My Australian Experience

By Erika Nonis, Undergraduate Student in the Creative Industries program, Faculty of Communication & Design

Feels like just yesterday I was just lugging my suitcases to the airport to begin the journey of a lifetime. The Ryerson International exchange program opened the opportunity for me to go to Brisbane, Australia. I found a student apartment with a 6-month lease, and spent an 2 extra months in Australia prior to the start of the semester. This allowed me to extend my experience in the amazing country and really immerse myself into the lifestyle and culture.

I am so grateful to have spent my exchange in Brisbane, as it is a big enough city to have plenty to see and do, but it is not overwhelming. The city is very new, clean and well designed. There are lots of restaurants, shops, museums and clubs. I stayed in the Iglu Student Accommodation in the heart of the city, which was great because I could walk everywhere. I was 5 minutes from the main mall, bus station and 5 minutes from the botanical gardens. While in Brisbane I attended Queensland University of Technology for the creative industries program. One of the big differences I noticed with the program is it was much better known. They had their own faculty, a wide selection of classes to chose from and people I met actually knew about the program. The professors were great, and the classes I took were not extremely challenging which allowed me to get high marks while being able to enjoy my time there. While at the university I became a global ambassador which allowed me to help out at the exchange office and promote Ryerson University to future exchange students. This was a great opportunity to be involved in the university community, while making friends and encouraging people to come visit Toronto.

Some of my favourite memories of Brisbane are in south bank at the urban beach, or in the valley which was the neighbourhood with an interesting nightlife. I also loved that all the museums were free and they had some great art museums.

Australia is one of the most beautiful and diverse countries I have ever been to as it ranges from beautiful beaches to deserts. I was very fortunate and was able to explore much of the country. I traveled to go to Sydney, Melbourne, Airlie Beach and the Outback. The best experience for me was being able to ride a camel at sunrise in the middle of the desert. It was such a surreal and different experience. I was also able to do a few road trips with friends I made and visited Byron Bay, Gold Coast, Noosa and Fraser Island. All of which were just a short drive away from Brisbane.

I was also very fortunate to have extra time prior to beginning school to visit New Zealand. I loved it so much I ended up going twice. The first time I did a Kiwi Experience bus tour of South Island, which was an incredible 17 day trip where I saw many cities and had many memorable experiences while travelling with people my age. I ended up meeting a great group of Canadian girls who stayed with me for most of the tour. The second time I went, I rented a car and drove around the North Island. North Island was beautiful as there is such an interesting culture and I learned so much about the Maori people. I also was able to have surreal experiences, such as skydiving, bungee jumping and shooting guns. New Zealand is the land of thrills, adventure and beautiful scenery and I loved every minute I spent there.

My exchange was a life changing experience and I miss it every day. I also miss all the friends I met along the way and I hope to cross paths with them again soon. I would recommend to everyone to jump on the chance if they can go, as it truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

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For more information on RI exchange opportunities visit our new website!

For tips and tricks on financial planning for exchange see our blog post!

Top 10 Must-See Places in HK

By Sierra Sun, Undergraduate student the Media Production Program at the RTA School of Media, Faculty of Communication and Design

*Sierra also won the 2017 RI Photo Contest with her photo “Temple Street Market”

Hey there, I’m Si and I just finished my international exchange in Hong Kong. I left the comfy routine of my 4 jobs behind and traded them in for a lot of first time adventures like travelling solo, res life and adapting to a new country.If you’re thinking of going abroad, go for it and don’t bail out. I know you’re probably thinking about it and I did too at first. But I am glad I didn’t because here are my top ten must-see places while in Hong Kong.

  1. Garden Hill
  2. Edward Youde Aviary Park
  3. Cape D’Aguilar
  4. Quarry Bay
  5. Tram in Central (Central At Night)
  6. Lai Tak Tsuen Estate
  7. Mum’s Not Home
  8. Sai Wan Swimming Shed
  9. PMQ
  10. Lion Rock Peak

I hope you get to make it out to at least one of these places, there is so much to see in Hong Kong but even more when you take the chance to travel during your time abroad. I don’t get very many pictures of myself, partly because I’m busy documenting everything else, but during my time abroad, I enjoyed trips to Ho Chi Minh, Tokyo, Seoul and Busan. These are truly once in a lifetime experiences and you will meet great people like you. So go ahead, make the most out of your experience abroad and push yourself to do things you’ve never done.

Music: Bensound

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For more information on RI exchange opportunities visit our new website!

