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Archive for the ‘international students’


which curriculum though?

Hi, first I would really really be happy if you could answer my question
and help me find a solution to my problem… I really appreciate the
efforts you do to help clueless students like me.

I am a 12 grader high school student living in Saudi Arabia and I’m
currently studying in a Saudi

-supervised American Diploma school section where I study both Saudi and US
subjects. MY PROBLEM IS, I don’t know which system requirement should I
follow. I checked the requirement for US system and they just require too
much.. (2 SAT subject test, SAT, IELTS+)

I can’t do all of that before the deadline of 1 Feb 2017! In my country
people start applying in summer after graduation and not during school. ????
However the Saudi curriculum requirements are so easy they only require
Students who study in such merged schooling systems have to ask the MOE for
a “certificate equivalency” where their transcripts get completely adjusted
to the Saudi system so they get into colleges (Some Saudi schools don’t
recognize foreign certificates). My question is; will I be able to get
admitted as a “Saudi student” if I applied with a “legally” equalized

I hope you are able to help me



first of all, thank you for your kind words! i wish i knew all the answers to your questions off the top of my head but sometimes these questions take time to figure out.

in regards to your question: WOW this is so complicated. this question made no sense to me so i decided to consult a registrar! they know everything. this is what they said.

“if you are following the saudi system and if the school is recognized by the ministry of education in saudi arabia as eligible to offer the saudi diploma, then applying as a saudi student is okay.

the “legally” equalized certificate is not the issue, it’s whether or not you are following the saudi system (which it sounds like you are following both saudi and US) and if the school is recognized by the ministry to offer the saudi high school diploma, then applying as a saudi student is fine.

if your school is only accredited to offer the US diploma, then you must apply as a US student.”

hope this makes more sense to you than it does to me!

if you have any more inquiries, enrolment services would probably be the best place to contact!




OMSAS is awesome

I’m an International student from India.
Currently I’m a final year student in the undergraduate medical course in India- MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery).
After finishing my graduation, I’m aspiring to pursue my Post-Graduate in Medicine in the U of T.
How can I get a detailed information about the admission procedure to the University, admission criteria, etc.?
One additional question I wanna ask is:Are there any arrangements for International students to take a tour of the University & are any counseling services provided to International students for their admission process??Thank you


hey there,

unfortunately, there isn’t a great deal of information on how an MBBS is assessed at u of t. in fact, there’s pretty much nothing.

assuming that “post-grad” means you want to pursue the MD program at U of T, this page outlines the requirements that you would need to fulfil as an international student, however, they state that you require a “Completion of a non-medical bachelor’s degree equivalent to a four-year bachelor’s degree in Canada with WES transcript assessment”.

the WES transcript, fyi: is a” transcript from studies undertaken at universities outside of Canada or the USA which needs to be submitted to World Education Services (WES) for assessment.” the u of t site states that: “for admission consideration we require a course-by-course evaluation which includes an overall GPA calculation.”

since your MBBS would be considered “medical” AND from an international institution, you might encounter an issue applying to the program. the best thing to do would be to contact the md program directly.

if you’ve somehow already figured out that you’re eligible to apply, you can go ahead and look at the Ontario Medical Schools Application Service site; which has detailed information regarding how to apply to each medical school in ontario! it’s super informative and includes tons of information on each school. check out this link on applying to U of T’s med school. OMSAS pretty much has the answers to all your questions regarding medical school!

in terms of advising for international students, there is always the centre for international experience (CIE) which is a great place on campus that welcomes international students and help them with international student-specific questions. contact them here: and you may even be able to ask them questions about how your degree transfers!

hope this helped, best of luck to you!




math is hard

Im an international student going to UTM for commerce. I did my AS levels and got As in Accounts and Economics but somehow my math grade slipped from a 100% in school to a C in final grade. Will UTM take back my offer of admission or not allow me in the commerce program?


