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Convocation 2013: Chinese students take Green Path to success

Dai He, Xin Qi and Mengtian Bao (photo by Ken Jones)

Four years ago they came to Canada from China and enrolled at University of Toronto Scarborough through the Green Path program. 

Today, Mengtian BaoXin Qi and Dai He graduate from U of T, successful members of the class of 2013. 

“My target has always been to become a financial engineer,” says Mengtian, who graduates with a degree in mathematics and heads to Columbia University this July to pursue a master's degree in financial engineering.

Since 2005, top students from schools in the People’s Republic of China have enrolled in the ground-breaking Green Path program at UTSC. Students receive 12 weeks of English language instruction and spend their summer immersed in local culture, becoming  familiar with life in Canada. Green Path students live in residence at UTSC, enrolling in undergraduate studies after successfully completing the summer program.

"Green Path is a wonderful program that gives Chinese students a unique opportunity to embark on educational and career paths of their choice here at U of T," said Professor Rick Halpern, UTSC dean and vice-principal. We are always very excited to offer such a great prospect for these talented students to explore and, ultimately, master their chosen fields. We are very proud of this partnership."

Green Path translates from Mandarin as "the way to success" and, for Green Path alumni Mengtian, Xin and Dai, success has come both academically and through community involvement, partly due to having set their career goals early on.

Mengtian worked as a teaching assistant in different courses and had two co-op placements during her undergraduate studies. Dai also did some teaching assistantships and co-op placement with a human resources consulting firm as part of her undergraduate studies.

In October, Dai will start a master's degree in accounting and finances at the London School of Economics in the UK. She attributes her success to her own desire to always achieve more, and to parents’ expectations.

“They spend a lot on me, so I have to work hard,” she says.

As for Xin, who was a teaching assistant in courses such as Microeconomics, Statistics and Finances and had a co-op placement as a data analyst with the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, she wants to have some work experience before continuing her studies. Come September, she starts working full-time at Deloitte as a consultant for enterprise risk services practice.

She was actively involved with Green Path association during her undergraduate studies, served as its vice-president of finance.

More than 1,100 students have graduated from the Green Path program since it began at UTSC, with many of the graduates going on to achieve high levels of academic success at the university. (Read more about Green Path.)

Gilbert Ndikubwayezu is a writer with the University of Toronto Scarborough.