Studying in Canada has helped me truly think like an engineer

13 Jun

Rishabh Mundhra, 21, is an Indian undergraduate student of mechanical engineering at the University of Toronto, Canada, and president of the Indian Students’ Society there. He will graduate next year. Here he talks about academics and extracurricular activities at the university. In the video below, he discusses how students learn to think like engineers, and why his favorite course is mechanical engineering design. He also describes life in multicultural Toronto.

I had Canada on my horizon because of my family connections and because I knew it was a good fit. Canada’s model of diversity is so different than in the US, which is more like a melting pot. Here I knew I could preserve my culture, while broadening my perspective.

The University of Toronto (U of T) is a great campus for academics! That is my first priority, and U of T totally has you covered. Then there is student life, and there are so many extracurriculars.

I feel like there is a whole international experience I have here that I could never get back home. I made friends with people from Spain, Colombia, Azerbaijan, you name it, every country in the world.

At the same time, I could always find things from back home and had access to my own culture. The food, the clothes, I could go watch Bollywood movies at Cineplex. I celebrated Diwali with the Students Society and we had a cultural gala that was sold out and did really well.

For my professional work experience, I got a job at Toronto Hydro and that was great too. In the summers, I went back home to Mumbai and got work at a mechanical engineering company and a solar company.

The most surprising thing I found here is that when I tried to do anything, I could achieve it. The whole concept of trusting yourself and making your own decisions – it gave me confidence and helped me grow. For example, in my group projects, in my first two years, they didn’t go that well. But by the third year, I really took more initiative and became more of a leader. I learned the power to change.

Canada is a great country because the society is very egalitarian compared to back home, and everything is so well organized.

In India, people have a good perception of Canada, and think it is progressive and very developed. I still don’t know if I want to stay here when I graduate. I have a few ideas for back home. In any case, my vision has become a lot more global.

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