What factors contributed to you choosing your program(s)?
When applying to UTSC, I entered into the International Development Studies (IDS) Co-op program, but by the end of my second year, I decided to complete a major in International Development Studies, and two minors in History and Food Studies. The IDS Co-op program provides an amazing opportunity for students to apply their knowledge in the field during their co-op placement. However, in my second year, I worked on a research project called Scarborough A Little Taste (SALT), which is an online website that highlights prominent cuisines in Scarborough, and through taking food studies courses at UTSC, my research interests grew into understanding the intersection between local development and the role that food played in addressing those issues. As such, I found that the combination of studies that I am currently pursuing allows me to cultivate my research interests, craft a set of useful skills, and provide a more robust foundation to understand the world around me.
Can you describe your program(s)? What is it actually like?
I would say that my programs complement each other quite nicely, so when trying to understand certain concepts or write essays about particular subjects, I find the things I learn in my other courses help to enhance my learning. Like many other humanities or social sciences programs, there is a lot of writing, but the help that I’ve received in trying to make sense of what I’m trying to research or understand is useful and appreciated. I find that my History minor teaches me the importance of analyzing things with a historical perspective, and is my opportunity to explore courses outside of my core research interests. Another aspect that I truly enjoy is the opportunity to engage fellow students in discussions about topics that I learned in other courses in order to understand their perspectives. The connections I am able to develop with friends and professors make what I’m learning more enjoyable and accessible, and partaking in various research work-study projects also helps to enhance my learning.
What tips/advice can you provide to students just starting or considering this program(s)?
- Try to attend some of the events being organized by the department(s) and its student associations/clubs.
What will you do with your degree after graduation?
To be quite honest, I don't have anything planned very specifically, but some of the directions I'd like to pursue are in food policy, further research, and community development. I believe that by taking the opportunities that are presented to me that I feel passionate about; I will be able to remain flexible and open in my endeavours.