University of Toronto: International Student Life

Choosing to study in a foreign country is a complicated, difficult, and extremely important decision in a person’s life. From academics to the stresses of immigration, there are many considerations to make when choosing the institution where you’ll spend tens of thousands of dollars (if not more). This article will cover some important factors to consider when choosing to study at what is widely regarded as Canada’s best university, the University of Toronto. 

Student Life 

In one word, the student life at the University of Toronto (UofT) is extremely diverse. Divided into three campuses, each has a distinctly different feel and are therefore perfect for different types of students. St. George is the largest campus, with over 67,000 students last year. The St. George campus is incredibly vibrant, with over 200 years of history. Of the three campuses, St. George is the largest and therefore the busiest – perfect for students looking for a big city to explore. In contrast, University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) is significantly smaller with an altogether different atmosphere. More suited towards nature, sustainability, and intimate class sizes, UTM has a relatively small student population, with only around 16,000 students enrolled last year. For students looking for a more intimate university experience with smaller class sizes, but with the international recognition and brand of UofT, UTM is a great choice. Last but not least, on the other side of the city is the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC). With only around 14,000 students last year, UTSC is another great choice for a small university feel with a big university reputation. What separates UTSC from the other two campuses, among other things, are the co-op programs offered in over 80 programs. Across an entire city and three campuses, the University of Toronto has something for everybody. Across the campuses, there are over a thousand different clubs and student organizations, ensuring that anyone can find a like-minded group of individuals. 

Tuition and Living Expenses

Toronto is an extraordinarily expensive city with the highest cost of living in the country. This is reflected in the cost of tuition at the UofT, especially with international tuition rates more comparable to schools in the USA (when compared with other Canadian schools). While the quality of the school is undeniable, there are a variety of opinions among students about whether or not an undergrad degree is worth the hundreds of thousands of dollars in international tuition and cost of living. Important to note is the effect of cost of living on student experience. If your family is making large sacrifices for you to be able to afford your education, then you will enjoy it significantly less. Every class will matter more, you won’t have the flexibility of changing your academic path. Living comfortably will not be easy and nor will taking the time off of academics to enjoy the wonderful things Toronto has to offer. Another important consideration to make from a financial perspective is the heavy workload typical to UofT students. The more time in your day that is taken up by your studies, the less time you have to work and make money to support yourself. While all international students are limited to only 20 hours of work per week (in most cases), maintaining a balance between work and school will be much more challenging at UofT compared to other Canadian Universities. 

The University of Toronto is without a doubt a formidable institution, with hundreds of years of history, three campuses, and opportunities around every corner. Hopefully this article helped you get an idea of student life at Canada’s largest university. Please write to us with feedback as we use your comments, concerns, and criticisms to build our blog!

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