hey there,

to be honest, that seems like quite a significant drop in your grade so it may be possible that they will rescind your offer. however, we really have no idea and it would benefit you to check with admissions at UTM to ask about your own unique situation.

i know we say “ask us anything” but this is one of those situations where we really have no idea of knowing, simply because we don’t work for admissions. however, if you do have any other questions regarding student life or other academics throughout your time at U of T, feel free to send them to us and we’d be happy to answer them for you!

regardless, i wish you all the best in your upcoming semester! i hope it all worked out for you!




f is for friends who do stuff together

Hi I’m starting at uoft soon and I’m an international student so I will literally not know anyone when I start! Any tips on how to make friends?



first of all, welcome to canada! i hope you love toronto as much as i do.

“how do i make friends” is a question we get a lot on askastudent, so if it feels like i’m repeating stuff i’ve said in the past, i apologize. since you’re asking this question, i assume you haven’t read those entries. no worries!

orientation week (or the less politically correct ‘frosh week’) is a place where you’ll be bombarded by hundreds of people from your college. even if some events seem lame, i highly recommend you attend orientation week. people will be talking about it for years and you’ll feel like you missed out on an important aspect of the university experience. this is your opportunity to take your pick. play the field, mingle, and be cool. if you aren’t cool, don’t be cool. just be yourself so the friends you make will know who you are as opposed to who you’re trying to be. after frosh week, if these friends stick, they’ll probably be the ones who will stick around for a while.

if they don’t, that’s okay, it just wasn’t meant to be. here comes option 2 if frosh friends are a no-go.

if you live in residence, attend res events. take advantage of floor bonding activities because they’re literally there for you to meet friends. bond with them.

if you aren’t living in residence, that’s okay too!

participate in an extra-curricular activity or two! u of t has clubs for everything you could possibly think of. join a choir, throw a frisbee around, or play chess! you’re bound to find a club that you’re interested in.

lastly, don’t be afraid to talk to people in class. it’s always good to have a friend in a class in case you decide to sleep in for one of your 9am classes. But you know, aside from using these people for notes, you can actually try be friends with them!

personally, i make friends with people when i find out we dislike the same things. ‘dislike’ is a strong word and emotion but i feel like it’s very easy to make friends if you complain about the same things. but that’s just me. maybe don’t do that. love one another and be kind, like ellen.

not to be a debbie downer, but remember that friends are easy to make but hard to keep. it’s going to take some effort to keep some of these friendships going, just like it’ll take time for you to get used to having long distance friendships with people back home. don’t forget to make an effort to reach out or see each other some time. let them know you care! soon enough, you’ll have a squad, if that’s your kind of thing.

peace and love,



i’m not sure what happened here

Hi i’m an international student hoping to come to uoft after graduating in december this year! i was wondering when uoft intakes are? is there only a fall intake?


hey there,

unfortunately, if you’re applying for admission to uoft as an international student, you can only apply for the Fall session, i.e. the session beginning in September 2017. the application process starts in late September/early October 2016 though, so make sure to read up on how to apply so that you don’t miss any deadlines!

assuming you get in, you’ll have like nine empty months between graduation and coming to uoft, and unless you’re diligent at keeping yourself busy, you run the risk of becoming very, very bored. in the interest of combating that, i have compiled a list of potential activities for you:

1. make a humongous house of cards. as you build, think about how it symbolizes he precariousness of your life at this moment in time, floating between two schools, two realities, two versions of yourself. the card house crashes down. you become someone else.

2. go on a trip. if you can’t afford to go on a trip because you’re saving all your money for university, fantasize about going on a trip.

3. make candles with a bro – even though it’s a cliche.

4. commune with the spirit of aska’s lost motivation. i’ll pay you $10 if you can convince it to come back to me.

5. transcend time and space. dance with Jupiter, which is only the size of a thimble in your massive, loving, purple palm. stare at yourself in a mirror. you can see yourself at every age, simultaneously. you understand that you are infinite. time is not frozen but you exist outside of it, and you watch it melting slowly like an ice cream sundae. you open your mouth to laugh, and a flock of swallows come out of your throat. they freeze on impact with space, hanging amongst the stars like a cosmic mobile.

