Alumna, MA, European, Russian & Eurasian Studies
“Originally from Pakistan, my family immigrated to Canada when I was 10 years old and Toronto has been my home ever since.”
I am an MA student at the Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (CERES) in the Munk School of Global Affairs. I focus on issues around migration, and my research will look at the integration of Syrian refugees in Sweden and Germany, supervised by Dr. Randall Hansen. After I graduate, I would love to work for an international organization such as UNHCR or join the public sector. I am confident that I will have the skills needed for the professional world.
I chose to continue my studies at U of T for two main reasons. First, as someone who is interested in international affairs, it was important for me to be at a global institution, and no university in Canada is more global than U of T. From its leading professors to its engaged students, the University of Toronto brings together people who are passionate about the issues of our time and who strive to address them. Secondly, U of T is indeed a challenging school, but it also exposes you to different ideas and pushes you to improve as a researcher, which is a fundamental part of a good education.
Graduate seminars are usually small and allow students to examine questions in-depth with one another and the instructor. Students can also attend or help organize graduate conferences, as I did this year for the Munk Graduate Student Conference. Apart from academic life, Toronto is a vibrant city, and I am still finding new things to do and restaurants to visit. U of T’s St. George campus is located in the heart of downtown, so there are always possibilities for an after-class get together or exploration.
One of my favourite aspects about CERES is that it sponsors seminars and conferences on a regular basis, providing students with access to experts and stimulating discussions. Moreover, I will be going on exchange to Lund University (Sweden) in the fall, and this experience will greatly enhance my research and my understanding of contemporary Europe. Lastly, there is a sense of community in CERES. With a class of 22 students this year, we have really gotten to know and learn from not only our fantastic professors but also each other, as my colleagues are researching a wide array of subjects.
I would advise prospective students who are considering similar studies to look for programs that offer something unique such as internships, exchanges, or other opportunities. In this globalized age, practical experience is a huge asset, especially if it is overseas.