Weekly Featured Article

My (Not-in-Canada) Canada Day!

I did a bit of a bad thing this weekend…I left the country during Canada Day. I know what you’re thinking – Why, Chris? Why leave this beautiful country on the most important day of the year? Whyyyy? Relax, folks – I promise I had a good reason. For my family and I, July 1st has never just been Canada Day. In addition to being the birthday of our great Nation in the North, July 1st is also the birthdate of my brother, Justin!


There he is – what a beauty, eh?

And so, for my brother’s birthday (and, you know, just ’cause), we hopped in the car and drove out to NYC for a weekend. None of us had ever been to New York City, and so it was a wonderful opportunity to go away for a weekend as a family and discover a new part of North America. I had only been to the United States once before (I was in a hockey tournament in Rochester many years ago), and so it was pretty exciting for me, although I did not know a whole lot about New York City going into the trip. We left early Saturday morning and arrived there in the early afternoon, and we stayed until noon on Tuesday (Canada Day). Continue reading

J'Explore! Mon Voyage à Saskatchewan, Weekly Featured Article

J’Explore – Jour 11 Jusqu’au 17

Salut tout le monde!

C’était un très memorable semaine, cette semaine. Beaucoup d’amusement, beaucoup de travail, et BEAUCOUP de français (bien sûr). Bien que je veux vous dire tout de ma semaine, je vais sauver les détails et récapituler les meilleurs parties.

Continue reading

J'Explore! Mon Voyage à Saskatchewan, Weekly Featured Article

J’Explore – Jours 8 et 9

Ce weekend, il avait devenu de plus en plus ardu de parler en Français tous les temps. Je sens parfois que je juste ne connais pas les mots – il me faut enchérir ma lexique.

Mais, heureusement, j’ai trouvé en ligne ce site SYNONYMES.COM. Et, je veux l’utiliser beaucoup pour la reste du mois.

En tout cas, il y a mon weekend.

Pendant Samedi, j’avais mon premier jour de l’atelier d’arts. Mme Donna a enseigné la classe, et on a commencé avec la peinture. Nous avons peint, en premier, les montagnes, l’eau, et un ciel bleu avec des nuages. Puis, Mme Donna nous montrait comment on fait les arbres, mais j’ai décidé de faire quelque chose un peu différent. J’ai peint un scène des montagnes en hiver – je pourrais voir moi-même comme étant sur un lac gelé avec ma petite amie, et les pins nous entourent. Le vent est fort, et nous faisons du patin à glace sur le lac.

Ça, c’était mon chef-d’oeuvre 😉


IMG_0501Oui, c’est à moi, et pas un enfant.

Ça nuit, une groupe d’étudiants et moi avons encore décidé d’aller au bar – après un petit débat sur où nous devrions aller, nous avons conclu d’aller à un bar s’appelait <<Sutherland’s>> (ou <<The Skuzz>>, pour les gens locaux). C’était pour le moins agréable.

Mais aujourd’hui, au lieu de peindre, j’ai dessiné avec les fusain (les crayons qui sont font du charbon) pour créer un portrait de moi-même. Avant ça, on a fait aussi les dessins du forms et des personnes dans la classe posent. Selon moi, mon peinture est meilleur que mes dessins – mon dernier dessin (de moi) était mon favorite des dessins, pourtant.

Il n'est pas très bien,  mais c'était bien pour mon premier essai

Il n’est pas très bien, mais c’était bien pour mon premier essai

Ce soir, on (mes amis et moi) ne fais pas plus des devoirs ni voit un film bien qu’on a planifié de les faire. Pourtant, demain – après la danse folklorique!!! Je suis enthousiaste pour ça – je dois faire tout mes devoirs (alors, deux presentations orale). Et, peut-être, je vais faire un blog aussi! 😉

À bientôt à tous!

~ Christopher Ford

J'Explore! Mon Voyage à Saskatchewan, Weekly Featured Article

J’Explore – Jour 2

C’est la fin du jour, et je suis déjà très fatigué.

