Guest Blog: International Student Experience

Danielle Lee is a proud Ryerson Bachelor of Commerce graduate who specialized in Finance as part of the Business Management program. She is also an international student from Singapore. Danielle is delighted to share her experiences as an international student here at Ryerson!

I would encourage all incoming students to join in the O-week activities. From watching your first Rams Basketball Game to participating in the Annual Guinness World Record Challenge (We’re always up for smashing records!) and not forgetting to attend the International Students Welcome Party! For me, this is my favourite event of the 3. I got to meet friends from all over the world, and I also got to meet the friendly support staff from the International Students Support (ISS) office. There were fun quizzes, cultural performances and lots of delicious food served at the party!

My first couple of weeks at Ryerson were no doubt tough. Some adjustments and getting used to how classes were taught needed to be made. I would encourage you to make friends in each of your classes, so that you 1) can have someone to sit/chat with to stay awake in class 2) have someone to form a group with if required 3) this friend can also be your study buddy, and you both can share your class notes. But do remember that University is not all study and no play.

I would encourage students to get involved with the student groups at Ryerson, sports teams and/or intramurals and even apply to work on campus. I had the opportunity to be part of the Ryerson Campus Lions Club and also work part time on campus at the International Students Support office. These two opportunities helped me to break out of my comfort zone, learn to be more outspoken to be more adaptable to new surroundings, and not to be afraid to take risks.

As an international student, I was privileged to have relatives (My grandfather, aunt and uncle) living in Toronto, I did not feel too alone as they were here to provide support. I would spend my weekends with them. Similarly, I would spend my remaining free time I have with my friends. We were “brave” enough to check out the bone chilling/fun experiences at Canada’s Wonderland Halloween Haunt, running through the haunted houses and avoid being scared by the zombies and clowns. During Winter, my friends and I went ice skating at Nathan Phillips Square (which is just a couple minutes’ walk from campus). No one should ever miss out a snowboarding/skiing opportunity in the winter! There, my friends and I went on a day trip to Blue Mountain to learn how to snowboard! Not forgetting when winter passes and spring returns, we were able to marvel at the beauty of the Sakura flowers at Toronto’s High Park in the Spring. My friends and I had a memorable time at High Park. It was an enjoyable day filled with games, food and lots of laughter. (Above is one of the many photos we took during our potluck at High Park/Credit: Eduardo Chau Zhu).

My experience at Ryerson has been amazing and unforgettable. The best four years ever. Friendships formed for a lifetime. Ryerson will and forever be my home away from home.

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