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Why Study in Canada? The Professors!

A big difference between high school and university is the kind of support you can get from professors (the people that teach you).

You might be thinking: “my professors will stand up in the class and teach like in high school and that’s more or less all”. But it is usually much more than that.

Any of the following might be possible in any course.

1. Special hours the professor announces where you can go have a private meeting to discuss any class subject. Many professors are happy to discuss your ideas or your anxieties, your interests and your difficulties. Some professors will even ask you to open up about personal problems you might have that are affecting your studies.

2. Smaller group sessions to go deeper than the classes do. These are often taught by faculty assistants (like Master’s and Doctoral students). These have their own schedule and sometimes you can choose from many options. For example, there may be a schedule for “Introduction to Psychology” lectures and then the student must also choose an “Introduction to Psychology tutorial”. The tutorial will be a much, much smaller class.

These smaller groups are quite interesting. Instead of a professor standing in front of a class, your tutorial assistant might sit in a circle of desks with you and go around asking each of you for your views on the latest readings. Or these groups might be held in laboratories where the instructor teaches you how to use the equipment, or is there to help you as complete laboratory assignments.

3. Professors can also play a role in:

(i) career-planning,

(ii) working for the professor especially if you are a strong student in that class,

(iii) getting an internship somewhere during the summer recess.

(iv) getting a reference letter when you want to apply for Master’s programs after you graduate.

(v) getting an introduction to faculty members at any university where your professor thinks you might be a good candidate for a research position (these are positions that are well-paid where the student helps in teaching (like the tutorials mentioned above) and research guided by the professor.

When speaking to a recruiter or education agency counsellor ask questions like:

- what are the class-sizes in my program in first year and later years?

- are tutorials part of the classes in some subjects?

- can you introduce me to one or more students at the university whom I can talk to about their experience with faculty members in my program?

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