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International students receive distinguished welcome

By Gesilayefa Azorbo

What better way to say “Welcome to Toronto” than to have the Mayor himself deliver the greeting in person? This was the experience for the almost 200 new UTSC students who have arrived from all corners of the world.

The all-morning orientation event on September 7 was organized by the International Student Centre (ISC) and several student volunteers, and included breakfast at Rex’s Den sponsored by Scotiabank.

UTSC Principal Franco Vaccarino, special guest Mayor David Miller, community partner and Scotiabank’s Toronto East, District Vice President Christine Williams, Scarborough Campus Student Union president John Aruldason, and UTSC’s new Dean of Student Affairs Desmond Pouyat all took an opportunity to address the students.

Principal Franco Vaccarino welcomed the new students with strong words of advice to look past formal studies and get involved. “You’ll discover the campus. You’ll make new friends, connect with faculty, and enjoy all the community has to offer. Those contacts, those opportunities will stay with you for many, many years to come.”

Mayor David Miller told the students that by choosing Toronto, they were choosing a city known for being an international community.

“To all the students, welcome to Toronto. Bienvenue a Toronto. Hola, como estas? Nihao...I may wish to stop there. In Toronto we speak over 160 languages, and you have chosen a city to live in that is truly international.”

Carissa Pujadas, a first year Trinidadian student doing a specialist in biological chemistry, is already convinced. Her love for UTSC goes back to the first time she visited the campus last year.

“I thought it was a good campus for me because it had so many clubs, and so much to offer, to get involved with, like volunteer organizations and everything,” she said. “I fell in love with it so I just decided to come here.”

Following the speeches, students were given the opportunity to have Polaroid photos taken of themselves with Mayor Miller and Principal Vaccarino, who made friendly banter with each student who came up.

UTSC Orientation week concluded on Saturday September 10, and classes began for all students on September 13.


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