UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA

The prestigious and celebrated University of Ottawa was established in 1848, is home to 40,000 students (housing 3000 of them), and offers 446 programs [1]. UOttawa has 10 faculties, a few being their Faculty of Medicine, Engineering, and Law [2]. The Ottawa Gee-Gees are the sports teams that belong to UOttawa, and the on-campus, multi-purpose, football field, the ‘Gee-Gees Field’ was named after them [3]. UOttawa has a plethora of clubs available to both males, and females such as swimming, hockey, and basketball, but does not partake in any greek life activities such as sororities, and fraternities [1].  UOttawa is the largest bilingual (English-French) university in the world, and is located in Canada's capital city, Ottawa, ON [1]. Being located in Canada’s capital city has its perks, for example; UOttawa is only a 6 minute drive from the Parliament of Canada [4].

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For a International Development and Globalization Student at UofO...

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What do you think is special about the UofO campus life?

The University of Ottawa campus life is very interesting. We are right next to Quebec so it is definitely an experience to walk over to Gatineau for their nightlife, which I believe is a rite of passage for first years ☺ Ottawa is a beautiful city with a lot of hills so be ready to get your steps in! If you can attend frosh

events, please do! It is a great way to meet people and even if you don’t become the best of friends right off the bat, it will be helpful to have a potential familiar face in your lectures. There are so many quiet and beautiful study spots on campus that you can either access by walking or hopping on a bus – with a tuition covered bus pass! There are a variety of clubs and social events for students to partake in their free time and because we are a bilingual school we have a large Francophone demographic as well!

How would you describe residence? Would you recommend someone to live on campus

Residence varies! There are some buildings directly on campus which are more of a dorm-style. And there are some that are built like apartment suites that are about a 5 minute walk away. Lastly, there are two residences that are about a 10 minute walk away and one used to be a hotel and the other a retirement home. The buildings further away from campus are more spacious but getting a place on campus will be so helpful for snowy mornings or early classes. I would recommend living on residence if you are not very outgoing but still would like to challenge yourself and make friends because chances are you will get a roommate and also it will feel more like a community especially if you choose to live directly on campus. There are still so many ways to be social and meet people if you decide to live elsewhere, especially if residence is not in your budget!

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Why did you choose your program? What makes it unique to you?

I chose my program because I have always had a deeply altruistic side but during high school I never really understood where to begin. It was so overwhelming to see the number of  non-profits and charities to turn to. And on top of the number of organizations to choose from, the multitude of global political and social qualms was an inexplicable dilemma. This program gives you the tools to understand the history, theory and consequences of the pace and actions of our rapidly expanding world. The

University of Ottawa also offers COOP which will grant you the opportunity to learn in real government or NGO environments in order to develop your critical thinking skills and apply your knowledge of globalization and figure out alternatives to our economically driven world market that will benefit nations who have been disadvantaged for far too long.

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What is some advice you would give high school students when applying to your program?

Advice I would give to high school students applying to my program is to take courses you enjoy and make sure you prioritize yourself during your final years. The option prerequisite is English, and your GPA should be in the 80s. It is important to take care of yourself and find causes and extracurriculars that mean something to you. The importance of dedicating time and effort into real-world causes instead of just school will inspire you further to pursue your academic career in this program. Also, since the topics discussed can be heavy due to the fact that we are facing and witnessing the repercussions of a colonial, settler-state in real time it can become overwhelming if school is the only focus in your life. You need to find personal solace whether it’s with friends, a project or even watching news that isn’t rife with conflict once in a while; otherwise it will feel cynical and hopeless to analyse the world and its interconnections.

What was your favourite elective and why?

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My favorite elective was SCS 1160 : History of Ideas in Social Science with Professor Stuart Chambers. He was a very engaging teacher and there was a good balance between teaching and interaction. The topics discussed were very current and helped us look at the news and events happening around us and properly understand why they occur and if they are likely to occur again. It was a class where I feel like I actually learned something and the professor really cared. It was exciting to make the notes and learn because the syllabus was not too overwhelming and there was time to digest the information instead of just rushing from deadline to deadline.

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A very special thank you to our interviewee...

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TAAMARA THANARAJA

Honours in International Development and Globalization COOP

Outside of Academics I am also the Coalition Leader and Logistics Coordinator for Girl Up Ontario - which is a United Nations initiative - where I help manage and carry out events regarding global girl issues as well as current events in Canada. Also, I am the financial and fundraising executive for a non-profit called Puthu Ilakkiyam which focuses on accessible education to the Tamil diaspora, many who are struggling economically in a foreign country. I find it very important to dedicate your time and energy into things that are meaningful to you and will result in mutual benefit while also constantly inspiring you to learn and do more. I can do this through my extracurriculars and also through my program at the University of Ottawa. It is also important to find balance with your personal life, values, and professionalism. Especially since this is not a well-known program, I am so excited to be able to share my experiences and introduce others to these opportunities.