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Green Path continues to mix adventure and academics

Green Path is a 12-week summer preparatory program at UTSC dedicated to familiarizing top-ranked high school students from China to life in Canada. This year 207 students graduated from the program. (Photo by Ken Jones)

When high school student Yourong Li came to Canada as a part of the Green Path program, little did he know he would end up swimming in the frigid waters of Lake Huron.

“Canada is such a large, beautiful country and as someone interested in the natural sciences I’ve been very impressed by the nature I’ve been able to experience,” said Li, who counts visiting the Bruce Peninsula National Park as a highlight of his time here.

Li is among the 207 students who graduated from Green Path, a 12-week preparatory program at UTSC dedicated to familiarizing top-ranked high school students from the People’s Republic of China to life in Canada, while simultaneously strengthening their academic skills.

Green Path students are specifically given the opportunity to adapt to life in Canada by sharpening their English reading, writing, and grammar skills. “It’s been very helpful,” said Li. “We learned quite a bit about academic writing, how to properly cite research and how to compose emails.”

Following the successful completion of the summer program, Green Path graduates begin their first year of undergraduate studies at U of T. This fall, Li will start his first year studying chemistry and economics.  

Margaret Yan, director of International Academic Programs and initiatives, opened the 2015 graduation ceremony. “Green Path is a hands-on program and we are proud to bring U of T a quality of students second to none, working in partnership with 21 top ranked Chinese high schools,” said Yan.

“We are very happy to have hosted this program for 11 years,” said UTSC Registrar Curtis Cole. “It’s responsible for some of U of T’s top graduates.”

Weiya Xu, Education Consul with the Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Toronto, encouraged the students in attendance to make most of their opportunity. “We make sure you arrive home safe, encourage you to mix together with local people and promote the friendship between China and Canada,” he said. 

In addition to a series of inspirational speeches, the ceremony also included live musical performances and a surprise lion dance for the graduates.

Liang Ho, the valedictorian of this year’s program, praised Green Path for helping him and his fellow graduates mature and experience the world differently.

“Thank you,” he said to a chorus of applause and cheers.

© University of Toronto Scarborough