For tips and tricks on financial planning for exchange see our blog post!

University Rover Challenge 2017: Ryerson Rams Robotics (R3) in Hanksville, Utah

By Michel Kiflen, R3 Science Lead, Undergraduate student in the Biomedical Science program

“Life, in it’s most fundamental sense, is a good design of polymers”, was how I started my 2017 University Rover Challenge (URC) presentation at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah desert.

Backtrack to the middle of summer 2016, I received a recruitment email from the Ryerson Rams Robotics (R3), a group of engineering students interested in building a Mars rover for the submission to the international URC competition.

One of the main requirements for the rover was to extract and analyze a soil sample to give a strong argument for the evidence of life. As one of the Science Leads of R3, I was given the responsibility to work with other engineers on the team to solve this. It turned out to be a greater challenge that I anticipated, since the URC committee required the whole process to be done in 20 minutes. Nonetheless, our team developed new protocols and systems to combat this problem in under 5 minutes. As far as we know, no one in the scientific community has been able to do this using traditional methods.

After the rover and corresponding tests were complete, we flew to Salt Lake City, Utah and drove south to the MDRS, located in Hanksville, Utah. This region is one of the closest representations of the red planet. Reaching the MDRS is impossible without a vehicle. The entry is barred with many peaks and hills, with a single path intertwined between the terrain. It is easily one of the most remote, and extreme places I have visited.

There is no cellphone service for kilometres and the closest clinic is a 90-minute helicopter ride away. Temperatures reach upwards of 40 ºC, making everyone vulnerable to severe heat exposure.

Nevertheless, we setup our mobile lab in the back of our trucks, whether we were in the arid desert or in the parking lot of our hotel, continuously practicing and timing our tests days leading up to the competition…

 

“Life, in it’s most fundamental sense, is a good design of polymers.”

***

            After a series of questions and comments from the judges, we scored 11th place, worldwide.

I believe our success at the URC was because all of us, engineers and science students, are truly passionate about the programs we are in. We received direction and advice from Ryerson faculty, and had a keen interest to apply our learnt skill sets from the classroom to applications such as programming, building, and experimenting. I anticipate extending my knowledge even further as I continue to grow and undertake more projects.

As we packed our Rover back to Ryerson University and conducted a postmortem of our scores, I looked back at how participating in a challenge this large affects one’s learning. I have a strong biological research background, however, I lacked dexterity in robotics almost entirely. Joining this team allowed everyone, including myself to work in an interdisciplinary manner where our strengths were amplified.

I learnt many engineering concepts such as in materials physics when the team researched different building materials for the Rover. Additionally, working on this Rover under R3 is the largest project and leadership role I have undertaken in terms of work output and number of collaborators.  I learned to keep a more rigorous calendar and schedule to ensure I was in sync with all four sub-teams under R3.

For my concluding remarks, I would like to mention that if you have the opportunity to participate in activities that come with huge challenges, you definitely should – you must.

The experience of meeting students outside my faculty, let alone students from universities all around the world, put common interests and central themes into perspective.

As for the URC, it is Mars and its eventual colonization. Mars is the future. My motivation to write an email to R3 was because I believe Mars is the next challenge that we need to tackle, and opportunities such as these contribute to the larger goal that is bigger than all of us. We should strive for boundless human endeavour. From the dawn of human existence ~300,000 years ago, there has always been an intrinsic feeling, a motivation to explore and a craving to seek beyond the horizon. It is this ‘essential instinctual element’ that allowed us to disperse out of Africa and later cross the Beringian land bridge. Mars’ mystery represents fascination, excitement, and incalculable opportunity that extends beyond anything anyone has done.

“Maybe it’s a little early. Maybe the time is not quite yet. But those other worlds promising untold opportunities — beckon. Silently, they orbit the Sun, waiting.”

– Carl Sagan

fin.

#DiscoverDagoretti: RTA Community Engagement in Kenya (Part 1 of 3)

By Hayley Graham, Undergraduate student at the RTA School of Media, Faculty of Communication and Design

I’ve always loved storytelling, whether it be listening to a story or telling one. So, when the opportunity to take the RTA International Development course to work on a storytelling project for Amref Health Africa came about, I couldn’t let it pass me by.

Along with 6 of my fellow classmates and our professor, Lori Beckstead, I travelled to Kenya for 2 weeks in February 2017 to film two projects.

