I decided to join the first-year ISCI program mainly because I knew I wanted to study science, but at the time I had not decided on which program I wanted to take. The Integrated Science program allowed me to experience first year university-level math and science courses, which helped me to decide on my major and provided me with all of the prerequisite courses I required for upper-year courses. Also, ISCI gave me a chance to connect with and become friends with all of my classmates. Finally, I’m glad I was a part of ISCI because of the way we could interact with the professors. The small class size allows the professors to get to know every ISCI student, which breaks the professor/student barrier many university students feel. I now have connections that may help me in future career/research opportunities at York University. I’m glad I took Integrated Science, and I would recommend it to any student planning to study mathematics or science at York.
Now that I am in my second year of studies at York, I can finally appreciate the true value of participating in the Integrated Science program. I had less than 20 people in my Integrated Science classes, and I really got to know my peers and professors very well. This year, there are over 300 students in some of my courses. Fortunately, I have built strong friendships with my peers in ISCI, and I know I can rely on them for support throughout my years at York.
One of the greatest benefits of ISCI was how it facilitated my transition into university and made the overall adjustment less daunting. The class size was much smaller than first year classes which made it easier to create long-lasting friendships, ask questions in class, stand out to my professors and gain support from my peers. Each class was also very engaging and focused on discussion, teamwork, making connections to other core courses and occasionally dipping our toes into upper level material. This approach to teaching is definitely not typical of a first year class and it equipped me with the skills to think critically and creatively in order to solve the problems I face now. Lastly, ISCI provides you an opportunity to explore the core scientific disciplines and receive more guidance from professors about your interests. As a result, I was able make a more informed choice for my major towards the end of ISCI compared to when I had just started university.
When I first came to York, I was planning to go for a Biology Honors Degree, but after my first-year in ISCI, I changed my mind and now I am working towards a Specialized Honors in Biophysics. I had an interest in the three sciences and math since high school. The idea of having to give up on some of them and only major in one bothered me quite a bit. So, I was more than happy to find out that York offers Integrated Science. Integrated Science was indeed an eye-opener; it gave me a chance to learn about all the interesting specialties and available opportunities for me out there!