Les autres <<Explore>> étudiants et moi sont allés à la gymnase d’edifice Williams à 8h20 ce matin pour un introduction du programme de Mme. Gisele Piché. Quand je suis arrivé, une professeur s’appelle Jacklyn se présente à moi et me demande mon nom et de mes études – et, pour le premier fois, je sentais comfortable quand parlant en français.

C’était un moment fantastique et inoubliable pour moi.

Après, nous avons asseyé pour écouter à Mme. Piché. Elle a présenté les professeurs de français (comme Mme. Jacklyn, qui va instruire le premier niveau des cours), et a expliqué tous les activités que nous ferions aujourd’hui. Puis, nous sommes partis en quatre groupe pour commencer les événements du jour.

En premier, mon groupe a entendu une presentation de Mme. Debra. Elle nous a dit tous de Saskatoon, et a répondu à tous les questions que nous avions. Suivant, nous avons fait des jeux de brise-glace avec un autre prof, M. Francois.

Pour l’âpres-midi, nous avons fait des entretiens par deux avec trois professeurs. J’ai fait mon en dernier, avec une femme s’appelle Radika, et elle et moi ont parlent très biens! Puis, finalement, nous avons complété un petit examen, qui décidera dans quelles groupes nous serons pour tout le programme.

Vraiment, aujourd’hui était un premier jour fantastique – je ne peux pas attendre pour le reste du programme!

~ Christopher Ford

J'Explore! Mon Voyage à Saskatchewan, Weekly Featured Article

J’Explore – Jour 1!


Ma chambre à Petro Mohyla, à Saskatoon

Bonjour à tous!

Aujourd’hui, c’est le premier jour pour la programme Explore pour moi, et je suis très excité! Hier, j’ai pris un avion à Saskatoon, et j’avait un chance d’emménager dans le residence Mohyla et d’explorer l’université du Saskatchewan. Mais, les cours commencent aujourd’hui.

Voilà des photos de mon exploration de l’université!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

J’espère que je peux faire des autres explorations aujourd’hui – et je sais que les cours serrent fantastique, et informatifs!

À bientôt!

~ Christopher Ford

Weekly Featured Article

My Trip During Co-Curricular Days

Although it was a cold and windy week in Kingston, ON, I had an absolute blast staying with my girlfriend and her housemates in their wonderful home near Queen’s University. Great friends, good fun, lots of homework, and Halloween were definitely the highlights of my week and weekend, and despite the weather I was still able to make the best of my co-curricular days.

But did I accomplish everything on my list of stuff to do during Co-Curricular Days? Let’s have a look and see!

**Note: if you didn’t get to see my to-do list before I left, check out my post from last week!

Go For A Run By The Water

Kingston, Ontario, Waterfront

love the waterfront in Kingston, and on Wednesday morning I braved the cold weather and ran alongside the shore. The view was breathtaking, and I don’t think I could ever get tired of the smell of wind and water from the lake. Shortly thereafter however my fingers began to numb a little, so, staying on the safe side, I decided to make my way back to the house.

It may also be important to mention that despite being warned not to wear my York University sweater through the Queen’s campus (because Queen’s students are very serious about Queen’s and stuff), I wore it proudly as I jogged through the Queen’s campus toward the water.


Visit Ale House

We had a nice night out for Halloween, however we never made our way over to Ale House.

Kind of sad, I know. But I did wear an Ale House Hat!

See? Isn't it awesome!?

See? Isn’t it awesome!?


Get All My Assignments Done

I sort of got this one done…definitely worked hard, but I took my time and enjoyed myself. Not to mention that the work is virtually never-ending this time of year, so it would have taken me a very long time, anyways.


Visit A Place I’ve Never Been Before

Shot on the campus of Queen's University in Ki...

Queen’s University’s Stauffer Library in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. It totally has a spiral staircase inside. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I TOTALLY did this. I walked downtown, saw Goodes Hall, went to Stauffer Library, and encountered so many acronyms for building names at Queen’s that it sounded like I was speaking in code. I almost felt like calling myself CF just to fit in.