During the first week, we travelled outside of Nairobi to Magadi to film a documentary about Amref’s project, Alternative Rites of Passage on the topic of female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital circumcision.

For the second week, we travelled back to Nairobi to film a social media campaign on Amref’s Dagoretti Child in Need Project.

For the campaign, we filmed 30-second videos highlighting a child at the centre and the subject they are most passionate about. We had little teams of three filming, so the team I was in filmed a handful, but the video that became my baby, for a lack of a better term, was Sophia’s “I am an actor.”

 

 

For every video we wanted to find a child who could not only highlight a particular school subject, but also who represented what the Dagoretti Child in Need Project stood for.

For acting we chose Sophia, and she was great. She was the most hardworking child in the class, and took it very seriously. We spent half a day filming and interviewing her. When we got back to Toronto, it was our responsibility to edit the footage down to a 30-second video, and deliver a product that we were all proud of.

 

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To learn more about Ryerson’s partnership with Amref Health Africa, see “Kenya welcomes students for immersive education experience” in Ryerson Today.

Seeing life in a new light: Looking back on my exchange at Ryerson University

By Jade du Preez, Inbound Exchange Student from the Journalism program at Edinburgh Napier University

“Yeah, but why Canada?” This was probably the most commonly asked question from local Torontonians. They couldn’t understand why someone as well travelled as myself would spend four months in Canada, of all the countries I could have picked. And here’s why; Canada is the most beautiful and polite country I’ve ever visited. Never have I encountered nicer people in such a big city, and I’ve lived in a few cities!

I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, but moved to the Highlands of Scotland when I was nine. Then I left to study Journalism at university in the capital, Edinburgh. After two years, I moved to Toronto as part of the Ryerson International exchange program – and I never met the person I exchanged with, but if they ever want to swap lives again, I’d happily accept. In fact, my parents just about had to drag me back home after a whirlwind four months at an amazing university, with amazing new friends. If I had it my way, we’d all stay in Toronto and never leave. I couldn’t understand why locals were so dumbfounded to find that I’d fallen head over heels in love with the city.

Toronto has everything you could possibly want as a student – the bright lights at night, the beautiful harbour, and the surrounding areas are amazing; Scarborough Bluffs are insane on a warm day.

People kept telling me that they’d love to leave Toronto behind and move to Edinburgh for a few months, even though they had what I viewed as literal paradise on their doorstep. This was madness to me. I couldn’t understand their confusion, just as they couldn’t believe mine. Then it struck me, the novelty of things wears off when you’ve been around them for too long. You forget the beauty and wonder of sights at home when you’ve walked passed them a million times, or how delicious things taste when you’ve eaten them once a week for your entire life.

I’d never looked at Edinburgh from a tourist’s perspective, because I wasn’t one, but when I had the excuse of acting like a tourist for four months, I realised how good it feels. I was witnessing and experiencing everything for the first time, and I was viscerally very aware of that. It was like every second spent with my new friends; eating, exploring, trying, it was all on a heightened level of happiness, as I totally immersed myself into Torontonian life.

I rode the TTC, ate Beavertails and shopped in Kensington Market, whereas at home I would take the Night Bus, eat Tunnock’s Teacakes and shop at the Grassmarket. I could do all of these things at home but it wasn’t the same; I had to learn how to see things like it was for the first time again.

 

Toronto showed me how to do that. I’d never experienced a baseball game in a stadium as amazing as the Rogers Centre, or eaten maple syrup that wasn’t a cheap exported knock off of the real deal, or walked for hours to get a great view of the skyline.

I still miss the reassuring sight of the CN Tower from my bedroom window, or the adventurous friends who were always up for a laugh, but I made more memories in the time I was in Toronto than I ever did when I was at home, so if anything, my exchange has taught me a true lesson. To value what is around me and never take for granted the place I live in, because there is always an adventure waiting for you around the corner, you just have to go looking for it.

Toronto awakened me to the fact that there is so much to see and do, no matter where you are. So, take that holiday and see the world, even if you don’t go very far, make sure you make the most of it and make all the memories you possibly can.

Moving to Toronto was the best thing I’ve ever done, and I’ve learned so many life lessons from it. It truly was a magical, beautiful and worthwhile trip. I can now understand people who aren’t content with where they live, but I can’t understand people who don’t go on exchange whilst they still can. It’ll change their lives.

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For more information on exchange opportunities at Ryerson, please visit: http://www.ryerson.ca/ri/

For tips and tricks on financial planning for exchange, click here.

