Classical Studies: Student Testimonials

Christine Bhagwandat

Major: : Women’s & Gender Studies
Minors: Classical Studies & Anthropology

What factors contributed to you choosing your program(s)?
 
I've always liked classics but my high school classics teacher really drove it home for me. He was so passionate about the subject and really made the material fun to learn.
 
Can you describe your program(s)? What is it actually like?
 
My program involves a lot of history. The intro courses were fairly easy for me because I knew most of that stuff since I used to research on my own and had just came from grade 12 classics.
 
What tips/advice can you provide to students just starting or considering this program(s)?
 
Keep up with readings as best you can. Start your essays early because some of mine had to be 8-11 pages. Always ask questions to confirm what you're not sure about.
 
What will you do with your degree after graduation? (Future plans?)
 

Become a teacher.
 
What has your academic journey during your time been like as you progress toward graduation?
 
First year was great. Meeting new people, becoming familiar with the utsc courses. Second year. I was more comfortable with university campus and courses. Third year. It became a little more difficult because the course material was more in depth and the reading became a lot heavier. Of course every year I tried to keep up with the readings but it was quite difficult. If you have a part-time job, be sure to make time for homework and studying. Once you fall behind, depending on the course, it is very hard to catch up.

Erica Sylvia Prout

Major: History
Minors: Classical Studies and French

 What factors contributed to you choosing your program(s)?

I fell in love with history after having an amazing teacher in high school who inspired me to pursue my passion for learning. Growing up I thoroughly enjoyed the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan and quickly became obsessed with all things Greek. I knew that I while I loved all eras of history. I really wanted to focus on the classical world and was pleased to find out that UTSC offered a minor in classical studies that paired very nicely with my history major.

Can you describe your program(s)? What is it actually like?

The classical studies program is basically the same as the history program just with courses that focus on the classical time period. What's great is that a lot most classics courses double as history courses so I was able to fulfill both requirements with one course. For example, Introduction to Greek History can and will count towards both degree requirements so it's like killing two birds with one stone as they say which I enjoyed quite a bit because it gave me the room to venture out and take more elective courses. For those thinking about a history and/or classics degree keep in mind that the programs are reading and writing intensive. Having so many readings to do every week may seem overwhelming but it's definitely worth it and you will see results in your final grades.

What tips/advice can you provide to students just starting or considering this program(s)?

Try to keep up with the readings, you don't want to fall behind and then feel lost during the lecture. The university experience is more than just listening to your professor talk and taking notes. If you want to succeed it is a good idea to read the material before coming to class. Also, do not be afraid to speak up, the professors love it when you do. Definitely start your assignments early, some of your essays will be double digit pages in length and you do not want to be doing it the night before, it will reflect the grade you receive. If you are looking on continuing your degree with a masters in classical studies, most schools require you to have taken Latin and Ancient Greek, that is something I wish someone had told me when I was in first year.

What will you do with your degree after graduation? (Future plans?)
 
Right now I am looking into furthering my education with a master’s program in Classical Studies with the end goal to work in a museum and share my love of the classics with the public.
 
What has your academic journey during your time been like as you progress toward graduation?
 
In first year I didn't know what I was doing, no one does. But I made some pretty great friends and we stumbled through university together. The transition is hard I will admit; it is highly unlikely that you will receive the same grades that you did in high school but don't let that discourage you. Second year you get comfortable with the routine of it all. Professors expect a little more from you now that you have had time to adjust. Third year was the hardest for me. Now is the time to get your act together as grad schools look at not only your final year but your third as well. This is the time to really push yourself to do the best you can. Now I am entering fourth year and I remind myself constantly to take things one step at a time. Four year is your finally chance to show what you can do, always try your hardest.