I spent 4 months in Toronto, Canada studying in OCAD University. Based on my portfolio I was placed in the Digital Futures program, but only ended up taking one course from it; on top of the project heavy studies in the world building and research course, I took one game design and one concept art course.
I feel like the quality of teaching in OCAD was very high, as it should as the students there pay thousands of canadian dollars a year for their tuition. The teachers knew what they were talking about, and were quite strict with their grading – however, their feedback on assignments was constructive and I learned a lot.
As I mentioned in the start, I took courses about concept art, game design, world building and product design. All the courses had many projects, so working with other people came up a lot. The teachers quite a lot of work at least compared to TAMK, so free time was scarce at times, but in the end it was rewarding because the assignments felt useful and interesting.
As I had quite a little of free time because of the demanding studies, I didn’t get to sight see as much as I wanted to. Still, I managed at least to visit CN Tower (pictured above) which is the tallest building in Toronto and had a quite a nice view. I also went to see the musical Matilda, visited the Christmas Market and Nuit Blanche, went to see some art galleries e.g. the Art Gallery of Ontario. Otherwise I met up with fellow exchange students as often as we were able, and we tried out different restaurants together or just hang out in either a pub or someone’s home.
I also enjoyed just walking around the city, as I lived right in the Kensington Market, which is an old outdoor market area and has many niche shops. Chinatown was just around the corner too, so everything you needed was close by, and there was always new things to try.