Munk One, Munk School

A recap on the Munk One Instagram takeovers

Monday: Anna Clark (’20) on why she chose Munk One

A laptop and a calendar behind a textbook on a desk.“Hey guys! My name is Anna (@annashaferclark) and I’m a current Munk One. Today I’m gonna be taking over the Instagram and talking a little about why I chose Munk One and what a day in the life of a first-year #uoft student looks like!

For today, I had a midterm in the morning but normally I would go straight to the library. Right now, I’m peer reviewing one of my friends’ Reaction Papers for MUN101 and having my second cup of coffee!

As for why I chose Munk One, there are a myriad of reasons but I’ll share one with each post:

Reason 1: As someone coming from a smaller school, the seminar class size really appealed to me in comparison with the larger lectures at U of T!”

“Ended up leaving for the library a little later than I would have liked but I did get some work done! I spend a fair amount of time in Robarts studying and/or getting Starbucks at the second floor cafeteria. ☕️

I’ll probably finish up some work that’s due for my other courses and continue working on my MUN105 intervention assessment – a project where we have to evaluate the efficacy of a local intervention related to the #unsdgs

The second reason why I chose Munk One is because I love that we mix learning about current/relevant global issues while still learning concrete skills that will help us later in our studies – like how to research properly!”

“After studying for about 3 hours, my friend Amalie(a fellow Munk One) and I headed down to #KensingtonMarket to do part of an assignment for MUN105, where we are conducting an ethnography (as much as we can during COVID)!

After, I’ll probably head back to my room get some more work done and get dinner later with my friends!

One more thing I really like about Munk One is that, even during #covid_19 we still get to do really practical hands-on activities like the ethnography where we are actually applying what we are learning as opposed to just being tested on it.”

“This is going to be my final post for the takeover!"

Just some final thoughts to round off the takeover: University can be really hard but having a program like Munk One makes it easier (sometimes). I’m incredibly glad to have met all the people in my program and to have made all of these amazing friends. Munk One gave me an instant community which made the transition to #uoft so much easier, and even though the classes are hard sometimes, I wouldn’t trade this opportunity.

If you have any questions about what life looks like on campus, please feel free to send me a DM @annashaferclark and I’ll do my best to answer your questions!”

Tuesday: Mihika Vyas (’20) on the international student experience and Munk One courses

“Hi there! My name is Mihika and I am a Munk One student. I am based in #Dubai, so my university experience has been all online so far! I’ll be taking over the Instagram today to share what Munk One courses are like, and how my #remotelearning learning experience has been as an international student.

I wake up any time between 6 AM to 2PM. I know this is an odd gap – but it really depends on when I get to bed. I only have courses, meetings, and such much later in the day so it all works out just fine! The first thing I do is get myself a coffee- I had a midterm yesterday so I thought I’d treat myself to Tim Hortons (I have one right underneath my apartment) I either get a cold brew or their French vanilla latte.

At the beginning of the year, I was worried about making friends and finding opportunities to make friends online. At Munk One, we were introduced to our some of our cohort, along with the Munk Twos (what we call second-year alumni around here) way back in May. It was then I realized how beneficial being a part of such a community-oriented program could be. These meetings really helped me learn more about the program and helped ease the transition to a remote form of study as I had never taken online classes before. We even took part in a set of rapid-fire presentations called “Pecha Kucha” just before the fall term began, which served as a lovely opportunity to learn more about each other. I still remember what some of my peers spoke about!

Through our seminars, discussions, and group projects, I really do feel like I am a part of the #community. Another thing that I have been loving about Munk One is that we continuously get opportunities to further engage with each other and our professors – outside of the actual courses. For example, during reading week, I’ll be participating in the #CaseCompetition, which I am very excited about!”

“It’s me again! So through online learning, I’ve been finding it very difficult to focus sitting at one space all day, so I usually alternate between my desk and my balcony! Today I decided to finish my readings and prep for my MUN101 class outside. The weather has also been getting better here! It was about 27 degrees today – which is pretty much sweater weather for me. I honestly have no idea how I am going to brave the Canadian winter!

So for this term, us Munk Ones are enrolled in MUN101 and MUN105. Something I love about MUN101 is all the readings we get to do! We cover such interesting discussions in class- I think my favorite book so far was “The Ghost Map” by Steven Johnson. Since it was about the cholera epidemic, it was very interesting to not only read and learn about, but also compare with the spread and outbreak of the #coronavirus. MUN105 is course that allows you to examine global problems and come up with solutions to them- we dive heavily into how to conduct social science #research. The most exciting part about this course is that we get to group ourselves into labs based on some of the sustainable development goals. I picked the “No Poverty” lab. This week we have started working on an ethnography assignment where we explore a specific theme/question in relation to Kensington Market. I’ve never been to #Toronto– so I am very excited to get my first taste of the city via Google Maps and Instagram posts!

The one program I think has been the best experience so far was the Global Classroom activity! Both our Munk One courses this term gave us the opportunity to engage with this. Global Classroom allowed for cross-cultural and #international exchange and for us to meet students across the globe. It was so memorable I actually think it deserves it’s own post- so I’ll chat more about that soon!”

“I managed to catch the beginning of sunset before class today! I decided to grab dinner at this Korean store a short drive away from my house – they have one of my favorite ice creams, a matcha flavored ice cream sandwich with red bean paste inside! I also ate a #bulgogi burger- I actually discovered this place post-lockdown. It was one of the first places I visited after Dubai opened up again and I come here often to stock up on snacks!