6. kick back with a couple of beers. no wait. you’re probably like 17, aren’t you? apple juices.




patience, padawan

Hey there,
I am a first year engineering student at university in Washington and currently hold a 3.7 GPA (9.2% grade). I did really well in high school as well. I already applied for a transfer I UofT for mechanical engineering and I really need to know when I can expect to hear a response? I really want to find a place to live and also apply for a student visa. Also do they look at international transfers differently?


hi there,

i can’t tell you when you’ll hear back from uoft. not only do i not know when you, specifically, will hear back, i don’t even know when different rounds of offers are given, or to whom. it’s very likely that you’ll hear back in May, but again, i’m really not in a position to be able to give specifics.

i know that it’s frustrating to be in this limbo, because you need to get a move on with visas and residence. i wish everyone heard back early, with plenty of time to figure out everything else relating to university; unfortunately, it takes time, and i have very little influence over that. (or anything else, really – like, i barely have influence over my own sleep schedule).

competitive transfer students to the faculty of applied science & engineering generally have at least a 3.2 GPA, and you need to have completed the prerequisites at the high school level as well. if you meet (and even exceed, as you seem to) those requirements, then – congrats! you’re a competitive applicant. being international does not necessarily hinder your application; your grades will be valued holistically to determine your suitability for the program.

of course, i can’t by any means guarantee that you will be accepted. transferring is a competitive process, especially in engineering. there are few spots and lots of hopefuls. but i will say that meeting and exceeding standards published by uoft is never a bad sign.




international fees *sips tea*

Hello! I have several questions to ask you, being an international student looking to transfer to U of T. First of all, why does the application fee cost so much? It is $100 more than the cost of applying to an university in the US.
Also, is it normal to pay the fee before turning in all the needed documents? It asked me to pay for it right after I filled out the online information portion.
Lastly, I accidentally pressed something that said ‘thanks for submitting your application, please send pay your fee by mail’. Can I pay online instead?
Thank you for your help!! 🙂


hey there,

it costs so much because you’re an international student. it costs $150 to apply to up to three universities for Ontario residents. for you guys, it costs $165, plus the extra $90 fee from uoft. you’ll have to get used to paying more as an international student if you want to come here, because canada is VERY UNFAIR and the universities love to money-grab wherever they can.*

you’re supposed to send the fee online, according to the bottom of this page on the OUAC site. i’m not sure if maybe the uoft fee can be sent separately – as per usual, the university website is of absolutely no help with that.**

if you want to pay online and you’re not sure how to do so, what i would do is call enrolment services. they can help you out.



* although, to be fair, U.S. universities do this, too. but i’m not here to judge.

**or maybe it is and i just can’t find the right page. it wouldn’t be the first time. though i do have to say that trying to find information on the collection of disparate websites that make up uoft’s online presence is like being dropped in the middle of a foreign continent and being told, “Okay, we need you to get to Billy’s Burger Shack. It’s a favourite around here! You’ll find it in no time!” meanwhile, you’re panicking because you have no idea where this place is. who’s billy? where is his shack? what country are you in? is that an ocean or a sea in the distance? you don’t know. you may never find out.


