By Ross Arbour
Ariella Freid’s education knows no borders.
The second-year student was born, raised and schooled in Washington, D.C., but relocated north of the border for Ryerson’s dance program.
“I started looking for schools in Canada because they weren’t as exorbitant as U.S. schools,” she said. “The theatre school at Ryerson seemed like a financially sound match for me.”
Fried is one of 350 American students at Ryerson, 42 are currently in their first year of a graduate or undergraduate program.
Nine thousand Americans studied at Canadian universities and colleges this year, up from 2,300 just 12 years ago, according to the Canadian embassy in Washington.
It was there Fried attended the International Baccalaureate program at the Washington International School.
“A school is a school, so if they offer what I want, the fact that I crossed an international border to get there isn’t that important,” she said.
But Michelle Chieng, first-year radio and television arts (RTA) student, said her friends hadn’t heard of any Canadian schools and didn’t understand the programs. They wondered what she could get in Canada that wasn’t already in the States.
Ryerson’s Registrar Keith Alnwick explains the U.S. market is huge and the school targets the northeastern U.S. because of its proximity.
Last year, there were 68,000 total applications to Ryerson. Alnwick said because of current local interest, the school must be careful with outreach.
Of those applicants, he says Ontario applicants have equal opportunity as those across the globe.
Chieng was also accepted for communications studies at the University of Tennessee with a scholarship, offsetting some expenses and making it roughly the same price as Ryerson.
“I chose Ryerson because it specialized in RTA,” she said. Fried and Chieng are both pleased with their decision to come to Ryerson.
“I love living here in Canada,” Fried said. “I’m thinking of staying here after graduation.”