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Campus visit report-York U-Keele Campus (Toronto)

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We visited York U yesterday, primarily so DD could check out their Cognitive Science program. 


1)It’s huge! York has 55,000 students between it’s two campuses. The Keele campus (the one we visited) is the main campus. Glendon is smaller and is fully English/French bilingual. 

2) That hugeness is almost all academic. There is a sports field (built for the Pan Am Games and donated to the University afterwards), and  student center with pool, weight room, etc thaf is available at a small yearly fee to students. Most sports are intramural between clubs and colleges, although they do have a few teams that compete more widely (hockey). Only about 5% of students live on campus (mostly international students). There are many, many off campus apartments. Multiple libraries and two child care centers. The student center is a small shopping mall, with a lot of food options (many international-it was rather amusing (as a TN resident) to hear our guide gush about the vendor that focuses on Chicken and Waffles and other Southern US specialties and how “they sound odd, but are really good!”. DD chose to go for Thai), a minor medical center  a dentist, a salon, a pharmacist, several gift shops, and the large bookstore. 


3) Just as we noticed online, you can major in almost anything, and it is expected to do so. Most majors are highly specialized and many are multidisciplinary. So, you don’t major in Mathematics, you major in “Computational Analysis”, which combines classes from mathematics, computer science, and finance. You can start out Undecided in mathematics, or psychology, or whatever, but even the undecided path requires that you know what school you want to be in, 


4)you apply to a specific college within the University. So, in DD’s case, she would be in one of the colleges in Liberal arts and Sciences, which happens to incorporate her major interests. Each college has their own paths. 


5) The on campus housing set up is standard dorm. Most are co-ed, and have shared, single stall washrooms with showers and locking doors. There are almost as many single rooms as doubles. All rooms are set up to be accessible. Single stall washrooms were readily available and visible in every building we visited, even the oldest ones on campus, built in the 1950’s. 


6)Did I mention it’s big? 


7) Research was mentioned and appears to be common, as is travel and co-op. Some majors require co-op. What we didn’t see was the wallpapering of science hallways in research. Whiteboards and chalkboards were common in many buildings to be able to jot down notes and ideas, particularly in the sciences, liberal arts, and engineering colleges, but you didn’t see papers and posters from research on display on professor’s doors and bulletin boards. That was a little disappointing. We are used to being able to get a good view of what kind of research is done and an idea of how involved students are without having to actually ask. Not possible here. 


8 ) most buildings have courtyards and covered walkways. It doesn’t feel crowded. It’s a pretty campus. 


9) lots and lots of art. 


DD definitely wants to leave it on the list. The size is a little intimidating. But she likes the program a lot, and overall likes the school. She likes the fact that recycling and environmental features are everywhere, but aren’t shouted about, just assumed, and that inclusion is, again, just expected. Overall, I think she really likes Canada. 


Cost is not horrible-but she would need some merit aid to get it down to being a really strong consideration. She would be applying as a transfer, so avoids some of the homeschool restrictions (the “information for parents booklet” seems to have a lot of hoops for homeschoolers). I only see about 3-4 classes that would actually map to requirements in her major, so her AS would be mostly useful for transfer purposes. 


U Toronto today ?




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Thanks for the update on your visits! Glad your dd enjoyed her time there. International student fees are pretty awful, that's for sure. It's the same for us if we want to go to school in the US. 

Hope you have a good visit at U Toronto. Much closer to city centre, there. 

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