Programming is one of the most in-demand professions in Toronto. It provides you with the opportunity of not only working in IT companies and making a lot of money but also traveling. That’s why students come here to gain knowledge and skills in this sphere of activity. Belarusian Eugene Klyshko, who became a programmer and completed a course of study at the University of Toronto, told us more about it. Further details are at toronto-future.
How did Eugene choose his future profession and why did he move to Toronto?
Since he was a young boy, the future IT guy dreamed of working abroad. At first, he gave serious thought to becoming a diplomat. In the late 1990s, he liked watching a TV show called Umnitsy I Umniki and planned to enter MGIMO. Sometimes, he also participated in Science Olympiads, where he won prizes.
When he turned 15, he went abroad for the first time on a school training program. He lived in a well-off American family. His new surroundings and foreign language greatly influenced his worldview. That was when Eugene realized what he had to strive for and wanted to emigrate. He also had to learn subjects he had never been interested in before, such as math and physics.
After winning the Math Olympiad, he entered the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. In addition to completing his academic assignments, Eugene began to take an interest in programming. In his free time, he was creating websites and programming for iOS. He enjoyed doing it all, after which he got to realize where he wanted to tie his life to.
In his second year, Eugene got a job as a tester for a company that produced study guides for American students. He was solving problems in physics textbooks and looking for errors. He also worked part-time as a web programmer.
“This job showed me exactly what I didn’t want to do. I was bored to death. However, it did teach me a valuable lesson – always save your data and make backups before making any changes.” Eugene revealed, as reported by vc.ru.
After receiving his Master’s degree, Eugene decided to continue his studies abroad. Among a large number of universities, he took his pick of the University of Toronto. He found it most appealing after attending their Open House.
Studying IT at the University of Toronto
Due to his successful experience in programming and high scores, Eugene received a grant to study at the University of Toronto in the early 2000s. When applying, he sent the following package of documents: a motivational essay, results of TOEFL and GRE tests, a letter describing his research experience, plus two or three recommendation letters.
In his second year, the student from Belarus also took up teaching, beginning to teach physics and Python programming to first-year students. It is a compulsory practice for those pursuing a Ph.D.
The study system at the University of Toronto is very flexible. Here, students can choose whatever courses they want from different faculties and shape their own curriculum. Also, they have the opportunity to obtain two specialties. For instance, the major is physics, while the minor is music.
Unlike European universities, there is no concept of academic leave here. Besides, if desired, a student can complete the four-year program in 2.5 years. In the summer, everyone undergoes an internship at a company, where you can get real work experience and understand whether you want to work in your chosen specialty. Also, there is no concept of an oral exam here, as there was in Soviet times. Knowledge is tested in written form.
In the first lesson, Eugene received a curriculum outline and an explanation of the knowledge assessment criteria. During his studies, Eugene spent most of his time researching rather than studying the theory behind different subjects. It is also one more feature of Western higher education institutions.
Working in Toronto: how did Eugene live and work in IT here?
As a student, he was very fortunate. He received a study grant and a Ph.D. scholarship. In addition, he started working part-time as a tutor in his spare time to live comfortably in another country. Eugene taught physics to Russian-speaking students and schoolchildren.
After moving to Toronto in the early 2000s, he rented a studio apartment on the city’s outskirts. But a month later, he found a more suitable option near the university, a 2-bedroom apartment for around $1300.
Prices here are very high on absolutely everything, including real estate and groceries. That’s the downside. When it comes to groceries, Canada has a wide range of choices in terms of food quality. Any supermarket can offer you a wide range of products, including organic. However, there are many advantages to living in this city. You can also instantly observe that the residents are very supportive of healthy lifestyles, in particular sports. The university and city sports complexes feature large gyms, swimming pools and stadiums.
In addition to his studies and work, Eugene participated in scientific research with a team of physicists. They all studied Data Science, which identifies problems in analyzing and processing specific information data. This knowledge gave them an advantage in the competitive job market, resulting in their successful employment in Canada.