UofT has a diverse campus which is one of the greatest assets to our campus! If you are an international student at University of Toronto you will recognize these signs! Here are 10 signs you are an international student at UofT.
1. Somehow you’ve already gotten emails from every obscure student union.
Who knew there were so many of them? How do they know I’m international? If you’re a first year, prepare to get a good ten emails in your first few weeks. Believe it or not, there’s probably a union for your continent, one for your region, one for your country, and definitely one for your first language. While some of them are really well set up (I’ve heard good things about the International Students Association) while others are a bit of a mess in terms of organization or events. You’ll definitely find a good one and they’ll give you a hand when you’re in a tough spot.
2. People have commented on your stationary/school supplies.
“Oh my god where did you get that pen?” Whether it be pens, erasers, or planners it seems everyone is obsessed with your school supplies. Maybe it’s because “cute” school supplies is seen as a kids thing in North America or because you just can’t find certain characters on notebooks here, but if it hasn’t happened to you yet, give it time. It will. You’ll get a bit of satisfaction watching people’s reactions every time you tell them “I got it back home.”
3. You’ll get homesick and take an hour transit ride down to the one cafe that sells your favorite snacks.
There is one cafe in Little Portugal that sells the custard tarts I grew up on. It took an hour and a half to get down there, but sometimes it hits hard that you’re not at home and nothing else will really fix it. Make sure to figure out which places really remind you of home so you’ll have them when you need it most.
4. Campus stores will almost carry what you wanted.
The international foods will never really be international enough, especially when one of your regional flavours becomes a health fad. I’m looking at you, açai.
5. You’ll always tune in to people’s conversations if they’re in your language.
So you’re sitting in class, waiting for it to start when suddenly, there it is. Your language will always sort of come out through the noise, even in larger and louder auditoriums like Con Hall. It might even be more distracting than regular conversations during class.
6. Taking a class on your culture is a bit of a strange experience.
Some of them will be great, others will be insensitive. It depends on the prof and what their connection to the culture and country is. From my experience and that of my friends, if the professor is actually coming from your country or region they’ll be more accurate so look out for that if you’re taking one of those classes. But don’t let worries about inaccuracy keep you from taking courses about your country or culture: you might still learn something cool.
7. You won’t pick up the lingo immediately.
UofT has all its own references, its own language quirks, and its own communities. There are whole Facebook pages (I didn’t even know people still used those) dedicated to UofT colloquialisms. Like anything, some of them might be before your time and that can be frustrating, but you’ll be around to watch new ones come to life and there’s something weirdly satisfying about that.
8. And people will have trouble understanding your lingo too.
So yeah, the stories, memes, and household names you grew up with will definitely elicit a few weird reactions from other students. Most won’t recognize them, some will hate them, and others might be uncomfortably well versed in your 9 P.M. soap.
9. UofT is way too big.
No matter which campus you’re on, UofT is absolutely huge. It boasts thousands of students from pretty much everywhere and yeah, when you first get there, that’s nerve-wracking. Take a deep breath, unpack your stuff, and then get out there. It feels way smaller once you’ve found a community you like.
10. Your Canadian friends will all leave rez and you probably won’t.
So your milk went missing from the communal fridge and the cafeteria food is sort of gross but you’re definitely not going to remember that if you leave. Instead you’re gonna be thinking about all the friends you made and how much you miss not having a commute. It’s more convenient than facing Toronto housing costs or terrible landlords, and your friends will definitely tell you all about that.