Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Humber Toronto, Sarah Kehoe

So when thinking of moving to Toronto or Canada to work and study the first thing you need to think about is VISA'S I know its a little daunting. I myself had the idea of doing the both but the process of getting the work and study permit did not happen for me so... I went for an alternative route which I could not of been happier to take. I took the opportunity to go to Edinburgh for my placement which I did not regret at all. I had the chance to visit not one but two great cities. When you only study in Toronto for less than 6 months a visa is not required, all you need a ETA ( electronic travel authorisation) this costs 7 Canadian dollars and is a super easy fast process done online, if you are looking to work while you study you will have to apply for a VISA to do so.

Getting to Toronto 
Due to a strike in the college in December 2017 the date on which college was meant to start back was delayed which in turn meant that myself and Hope had to buy new flights out to Toronto which was very pricey. It is better value to return flights when booking your tickets, WOW air provides budget flights to Toronto via Iceland which myself and Hope took and were very pleased with. When you get here essentials are snow boots (not ski boots), very warm jacket, scarf, gloves and thermals. Yes, when you get here it is super cold but it does not take too long to get used too as long as you are wrapped up! Our second day in Toronto was orientation were we met our super nice lecturers and college advisers who kindly brought us to Wal-mart to pick up supplies for our room as walking aimlessly in the snow is not fun. It didn't take us long to realise if you wanna go somewhere you need to take public transport and get a presto card (used for metro and buses in Toronto). Public transport is great in Toronto so getting down town is easy ..... once you know your way, If anything goes wrong uber is your next best friend. Near to the north campus is a hospital (wellness centre), woodbine shopping centre and Fortinos (grocery store). If your looking to buy booze you have to go to designated LCBO shops which are a little further from the college.

Myself and Hope opted to choose campus accommodation (North campus Humber). Dorms, shared bathrooms and meal plan cards are not something I have done before as in Waterford I have always opted for a shared house. North campus residence is huge, each floor can contain up to 50 rooms. Rooms consist of a bed, wardrobe and a desk.... thats it. Bathrooms and social areas are all shared, but are kept very clean and are a lot nicer than I had expected. Dining cards..... this by far is my least favourite part of residence, with your residence fees you must purchase a $1000 meal plan card as there is no cooking facilities except a microwave, fridge and kettle in social area. You may rent an hour in a kitchen at a select time but no equipment i.e. pans, bowls are supplied. The meal plan card can buy you food at any campus, in residence and in the college although the food sucks! Meaning the food has zero nutrition, your options are Pizza, burgers, chips, sandwiches, frozen yogurt, endless junk foods, overcooked various meats/vegetables and a very sad salad bar. The residence also has Tim Hortons coffee which when you come here will discover is life. On the bright side you are a Culinary student Yay, your practical culinary classes provide packaging to bring home meals after class I know something I really wish we could do in WIT. The college also allows you to eat in the Humber restaurant run by students (takes meal plan cards).

Classes are run a little different here so I will try explain as best as I can. For a semester you must obtain 15 credits (equivalent to 30 credits in WIT). Classes in the culinary department here a run 6 week terms, which means you will take different classes in your first 6 weeks to your last 6 weeks, which means classes run by super fast and assignments are not to be left on the long finger! If you miss more than two days of a particular class you will automatically fail. The facilities in the college are fantastic. Emerging Trends in Canadian cuisine has been a favourite class of mine so far, learning new techniques and meeting lots of guest chefs.
Making steamed pork buns with Chef Chris Jang for Momofuku Toronto

Being an International Student
You will be invited on loads of trips with other international students from Europe, Our first week here we enjoyed a really nice trip down to Niagara falls followed by ice wine tasting, these trips give you time to make friends which you will do! Opportunities to ski, sleep in an igloo and go to hockey matches are just some of the thing we are enjoying so far the list is endless. 
Niagara Fall in January

Yes we are not even three weeks in and it has only taken us that time to get settled in and we are already having the time of our lives. I hope this blog gives a little insight to students making the decision on what college to choose now. It has been great so far and I no any student who chooses here will enjoy there time but, be aware this option will cost you a significant amount of money so start saving now!!! so that you can make the most of you time over here.

Sarah Kehoe 14/01/17

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