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Class in session: UTSC welcomes largest group of Green Path students

UTSC welcomed the largest cohort of Green Path students from China during an orientation session on May 27. (Photo by Don Campbell)

A record number of top students from the People’s Republic of China were welcomed at the University of Toronto Scarborough as part of a program that prepares them for post-secondary studies in Canada. 

The students are part of Green Path, a unique 12-week academic and ESL program that readies them for undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto.

In addressing the fresh cohort Professor Rick Halpern, UTSC dean and vice-principal, emphasized the exciting challenges and opportunities that lay ahead of them.

“You are about to start a unique journey of four years where you will have the opportunity to make your dreams come true,” said Halpern. “This is your education, so take full advantage of your opportunity to master fields of knowledge and scholarship under our world class faculty.”

Those recruited for the Green Path program are top students from various high schools in mainland China. This year 225 students from 23 different provinces will participate, making it the highest number of entrants in the program since its inception in 2005.

“The program is very unique because it is designed to help us to transform from high school graduates in China to freshman university students ready for life in Canada,” says Ivy Shen, current UTSC student and president of the Green Path Association.

Shen enrolled in the program in 2012 and notes her fellow students take the program very seriously because of the opportunity it affords them to acquire language skills and knowledge about Canadian culture.

“It’s also a very important program to us in the sense that it provides us with an opportunity to go to U of T for our post-secondary education, which is very hard for any high school graduate in China.”

The summer foundation program is a core component of Green Path, which translates from Chinese as ‘the way to success,’ is taught in partnership with faculty members from the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies’ English Language program.

The students live in UTSC residence over the summer while participating in a range of social activities and field trips to popular tourist sites in Toronto and the GTA. They also receive life-skill training including cooking and food safety, as well as information on personal safety, health services and transit.

Students also get to experience a Canadian-style classroom learning environment that includes the expectation of active participation, instructions on how to use the library system, access academic support, and a thorough understanding academic integrity. In addition to working on academic skills such as reading, writing, grammar, and listening to and speaking English, they also get help as they adapt to life in Canada. Once students successfully complete the program they go directly into first-year undergraduate studies at U of T.

More than 1,100 students have graduated from the program since its inception with many of the graduates going on to achieve high levels of academic success at U of T.

“You are part of a select group that has been chosen to further your education at one of the top schools in North America,” said Halpern in closing. “For every ounce of effort you put into your studies we will match it with support and a top rate educational experience.” 


        Green Path program by the numbers

  • - 1,189 Green Path students since 2005
  • - 613 Green Path students currently enrolled at U of T
  • - 225 students enrolled in 2013 program
  • - Students represent 23 different Provinces/Municipalities or Autonomous Regions
  • - Students represent 36 different cities or towns, from 76 distinct high schools
  • - 50% - percentage of Green Path students with a 3.20 GPA or higher


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