Top students from mainland Chinese high schools graduated last Thursday from the Green Path program at UTSC. Green Path — which translates from Chinese as “the way to success” — is an academic and ESL summer program that started in 2005. Nearly 200 students were enrolled in the program this year.
Green Path aims to build students’ English language skills and to familiarize them with Canadian academic culture before they enter UTSC in the fall. Extracurricular activities include day trips to the Toronto Zoo and Niagara Falls.
Mo Zecheng, class valedictorian, was initially attracted by the program’s reputation.
“So many fellow top students graduated from Green Path,” he said in an interview Thursday. He also spoke of encountering the culture shock many international students first experience upon coming to Toronto. “Sometimes we [international students] find it difficult getting used to living here. Even taking public transportation can be difficult at times.”
Zecheng gave a short speech during Thursday’s graduation ceremonies, sharing the stage with UTSC principal Franco Vaccarino and Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China, Li Fang. Green Path is part of the University of Toronto’s recent initiatives to support international students, who comprise 15 per cent of the university’s undergraduate population.