Working Towards Achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals: Reflections on my AIESEC exchange in Taiwan

By Michael Pham, Undergraduate student in the School of Business Management, Ted Rogers School of Management and President of AIESEC Ryerson

Note from the Editor: AIESEC is the world’s largest non-profit youth-run organization. It helps develop global-minded leaders by sending students and graduates abroad through its global volunteer, talent and entrepreneurship programs. Michael Pham participated in AIESEC’s Global Volunteer exchange program, which focuses on achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. 

I chose to go abroad because I feel strongly that in the landscape of today, the key to leadership is to understand the world around you.

My entire world has always been the city I live and study in. Before participating in AIESEC’s exchange program, I knew that I wanted to challenge myself.

I once heard a quote saying that you only grow as a person when you are uncomfortable and I knew that I was too comfortable in my city, in my bubble. I wanted to learn how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Having never been outside Canada before this exchange, my view on the world was solely from the Canadian perspective. At that point in my life, I hadn’t even been to every province in Canada, so for my first international experience, I thought why not go directly to the other side of the world – and so I chose Taiwan.

I chose to do AIESEC’s Global Volunteer exchange program, where I would volunteer for 6 weeks at an elementary school called Nan’an, located just north of Kaohsiung City in Taiwan. I taught English and created structured lesson plans for topics based on Diversity, Cross-Cultural Sharing, and Climate Change. My exchange focused on working towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, Quality Education (SDG #4) and Climate Action (SDG #13). I was able to not only be a teacher to the students at the school, but I was a student myself learning from the culture of Taiwan. I was able to take part in religious and traditional celebrations at school.

My favourite part of my exchange was the entire experience of course! The food was so cheap and delicious, and the sights were beautiful and surreal.

It is so hard to narrow it down to what I liked most, but I think it would be the people that I met on the exchange. Every person who I met has made a lifelong impact on me and I was able to develop bonds that I will have for life. My host families, my students, the teachers, the fellow exchange participants, and the friends, as well as fellow AIESECers who I met abroad are all people who I will always remember. Even after the exchange, we still stay in contact, sharing daily slices of our lives, even though we are on the opposite sides of the world.

I think the beauty of an AIESEC exchange is that the experience doesn’t end after your exchange. If I could give any tip to someone considering an exchange, it would be to always keep an open mind.

There will be ups and downs, and challenges. The exchange is meant for you to discover yourself and unlock your leadership potential through cross cultural understanding. It isn’t just a vacation, although sometimes it feels like one. Be willing to accept the fact that you will only grow by feeling uncomfortable.

A final tip I would say is go somewhere you never imagined yourself going to because you’ll find yourself wanting to go back immediately once you leave.

Evolving Life Perspective through World Travels

By Nikita (Mykyta) Drakokhrust, Undergraduate student in the Department of Politics and Public Administration, Faculty of Arts

Note from the Editor: Nikita Drakokhrust was 1 of 13 Politics and Governance students who traveled to Washington DC from March 4 – March 12, 2017. The trip is a major component of the course CPOG490: Politics and Government in Washington DC.  

Canadian seat at the Organization of American States (OAS)

Whether you have traveled before or not, your expectations are usually very different from what your experiences turn out to be. Having traveled to several countries before, I figured Washington DC would be another trip with tourism and of course school work. But it wasn’t.

Photo with Steve Scully
Senior Executive Producer and Political Editor at C-SPAN,
who has been nicknamed “the most patient man on television” by John Oliver

Washington DC is of course the capital of the most influential country and currently one of the most controversial. But when you ask an average person, especially outside of America, what they know about the history of Washington and the answer will probably be ‘not much’.

For me politics was always a passion, and understanding the various governmental systems across the world and the organizations that aid each government has always fascinated me. Visiting Washington was probably one of the most breathtaking experiences. But not breathtaking like the view from the top of a mountain, or a sunrise in the Arctic, but rather the amazement of the grand-scale of the American government.

The group with Representative Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania (front center) at the U.S Capitol

The moment you step foot outside of the Ronald Reagan airport you begin to get a sense that there really are no limits as to how far mankind can go. This feeling begins with the architecture of Washington DC. The grand marble figures of past presidents and important historical figures, 20 foot ceilings, and the overall neoclassical architectural style of buildings reminding you of the great Roman and Greek empires.

