Study Exchange in Toronto

Saad Mazhar – BSc (Hons) Economics – Study Exchange at Toronoto Metropolitan University

Hello. My name is Saad and I’ve undertaken a semester abroad at Toronto Metropolitan university in Canada. For four months, my teaching moved across the ocean where I stayed in central Toronto and completed a university term there.

Having lived outside the UK when I was younger, I have had experience with travelling abroad but nevertheless it is always a daunting process. Nerves are high the coming days before departure but upon arrival, you start to settle in quickly and get into the flow of things. A huge benefit for me was that I had family in Canada who I was able to rely on for support and assistance and they were close to my accommodation, making it easy to visit them. The studies itself were similar to the UK and as both countries are dominantly English speaking, there was no language barrier to overcome.

In terms of the atmosphere, people in Canada are extremely friendly and welcoming, Toronto particularly excels in these virtues due to how multicultural it is. The size of the city was a slight shock as compared to Guildford, living in a place closer in similarity to London takes a while to adjust to but it was a welcome change and helped me to experience the city life as opposed to a quieter experience in Guildford.

One of the best parts of travelling abroad for me was that I was able to connect and make friends from all over the world. As I lived in a shared apartment which catered mainly to students, I met people from all parts of the world including Germany, Vietnam, South Korea and Italy to name a few places. This is something that while you can do in the UK as well, travelling to a different country as an international student offers you the chance to connect to people in similar situations and bond with them. 

One piece of advice I would give to students who are interested in taking the opportunity Surrey provides is to research the university, see how accommodating and supportive they are of international students and to have a chat with your tutor on your chosen choice as it is likely they have students who have previously attended there. The IEO team at Surrey is also extremely skilled and can assist you with any queries you may have.

Overall, it is definitely an opportunity you should take if you are inclined to experience new things and I would highly recommend at least considering it!