5 reasons why I chose York as an international and mature student

Written by Boris Licina

Before choosing to come to York University, I thoroughly researched Canadian and European universities with the exact or similar programs. I was accepted into one university in Toronto, one program in GTA and two in Vancouver. As an international and mature student (with kids), here are some of the reasons why I chose York. 

Boasts Canada's only undergraduate screenwriting degree program

York University distinguishes itself from others by offering a screenwriting BFA program, Canada's only undergraduate screenwriting bachelor's degree program. There is also an MFA in screenwriting if I continue my education. 

Pro Tip: Learn more about the screenwriting program in a blog post about Unique Programs at York: Screenwriting

Home to many international students

I learned early on that many international students choose to study at York University - today, there are more than 10,000 of them from 175+ countries. I was excited about this for two reasons: I share one commonality with other international students when I come, and we can easily connect. Secondly, there is an established path and process for me to go through like many others did. Everything I suspected was true, especially the part about processes. 

Pro Tip: Check out York International pre-arrival webinars if you want to learn more about student life as a York University student in Canada or how student support offices and resources support international students. 

Learning with other mature students

More than 6,000 mature students are at York, and the Atkinson Centre for Mature and Part-time Students (ACMAPS) serves students aged 20 to 85. And 85 is not just a random number. In 2022, an 85-year-old Hortense Anglin graduated from York University - if I ever doubted that I was too old for this, now I do not. As a 40-something-year-old, it was important that I am not alone on my student journey - the last time I was in school was in the 90s - and I wanted to have someone who goes through the same challenges I do and understands them. 

Offers a daycare

The fact that York University has a daycare was extremely encouraging, not only because of the facilities, but also because this means there are other students who are parents. Studying and having kids is demanding, and the fact that I can talk about it with other parents at York and share experiences encouraged me in my journey to York University. 

Pro tip: Look for Student-Parents' Get Together gatherings and create new connections with parents (who are also students). 

Opportunities to create a community

I learned that York has 1,900 student jobs on campus every year and 300+ student clubs and associations with something for every passion and cause. It was encouraging - today, I work for York University as a work-study student and am a member of 2 student organizations. One of them is Winters College Council, where I am editor of Artichoke magazine. I joined because it is affiliated with the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, and some of my colleagues were part of it. I applied for the editor role as I love content and everything around it, and it was an excellent opportunity to participate in some fun activities and meet new people.

Pro tip: Read the blog post What it’s like to be a Work/Study student and learn how exciting this experience could be.