Everywhere you go in Washington DC there is an immense presence of power and importance. Having spent quite some time in Ottawa, and inside of our government buildings, I was able to draw a comparison between the two countries and their scale of government operations.

The Ryerson students had the pleasure of being in Washington with students from Penn State University. Throughout our trip we got to discuss the difference between our governments, and also learn a lot about the functions of the U.S government. Many of us had different experiences and understandings that we took away from trip.

My personal lesson from this trip and from my past few travels, was perspective. Once you witness how diverse and complex the world is, you begin to realize what is really important in your life, and the lives of everyday people. Those small things we used to worry about all the time no longer seem stress-worthy, and I was able to understand how privileged and lucky I am to have had such an amazing opportunity to travel and learn about the world outside of my classroom.

Now, when I go about my everyday business, I look at things a little different, and often if I find myself stressed about something I always reference it to how my actions and worries compare to the grand scale of things in life.

As cliché as it sounds, traveling really changes your life and gives you a new perspective on things. I would encourage every person take the opportunity to travel and experience new things without hesitation.

Visiting the Pentagon

Click here for more information on CPOG490: Politics and Government in Washington DC. 

Getting Involved in the Exchange Community: Join RISExC!

RISExC is a student-run group that helps new Ryerson exchange students settle into life in Toronto. The committee is mostly made up of current Ryerson students who have previously participated in the exchange program. The group plans social events and sightseeing trips in Toronto.

Joining RISExC is not only a great way to become involved in exchange community, it is also an opportunity to draw on your lived experiences to help others feel more comfortable here in Toronto.

Join the RISExC Fall ’17 – Student Group Facebook page.

Interested in taking a leadership role on the committee?
Email us at rihelp@ryerson.ca with the subject line: RISExC Committee Fall’17  and join the RISExC Fall’17 – Organizer Facebook Page.

Are you or will you be a Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM) student in the fall? Join the TRSM Exchange Buddy Program!

The TRSM Exchange Buddy Program is an initiative by the Ted Rogers Students’ Society (TRSS) that aims to provide incoming TRSM exchange students with the resources and support that they need to make the most out of their exchange experience.

In this program, incoming exchange students will be paired up with current TRSM students. Partners will act as ‘buddies’ throughout the exchange semester.

As a participant, you can attend social events organized by the TRSS for exchange students, and will be kept up-to-date with other events and activities held around campus.

Are you a TRSM student interested in becoming a buddy? Stay tuned! Sign-up forms will be sent out at the beginning of July via email.

Are you an incoming TRSM exchange student? Check your email and sign up now!

For more information, please contact TRSS Special Projects Manager at janica.portillas@trssociety.ca.

 

Thoughts from a mate in Australia

By Andrew Walls, Undergraduate student in the School of Business Management , Ted Rogers School of Management

With a worried look on his face, my younger brother said to me “Don’t get eaten by spiders”. He was worried the Goliath Bird Eater spider he’d seen in a “Deadliest Things” YouTube video would chomp me.

This sentiment entirely reflected people’s opinion of Australia after I told them about my upcoming exchange at Curtin University. They couldn’t understand why someone would risk their life like that. It seemed daft. As they saw it, Australia was home to the deadliest most poisonous things on Earth.

This ran through my mind as I hugged my family goodbye at Pearson’s departure gate. What was Australia actually like? On the one hand; it was this haven of beaches, beauty and excitement, on the other articles like “The 30 deadliest animals in Australia” existed. Does Canada even have 10 deadly animals – let alone a ranking system for them?

But deadliest everything or not, I was headed there for a semester studying abroad. With feelings as mixed as the many drinks I would soon be having, I boarded my plane and so began one of the best periods of my entire life.

Being not smart on a boat

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A 45 hour jaunt across the world later I was stepping off a jumbo jet into the brightest sunshine I’d ever seen in my life. This was Perth, the capital city of Western Australia and the most isolated major city in the world. It was also 45° out. Coming from a brutal -15° snowstorm which nearly derailed my travel plans, the heat was sizzling. I casually mentioned that to another disembarking traveller and he threw back “Mate, this is a cool one.” I thought: “What have I gotten myself into?”

Fast forward a month and I was living the life. My roommates and I got along famously. I’d found some drinking buddies and lifelong friends to mess around with. My classes were engaging, and there was always something to do; surfing lessons, scuba diving, trips to one of the many world-renowned beaches. I was having the time of my life. This was the Australia I’d dreamed about!   

