Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Visiting the University of Toronto

Today marks the halfway mark within my placement here in Toronto, a step closer to finishing my Masters in Social Work, and sadly, also for my time over here for the Summer. A bittersweet milestone, really, given how much I am learning, the great people I have met, and how much fun I am having!

During the week I went up to visit the University of Toronto's Factor—Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, and meet the people who helped put my exchange placement together from this end.

Touching base with them, I got to relay all the great things I am experiencing in terms of the work, the exploration of the city and my recent long weekend travels. All is well, in fact really great, so it was a fun meeting for me!

At the end of our meeting, and after gaining recommendations about what to see on campus on the way back to the hospital, I managed to see many of the gorgeous buildings of the university.

Walking down the Philosopher's Walk, between the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Royal Ontario Museum, both amazing buildings in their own right, I took the path that led me to the Soldier's Tower. This honours the university students who died during the First and Second World Wars, and is impressive.

Walking under the arch of the Tower, I reached the Hart House Circle and was treated to a mini tour into the stunning building that is Hart House by my U of T placement sponsor. She took me to see the Music Room, the Debate Room and the Great Hall, which looked like something straight out of Hogwarts!

I was impressed that this beautiful space is the student centre - who wouldn't want to tuck yourself away to study in here!

Back out into the sun, I crossed the grass to the big King's College Circle, which is edged with the Medicine building, one of the big colleges that make up the undergraduate portion of the university, and the Convocation Hall, where several of my current colleague will graduate over the coming year.

Twenty six years older than the University of Melbourne, I was struck by the familiar feeling and look about the grandness of the old buildings of U of T. I was also amazed that here in Canada the Social Work faculty has a building all of it's own...maybe Uni of Melb will get that sorted one day... There is actually a 102 year difference between the establishment of the two Schools - I hope it doesn't take that long to catch up!

I am so grateful to both universitys for the opportunity to complete my practicum at an international setting, and fully recommend to everyone to grab such a unique and varied experience whenever you can swing it within work and schooling. An amazing glimpse into another city, another culture and country, and another excuse to travel as much as you can!

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