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Green Path welcomes first student from South Korea

Dustin Woo is the first student recruited by the Green Path program to come from South Korea (Photo by Bianca Quijano)

This year, the Green Path program welcomes its largest-ever cohort of 260 students. All of them are from China, except for one. Dustin Woo is the first recruit to come from South Korea.

When he learned that Green Path is accepting South Korean students, he jumped at the opportunity to experience a different academic environment.

“Korean universities focus more on theoretical study. I heard that here we get lots of chances to discuss, to create. I heard that it’s an open campus so I can participate in more research and doing practical work,” says Woo, who is enrolled in UTSC's Management program for the fall semester.

“University is not just for studying. I want to make friends and adapt into the community.”

Green Path is a three-month-long program designed to accustom international students into the Canadian-style learning environments before they start their undergraduate studies at University of Toronto.

Recruitment officer Michael Li says this is just the beginning. With more than 10 years of success in China, Green Path is expanding its reach to other countries. U of T Scarborough also has success with Fair-UTSC, which reaches out to students from Taiwan and operates on a slightly different schedule to accommodate the later secondary school graduation dates.

“We want to attract top students not only from China and from Taiwan, but also from other countries like South Korea, Mongolia, the Philippines, Indonesia, India and Malaysia,” Li explains.

Li adds that expanding Green Path into South Korea was a natural progression as its high school system allows students to graduate and enter the program in late May.  

“In Toronto, we are so diverse. One of the reasons Asian parents invest in Canadian higher education is to ensure their children have global vision,” Li says.

Another first this year is that students will complete a university-level course as part of their orientation. The course, Exploring Inter-cultural Perspectives in Academic Contexts, is taught by Heather-Lynne Meacock from the Centre for Teaching & Learning. During the opening ceremony on May 24, Meacock gave students an overview of the course.

“We’ll be talking about how systems, relationships, communication style and perspective impact how we do academic work. There are so many different rules and ways of thinking which inform how we work,” Meacock said. “I want you to know all of them because this is what you need to succeed at U of T Scarborough and beyond.”

Professor Bruce Kidd, University of Toronto Vice President and U of T Scarborough Principal, also addressed the students during the opening ceremony.

“The University of Toronto is highly competitive and the Green Path program is designed to acclimatize you to the way we teach, learn and organize ourselves in this multicultural city. So when September comes, you’ll feel like just another member of our community,” he said.

Kidd also encouraged the students to explore the many attractions that the campus has to offer, including the valley and the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre.

“I hope it won’t be long before you discover these places and call them your home.”

Woo got a taste of Canadian education during his elementary and high school years, when he attended public schools in southern Ontario for a few months.

“I really think that Canada is my second hometown,” he says.

Although his Korean accent sets him apart from his peers, during his remarks at the opening ceremony he reminded everyone of the one thing that they all have in common – the support and encouragement from their families.

“We are not alone here. We are always with our family,” he said. “You can’t see them but you can feel their support and love. Don’t ever forget them. I’m here to thank all of our parents who are so proud of us to be here at the University of Toronto as Green Path students.”


© University of Toronto Scarborough