As promised, for my last post, I’d thought I’d share my thoughts on the Global Classroom modules! The Global Classroom project was introduced this year to give us the opportunity to collaborate with students from different universities for a period of two weeks. For MUN101, we worked with students from @genteudem in Mexico. We were grouped into teams and introduced to themes relating to #COVID19 and how it has impacted the world. My team selected “the new normal” and looked into changes we can expect to see as a result of the pandemic. As for MUN105, we collaborated with @unlpoficial in Argentina to find an issue faced by both Toronto and La Plata that was caused by COVID19. We selected common topics based on the #SDG labs we grouped ourselves into and analyzed government intervention policies and their influence on both cities. For me, the experience was memorable and enriching as it exposed me to real-world issues and gave me the opportunity to work with other students. Because of time differences, I once ended up getting into a meeting at 3AM and left at 6 in the morning! I will admit, however, that this was in part because we procrastinated during our actual meeting time and listened to music instead. I am so grateful to have received the opportunity to take part in such a project – it was so special and is an experience I will never forget!

Overall, the Munk One experience has helped me feel like a part of something. In the last few weeks, I have made friends, formed connections, and learnt a lot about myself. I can’t wait to (hopefully) meet everyone soon! Thanks for spending the day with me!”

Wednesday: Ally Johnston (’17) on the Munk One Community

A smiling girl holding a mug of coffee.“Hi Everyone! My name’s Ally and I’m a fourth year student double majoring in Peace Conflict and Justice Studies and Economics with a minor in Statistics (a mouthful, I know). I was in Munk One in my first year (‘17) and I’m going to be talking about the Munk One student community today!

I’m in #Vancouver, BC at the moment and I’m going to take you through my day and talk about how I’ve stayed in touch with my cohort after first year and how I made connections with my fellow Munk Ones outside of the classroom.

Coming from a small high school, the close community in Munk was super important to me and has provided so much support and friendship over my university career (not just in first year)!

I’ve had the chance to do so many amazing things with my peers from Munk One. Some of us did a summer abroad at Hebrew U in #Jerusalem together, attended the Women in House Program in #Ottawa and I lived with one of my Munk One friends on a semester abroad in #Paris!”

“Remote learning this year makes it a bit more challenging to make friends and form those first year bonds, but one of the things I loved about Munk was that we made as many connections in the classroom as outside of it. Many of the ways that I found my Munk friends are still available online and are great ways to connect with peers!

In first year, I made many of my Munk One friends in different clubs we were in and at events put on by the #MunkSchool and the Munk One program! As well, I was a part of student government at @viccollege and I met a bunch of upper year Munk One alums through that 😊 It’s a great starting point for friendships and I found it super valuable to have upper year Munk One friends to turn to for advice or help.

To stay connected to the Munk One community after first year, I’ve tried to go to the Munk One events that alums are invited to and I joined the mentorship program in my second year. Even though we’re not all in the same program, my Munk One friends and I still make time to get together and just have fun outside of school. Even though it’s a very academically rigorous and enriching program, the true magic of Munk One happens when so many people from different background and interests come together to learn and grow”

Thursday: Renee Jagdeo (’19) on extracurriculars and continuing Munk One projects beyond first year

“How To: Life on Land

In MUN105, my team and I addressed the deficit of underground green space in the #TTC. While we were at it, we also decided to tackle to dangerous air quality levels on public transit.

To do this, we designed a living mural which consists of plant and bio filter tiles. The combination of these tiles provides an aesthetically pleasing and interactive green space with clean air!

Over the Summer, we took this intervention out of MUN105 and have been exploring its implementation with the @cityofto and the Financial District BIA.

I recommend carrying through with all the cool things you learn about and develop during the Munk One program. This project – specifically – encouraged me to pursue urban planning and design as well as gave me such a lovely group of friends to chat about plants, air filtration and anything in between!

Let me know if you have any questions throughout the day!”

Friday: Hui Wen Zheng (’17) on how to apply to Munk One

“Munk Four here excited to share a bit more about the Munk One application process! It really is as simple as 1, 2, 3, – get in touch if you have any questions! If you would like to see a sample of what types of questions & materials the application comprises of, check out the Munk One website to see last year’s questions

Future students, applications open in January 2021!

“Applicants to Munk One come from all corners of the world (every year, about 1/3-1/2 of our cohort is international!) and disciplines. There is certainly no box to check in terms of what you needed to do in high school to get in, it’s really about your passion for tackling global issues and thinking big! The thing that struck me the most was how interesting our class discussions always were because of our diversity, so in honour of that, here are some of my cherished memories with my fellow Munk Ones:

1. Celebrating the end of MUN105 labs with a cohort brunch with @teresa_kramarz!
2. Reading week trip with @martinafx to Niagara Falls
3. Crashing the Trinity College lit with @housespeaker_nancypelosi...
4. Organizing the case competition in 2nd year! Looking forward to seeing what this year’s will be like @m1cc2020
5. Hanging out with Munk Ones on the other side of the world while conducting research in Hong Kong. There are Munk Ones everywhere, so you basically have a tour guide wherever you travel!"

Over the course of November 2nd-6th, 2020, Munk One students and alumni from across cohorts took over our Instagram account (@mymunkone) to share their Munk One experiences, ranging from their favourite aspects of the program, navigating remote learning, and provided information for prospective students. Missed it on Instagram? Not to worry – we’ve rounded up the highlights! Read on to see what Anna Clark (’20), Mihika Vyas (’20), Ally Johnson (’17), Renee Jagdeo (’19) and Hui Wen Zheng (’17) had to say. Be sure to check out our Instagram page to see the stories and interactive videos our students shared!