Things I Wish I Knew About Canadian Professors
An international student shares what she knows and thinks about Canadian professors
My name is Amanda Volpato and I am an international Journalism student at Conestoga College. I am writing this article about the things I wish I knew about Canadian professors before coming to Canada, so you can benefit from it! When I first came to Canada, I didn’t know what to expect and how to behave around my professors. After a couple of months, I figured it out, so I decided to share what I learned with you!
1. Most of my professors work part-time at the college and part-time at their “real job”
Yes, a lot of them are like that. For example, my Production Technology professor teaches us about photography. And guess what? He is a photojournalist when he is not at Conestoga.
How does that affect my learning experience? Since he is currently working in the industry, he has a very broad knowledge about how the real world works right now. This allows him to explain things to us that a teacher who doesn’t work in the field wouldn’t be able to explain.
2. They are very friendly and always available for students
The teachers here usually have “office hours”, which is basically a time frame during the week that we know they are going to be in their office. So, if we have to talk to them in person outside the classroom, we can go there.
Regarding office hours, my elective* Psychology full-time professor Kerry Townson said: “It gives them the opportunity to come in their own time when they know I’m available, they also have the opportunity to book appointments with me outside those office hours if it is not convenient for them.”
3. They are passionate about their area of study and their job as a professor
Students know when a teacher loves their job, and I can tell you that my teachers love being here for us. When I asked Townson about how she likes teaching, she gave me a broad and beautiful smile and said, “I love it! That’s why I am here.”
4. They are very strict about due dates (especially because I am in Journalism)
“The guidelines for due dates change depending on the program I am teaching,” Townson said. For example, in the real world, journalists have to deal with very strict due dates. If an article isn’t ready on time for publication, the article will not be published. Because of that, my program is extremely strict about this rule.
5. They use the online portal VERY often
We have an online portal called eConestoga where we have access to in-class material when we are not in class. It is awesome! I check it multiple times throughout the day and it is very helpful for students and professors.
According to Townson, “It helps students keep up to date.” Then, she added, “I post weekly reminders of what is coming up … If there is additional information that I think is going to assist with learning, such as YouTube links or articles, I post those as well. Students also have access to their grades."
It is great to know that Canadian professors are friendly and professional at the same time. I hope this will encourage you while you are thinking about studying in Canada.
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* Check out what electives are by clicking here.