(Ph)enomenal (D)ollars

Hello ! I’m an International student that wants to go to UofT for gradschool (phD). I’m academically okay for the program (I have an overall A and all that jazz) but…. Where can I start looking for scholarships to live and study at UofT during those years? I’m a bit lost since I don’t know a thing about scholarships for international students that wants to go to Canada – Thank you !!


hey there,

the major scholarships that fund postgraduate study in Ontario are the NSERC and OGS scholarships. unfortunately, those are only available to domestic students. what i’d recommend is taking a look at your home country’s opportunities, if any, that are available for students travelling abroad. most countries have some form of financial aid for postgrads.

we do have some scholarships available for international students, and i’d strongly encourage you to apply to as many as you’re eligible for, but they do not provide nearly as much funding as is probably ideal.

the good news is, as a PhD student, the university is committed to funding you. all the information about how financial support works for a physics PhD is available on page 29 of this document provided by the department of physics. it shows that if you don’t have access to any scholarships, the university will still be able to support you through RA and TA-ships, and internal scholarships.

here is a breakdown about how much physics PhDs were funded depending on their year, and where the money came from. the aid hovers around $40k per student, depending on the year of your PhD. which is totally liveable.

if you have further questions about how this all works, i’d recommend contacting the financial counsellor at the School of Graduate Studies.

best of luck,



i’ve made $2.76 so far in pity loans

I wanna go to UofT but I’m an American…will I be eligible for financial aid??


hey there,

to be eligible for the federal aid offered to ontario students (called OSAP), you need to be a Canadian citizen/PR/protected person and Ontario resident.

unless you meet those requirements, you would have to seek financial aid in your home country. for American citizens, government loans come from FAFSA.

once you’re at uoft, you could apply for a wide-range of college-specific and university-wide scholarships based on financial need, academic excellence, and community involvement.

finally, there is the financial aid we are all eligible for: sitting in the spadina subway station with a beat-up banjo, singing forlornly about the cost of tuition while people pityingly drop nickels into our empty tim’s cups*.



* handy tip b/c you’re american: this is a “tim’s cup.”


welcome to the beauty that is OUAC

On the page for the international application it says to use it if you’re ONLY applying to the University of Toronto. Do they mean if that’s the only Canadian school you’re applying to or like the only school you’re applying to at all?


hey there,

basically, if you’re ONLY applying to uoft and you’ve never studied at a Canadian university before AND you live outside canada – you apply using this application.

if you’re also applying to other Canadian universities (in addition to uoft, that is), then you should apply using this form (the OUAC 105).

it’s just one of those finicky bureaucracy things, but make sure you use the right application, because it could cause you a lot of trouble later on if you make a mistake.




a very exhaustive examination of admissions to grad school (whoo!)

Hey aska! I’m very keen on getting into either Mengg or MS in CS at UofT. I’ve done my Btech in electrical and electronics with 66.76% from a tier 1 college of India. I have a 1.3 year work ex with a big data analytics firm. What are my chances of getting into the program. Gre 312. Toefl 104+ expecting.


Hey there,

so. you’ve got a Bachelor of Technology and now you want to continue the roller-coaster ride that is engineering at UofT. great!

admissions says that you need a four-year Bachelor’s degree, which you have. You also need to have attended a 1st. div. college, which you did. finally, your TOEFL score is comfortably above the minimum requirements for admission.

the only thing i’m not sure about is your average. to get into engineering, you need to have completed your degree with at least a B or B+ average in the final two years of your degree.

i’m not sure whether that 66.67% you mentioned is a) reflective of your four years, instead of just the last two, and b) works on a different GPA system than ours.

the uoft website doesn’t allude to any different GPA scale in Indian universities, so i would contact the faculty of applied science & engineering to ask them whether your GPA scale matches theirs. also, make sure that the average you’re using to calculate your likelihood of admission is the average of your last two years of school.

if that average is at least a B+, then you’re an eligible and competitive applicant.

finally, make sure that you check the admissions requirements for the specific department you’re interested in within the faculty, because some of them have extra requirements like letters of reference (that’s where your work experience could come in handy).

the M.Sc. in comp. sci. also requires a B+, but only in your LAST year of study.

the TOEFL requirements are the same as those for engineering, and they don’t specify a preferred GRE score.

the GRE actually seems like an asset rather than a requirement, because they say that “[a]pplicants from outside Canada are encouraged to submit scores from the GRE General Test, and are encouraged to also submit scores from the GRE Subject Test in Computer Science, Mathematics, or a related discipline.”