But in all seriousness, Queen’s has a wonderful campus with some amazing historical architecture. Although York is Canada’s third largest university, Queen’s is Ontario’s second oldest university, and one of Canada’s oldest – it was established in 1841, 26 years before Canada even became a country. This means that it has tons of historical buildings, such as Ontario Hall, and I got a chance to explore many of them during my time up in Kingston last week.


Check Out A Museum

Really sad that I didn’t do this. But I definitely will next time I am up (when it isn’t pouring rain, of course)!


Practice My French

I tried…But it’s hard to find someone to practice with when you’re far from home.


And there you have it! Pretty productive overall, and I had some fun along the way!

~ Christopher Ford

Need to Know, Weekly Featured Article

You Need To Know WHO HAS THE BEST COFFEE ON CAMPUS (As Chosen By You!)

Over the summertime, I decided to conduct a survey. Its goal – to debunk the age-old mystery that haunts York’s coffee-lovers each morning: who are the keepers of quality coffee on campus?

A_small_cup_of_coffeeWhere should you get that morning cup of jo? At a place like York University, where there are food and drink options virtually everywhere you turn, it’s sometimes hard to decide. Especially if you’re like me, and you can barely think – let alone function – without having had your coffee yet. 

So I decided to ask the York Community where they prefer to get coffee on campus. The target group was a total of 66 people from various year levels and programs. Here were the results from the survey…

23 people said Starbucks,

18 people said Tim Horton’s,

12 people said Second Cup,

people said La Prep

people said Treats,

and 1 person said Falafel Hut. 004

There are a number of other places on campus to get coffee, though. The Great Canadian Bagel (located in York Lanes), Timothy’s (located in Schulich), and the many ARAMARK cafeterias located around campus (Central Square, Winters College, Stong College, Osgoode, etc) all have great coffee as well!

So there you have it – the best places to get coffee on campus, as chosen by you!

What are MY top 3 favourite coffees on campus, you ask? Make sure to check out my blog tomorrow to find out!

Until then, I’ll be getting coffee.

~ Christopher Ford

My friends and I at the Buffalo Bills game in Toronto, 2011

My friends and I at the Buffalo Bills game in Toronto, 2011

Weekly Featured Article

Come Watch York’s Varsity Team Play Queens This Sunday!

“The York University Lions would like to invite you to their

2013 Football Season Opener presented by The Etobicoke Guardian

The Lions take on Queen’s University this coming Sunday, August 25th at Centennial Park Stadium. Kick-off is at 1:00pm.

The York Lions’ mascot will be on-site for photos, contests and giveaways are happening throughout the game and concessions will be available. So bring your family and friends out for a great day of fun and football!

Tickets will be available at the gate (cash only). For more details, venue map and ticket prices please visit yorkulions.ca. Group sales are available. Email mathoney@yorku.ca or call 416-736-5982 for more details.”


Weekly Featured Article

How To Save When Travelling With GO Transit


Are you a York student who is commuting to school via GO Transit?

Well, I am. Coming from Markham, GO Transit is one of the many methods I can use to get to school every day, and I love it because (a) it’s fast, (b) it’s reliable, and (c) it’s super comfortable!

GO fares, however, are more expensive than fares for some of the other transit options, like Viva, YRT, TTC, or Züm.

But not to worry – just because you are getting to York via GO does not mean you will break the bank every time you go to class! There are a number of ways to save money while still enjoying the many benefits of travelling via GO (and if you’re like me, you love saving a few bucks wherever possible)! 

If you’re looking to save, get a PRESTO Card. What is a PRESTO Card, you might be asking? To quote the GO Transit website,

“PRESTO is an electronic, reloadable fare card the makes commuting convenient. PRESTO makes it easy to pay your fare while travelling within and between transit systems by the simple tap of a card. The system calculates the fare of your trip and deducts it from the balance stored on your card – all in less than a second.”

Why should you use PRESTO?

Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 10.35.02 AM

But how do you save using a PRESTO Card?