 

Scuba, Natural stuff

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Along with all the fun stuff to do, there was still that feeling something was missing. It was the lifeline back home. That feeling of being grounded by friends and family. My mom was crucial in this fight against loneliness and I’m forever thankful for her being the amazing woman she is. Travelling alone is scary, and that every-few-days call home helped me to both develop a new appreciation for what I’d left behind and recenter myself in the incredible experience I was so lucky to be having.

This stability was absolutely necessary when I was accepted to work with Curtin Volunteers in the remote community of Laverton. I was to fly several hours into the red belt as part of a 5 person team to rendezvous with our program facilitator. We were working with a youth program for 5 days to engage local indigenous youth.

Wide shot of #selfies

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Besides being one of the most challenging things I’ve done, this experience fundamentally changed me into a more compassionate, empathetic and kind person. For the rest of my life, I’ll have the memories of my wonderful teammates and young friends. It still makes me smile at a moments notice (like as I’m writing this).

A breathtaking trip to New Zealand and a bumbling 3000km road trip to the stunning Ningaloo reef later and I was heading home. Looking back on my experience I can’t understate how much happier I’ve become from having gone abroad. It wasn’t easy by any means, but it was beyond worthwhile. 

Two NZ landscapes/the Wanaka tree

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Before you go money doesn’t seem like it’ll make sense. The overload of destination choices makes narrowing the list down to one seem impossible and terrifying. But finding the courage to push through those obstacles and embrace the experience has permanently changed my life for the better. It was only by leaving everything behind that I could really see how incredible my life was, and how lucky I am to have so many wonderful people around me. 

Thanks for having me Perth! I’ll miss you.

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For more information on exchange opportunities at Ryerson, please visit: http://www.ryerson.ca/ri/

For tips and tricks on financial planning for exchange, click here.

Six months in the New York Public Library’s Photography Department

By Cassandra Tavukciyan, Master’s Student in Photographic Preservation and Collections Management

Greetings from New York City! For the past five months, I have been completing an internship at the New York Public Library’s Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs. This internship is a residency requirement for my Master’s degree in Photographic Preservation and Collections Management at Ryerson. As an intern with a focus on photographic preservation, I have been able to gain hands-on training and experience in archiving and managing photographic collections of a major research library. Ryerson International and the RIWEF Award further assisted me in this pursuit with minimal amounts of financial constraint thus ensuring I complete my internship to a high standard.

The New York Public Library (NYPL) is a public library system in New York City. With nearly 53 million holdings, the NYPL is the fourth largest public library in the United States and the fourth largest in the world.  Established in 1895 with 88 branches and four research centers, the NYPL provides free and open access to a variety of materials including rare books, films, videos, maps and more.

The NYPL’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, widely known as the Main Branch, is the flagship building in the NYPL’s system and a prominent historic landmark in Midtown Manhattan, housing research collections in the humanities and social sciences as well as a circulating children’s collection. Located on 42nd and Fifth Avenue, the Library is surrounded by Bryant Park and in close proximity to the International Center of Photography School (ICP) and Grand Central Station.

My main responsibilities in the Photography Collection include assisting in research, supporting and enhancing cataloguing practices, managing the re-housing and organization of photographic collections and maintaining digital records through the library’s database. I have additionally supported staff in assisting and registering patrons with external research requests and appointments in the Prints and Photographs Study Room. The internship is additionally the basis of my thesis work in Ryerson’s MA Program, where I am researching cases of misattribution in the context of Ottoman-Armenian photography. Through these initiatives, I have achieved a high degree of fluency in navigating and organizing archival spaces and my thesis work has additionally attuned me to the particularities of specific objects and how they fit into archival collections.

In addition to the work experience and my thesis research, I am also taking advantage of being in one of the most diverse and exciting cities in the world.

During the evenings and weekends I’ve enjoyed participating in local cultural events, film screenings, and concerts and visiting the city’s incredible selection of cultural institutions such as the Morgan Library, the Met, The Brooklyn Museum, the Tenement Museum and much more.

I also had the opportunity to attend a conference in Watertown, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston where I got to meet and connect with individuals who share similar research interests with me. 

On the whole, my experience in New York City has been very valuable for both my academic and career goals. This wasn’t my first international placement, but it was certainly a memorable one. Living here for six months allowed me to become familiar with my surroundings and the institution.

While at times, living in this expensive and high energy city can be very stressful and challenging, I am confident that the skills I have acquired and the relationships I have formed with my colleagues will allow me to succeed in my future professional pursuits.