the one thing that might complicate your admission to the M.Sc. is that “[p]reference will be given to applicants who have studied computer science or a closely related discipline.”

i don’t know how closely electrical and electronic engineering is related to computer science, but it may be something you can ask the department of computer science.

and that’s it! sorry for the information dump – i hope it all makes some sense. best of luck on your application!




what’s the one kind of ship that never sinks? citizenship!

hey! my nationality is greek and I also live and go to high-school in greece. but my mother was born in canada and so i got the canadian citizency. According to these facts am I considered domestic or international student if I apply to UofT?


hey there,

i’m flattered that someone all the way in greece somehow found this website and thinks i’m official enough to answer this question for them, but sadly, i’m not even close to that.

if you’re a Canadian Citizen, then i’m inclined to say that you would be domestic, but PLEASE?contact CIE and talk to them about it. you can discuss your exact situation with them, and they’ll know for sure one way or the other.

it’s a pretty important distinction, not least because of the massive difference between domestic and international fees, and it’s also a complex one, so i don’t want to make a casual assumption that might turn out to be wrong. you don’t want to turn up at customs in Canada thinking you’re domestic when it turns out you’re international, and neither does aska. so do yourself a favour and phone/e-mail the rad folks at CIE.



P.S.?if anyone is even THINKING?of commenting on the title and saying that friendship is the one kind of ship that never sinks, not citizenship, then why don’t you bike over to my kindergarten friend Suzie’s house, and try to tell her that we’re still friends even after the SPECTACULARLY RUDE incident in Mrs. Patterson’s class when she beheaded my Barbie. yeah. citizenship is government-sanctioned, y’all. friendship can turn into a Barbie bloodbath as soon as you drop your guard.


who was even awake during grade 7?

Hello!So I am a high school student from Central America who desperately wants to study at UofT.I have some questions that I hope you may have the answers to:
Does UofT consider your GPA or average? So… when they look at your transcripts do they look for your GPA or do they look at your percentage?
From what grade does the university consider your grades? From 7-12 or 9-12 or 10-12… etc.
As an international student, can I work to earn money while at the university? Do I get a work permit too?
I came across this? I was wondering do you know how many applicants applied? How many got selected? Any statistics on what their averages were… anything of the sort??
I hope you have a lovely day, and thank you for your time!


hey there,

at your tender age the only things you should desperately want are naps and that nice, central american sun that all us torontonians would give multiple fingers for. alas, the heart wants what the heart wants. who am i to disagree?

1. uoft considers whatever form your grades happen to come in; if that’s a GPA, they consider your GPA. if it’s percentage, they consider percentage. if it’s IB points or fairground tokens or whatever system your school has dreamt up – they’ll consider it. just go here, put in which country you’re from, and they’ll tell you exactly what the requirements are for the program you’re applying to.

2. hahahahahAHAHAHAHA. imagine if they considered all your grades from grade 7-12. the vast majority of people from my high school wouldn’t have made it to university. that would have made me so happy

no. they only look at your grade 12 marks, and occasionally your grade 11 marks, if you’re applying for early admission. again, just look at this page and it’ll tell you exactly which courses are considered for your program.

3. there is a work experience program, but it looks like it’s being tinkered with at the moment. you can also work on-campus, off-campus, and even on co-op. you don’t even need a work permit.

4. not only do i not know how many applicants there were, but i can’t even find any other information about that scholarship. which is a bit baffling; my Googling skills are usually impeccable (i look on the second page for stuff. yeah. i’m dedicated to my art).

not to fear, there are still lots of opportunities for you to fund your education.

keep in mind that uoft also automatically considers you for $2000 entrance scholarships based solely on your marks – no application needed. same goes for your college (though the value of the scholarship depends on the college).

you can look here for all the admission scholarships offered by the university. and there are even more scholarships offered through the centre for international experience.

hope you have a rad year, and hope to see you at uoft sometime soon!



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