and writings involved. If you are pursuing a thesis based degree, you would be doing more of those during the process of completing your thesis. Some students may not have completed a thesis or written a research paper during their undergraduate years. As I mentioned before, University of Toronto has a huge pool of resources that can help the admitted and current students to succeed (more reason to come and study at OISE) so you do not need to worry about entering a graduate school boot-camp before you start your program!

The Office of English Language and Writing Support (ELWS) offers free non-credit courses and workshops to both native and non-native speakers of English on topics such as proposal writing, improving your academic writing style, and oral presentations. These courses are exclusively for graduate students at the University of Toronto so once you get accepted to one of our graduate programs at OISE, you can definitely take advantage of these wonderful courses. Although I did not have a chance to take any of the courses that were provided in Fall semester, I am planning on taking a SSHRC proposal writing workshop this year.

The courses that are provided include writing SSHRC and NSERC proposals, editing your own work, understanding the research articles. Some courses are created for non-native speakers of English which is a great option for international students who want to improve their conversation skills in various academic settings. In addition, these courses provide a great opportunity to network with graduate students who are studying in other departments within the University of Toronto. Since the University of Toronto is such a huge institution, it is challenging to meet people who are not in the same department. Networking and socializing with graduate students from other departments can lead to new research ideas and might even lead to an opportunity to collaborate with one another!

If you would like to find more information about ELWS, please visit: http://www.sgs.utoronto.ca/currentstudents/Pages/Current-Years-Courses.aspx

Are you  curious about the OISE student experience? Contact me:

Email: oise.ambassador@utoronto.ca


Introducing: International Transition Advisor

by Wook
Master of Education student
Developmental Psychology and Education

This week, I sat down with Ms. Erika Bailey, a Transition Advisor from the Center for International Experience. Every Monday, Erika visits OISE to assist current / admitted international students with any problems, goals, or concerns that they might have about their academic or personal lives.

I asked Erika about her main role as a Transition Advisor. She defined her role as a professional listener and a way-finder. Her work is student centered. Whatever the student needs, she will try her best to support the student. Some of the most frequent topics she deals with include housing issues, challenges involving language and cultural differences, academic success, and mental health related concerns. While the list may seem pretty extensive for a single person to handle, Erika’s main objective is to provide a confidential and safe space for international students to share their stories and help students to be able to walk out of the meeting with a plan to start minimizing the problem at hand.

As students, we normally look for assistance when we face a challenge that we are unable to resolve. While Erika welcomes international students to discuss pressing issues, she also welcomes international students who just want to drop by and talk about their experiences in Canada. She is also an OISE alumna so she is very familiar with academic and personal lives of OISE students.

My last question to Erika was that if she had any advice for prospective students. She said “Get comfortable with uncertainty.” Pursuing a degree in a different city, a country or an institution, may result in anxieties that are caused by uncertainty and unfamiliarity. Learning to deal with this is a life skill. However, Erika said that there are many professionals that are available to accommodate new students with their transition to the University of Toronto. As a current student, it was very comforting to know that I have a strong support from the institution that I am studying at!

If you wish to check out the Centre for International Experience or the International Transition Advising, visit:

www.cie.utoronto.ca / www.uoft.me/transitionadvising

Please keep in mind that these resources are available for current and admitted international students only.


Are you  curious about the OISE student experience? Contact me:

Email: oise.ambassador@utoronto.ca