Simply, use it! Passengers travelling via GO automatically receive discounts just by using the PRESTO Card to pay their fare. Here is how much you can save off the adult fare as a result of the PRESTO’s built-in loyalty program:


Still seems like a lot? I’ll let you in on a little secret – as a York University Student, you can save even more! If you apply for a GO Transit Student Identification Card and register your student status on your PRESTO Card, you can save a lot more! Here is how much you can save off the adult fare as a result of the PRESTO’s built-in Student loyalty program:


Here is where you can apply for your GO Transit Student Identification Card – If you bring your PRESTO Card and your GO Transit Student Identification Card to Ink Blotz in York Lanes, a representative there can change your PRESTO Card to a student PRESTO Card. 

The best part is that you can use your PRESTO Card is not just for use on GO Transit! You can use it to connect with various other transit options, such as VIVA, YRT, Züm, and even some TTC Subways – many even offer similar discounts for using the PRESTO Card!

Still not sure whether you should travel with GO Transit? There are lots of other reasons, aside from the savings through having a PRESTO Card! Check back tomorrow for my “Reasons Why You Should Travel With GO Transit” Article!

~ Chris

Me, Workin' at the Booth!

Me, Workin’ at the Booth!

Need to Know, Weekly Featured Article

Financial Assistance Options that YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT

It’s no secret that school is expensive – especially in Ontario. In a recent report by Stats Canada, undergraduate students studying in Ontario paid an average of $7,180 in tuition during 2012-2013 – more than in any other province in Canada.

However, this doesn’t mean you will be stuck in a financial rut. With the pricey tuition also comes various forms of financial assistance, such as OSAP, the 30% Ontario Tuition Grant, other government loans and grant, and various awards, grants, and bursaries offered through York University.

RED Zone - 30% Ontario Tuition Grant

If you applied for OSAP and/or the 30% Ontario Tuition Grant before June 30, you are guaranteed to receive your money by the beginning of September. However, if you applied after that date, you may not receive it by this time. If you have not applied for OSAP already and you plan to, make sure to do it AS SOON AS POSSIBLE – remember, the sooner you apply, the sooner you should get your money in the fall.

If you are a permanent resident in Canada, there may be a form of financial assistance through the government that you are eligible for. For Ontario students specifically, OSAP and the 30% Ontario Tuition grant are both available for you to apply for. You should be elegible to get 30% off your tuition at York if you are a full-time student, if it has been less than four years since you left high school, if you are in an undergraduate program, and if your parent(s)’ gross income is $160 000 or less – to find if you are elegible, as well as to see if you are elegible for OSAP, visit osap.gov.on.ca. The best part about OSAP: you don’t start accumulating interest, and you don’t have to pay it back, until after you graduate. 

If you are a permanent resident in a province or territory other than Ontario, go on the York Univeristy Student Financial Services website to find some information about government assistance that you are eligible to apply for.

If you are not a permanent resident of Canada, there still may be forms of financial aid available to you as a student abroad. Students from the United States are encouraged to find out if they are elegible for student loans from the American government – visit sfs.yorku.ca/aid/usloans for more information, and to find out if you are elegible. Similarly, international students can try visiting the Global Education Website and clicking on Student Loans, in order to find various loans that might be available for them.

There are also many ways to receive financial aid through York University – York has millions to give away to those who demonstrate financial need, but also to those who demonstrate academic excellence. Any money you receive, you don’t have to pay back! Whether it is through a renewable entrance scholarship, through the York Tuition grant, or through the York University Student Access Guarantee (which will help make up the difference between the cost of school and the OSAP received by a student demonstrating financial need), there are financial aid options available to you, especially if you demonstrate financial need. 

The first and most important step, if you are looking to receive any award or bursary through York University, is to fill out the STUDENT FINANCIAL PROFILEThe SFP is an online module which usually takes about 15 minutes to complete. Upon completion, your information will be used to see if you are eligible to receive financial aid – whether that may be a scholarship, an award, a bursary, or a grant! It is not yet available to be filled out for the  2013-2014 Fall/winter session, however check back at the end of August, and make sure you fill it out – keep in mind that you should re-submit the SFP at the beginning of every academic session.

Still not sure if there is a financial aid option that is right for you? Make sure to visit the Student Financial Services website to find out more about grants, bursaries, scholarships, awards, and even on-campus jobs to further help you in funding your education.