Ryerson Academics and Experiential Learning

It’s been five weeks since I’ve started classes here at Ryerson, and luckily enough, I’ve already had two very unique assignments that I’d like to tell you about! Why? Because these types of assignment are exactly what it means to study at a hands-on university where experiential learning is a big part of the learning. Ryerson’s reputation of being Canada’s leader in innovative and career-focused education is based on just this. Also, I’ve discovered that downtown Toronto isn’t only a fun place to go to university, but actually benefits your learning in several ways.

For instance, in my Urban and Regional Planning class entitled “Imagining the Creative City”, we were put in groups, assigned a neighbourhood in Toronto and were told to explore the creative industries within that area. Pretty cool, right? Instead of having a lecture that week, we spent three hours exploring Liberty Village, one of Toronto’s most trendy neighbourhoods for artists and creative professionals. My group members and I hadn’t seen much of Toronto other than the downtown area, so this was a truly rewarding experience for us to discover more about the city we live in. The area was so different than anything I’d ever seen, and had a really great urban vibe. It’s definitely somewhere I’d want to live in the future! The following week we spent the entire lecture discussing all of our neighbourhoods, which was almost as enjoyable as exploring them ourselves!

The other amazing assignment I had was for Business. I started off being really nervous going into the course because I’d never taken a business class before in my life, but it has quickly become one of my favourites! Our major group assignment this semester was to interview a CEO or business owner and find out how a company gets started while gaining insight into innovation and idea generation. At first, interviewing someone so important seemed daunting, but setting up an interview was as easy as googling a company and making a phone call. My partner and I ended up interviewing Toronto Image Works, a printing and framing photography business. The owner was very welcoming and friendly, and we got great material for our report. Overall it was a great experience!

By doing these assignments, I’ve realized that they’re extremely essential to higher learning because they keep you interested and surprised while breaking through the typical university format of readings/lectures. Because of work like this, I find myself excited about going to class every week and finding out what we’re going to discuss next. Learning new things while enjoying yourself is what university is all about and so far my classes have exceeded all expectations, and I’m confident that’s it’s only going to get better from here!

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