Hi! My name is Shadman Rafiq, I am currently an undergraduate student from the University of Toronto, studying in my final year. I am in Health Science program, majoring in Health Policy and Canadian Studies. I am a Dean's List student for 2 years in a row now at the University of Toronto (dean's list = honor roll).
I moved to Canada just before high school at the age of 14, living in Toronto my entire time here.
I speak English, Hindi, Bengali and Urdu and am in the process of learning Spanish. I am interested in learning different languages as it will help me assimilate in many countries with ease, and would like to learn to speak French and Mandarin in the future as well!
I am a huge sports fan, and am always open for a discussion on Basketball and Football. I love watching TV shows and Movies, so if anyone has a good recommendation let me know! I love to travel, which is unfortunate now since we had to spend the summer indoors basically. Those are all my hobbies!
Q2：You teach a lot of subjects in Uforse Education, can you introduce a few of them? (can say something like why you are good at certain subjects like Essay editing, Uni apps, AEC, IELTS)
I am primarily a University Applications Instructor and have taught classes for every single major Ontario and BC university's supplementary application process. I have conducted both video recordings and written forms, highly experienced in all areas of University Applications. I have gone through the Ontario application process myself when applying for universities, and with the hundreds of hours I have spent guiding our students through the application process I have pretty much memorized every university and it's requirements during it's application process. My personal and professional experience with applications handling makes me a great fit for Uni apps.
I also teach Essay Editing and AEC Level 2 and Level 3 writing. As a policy student, there is a lot of analysis and writing in my educational field. I have had several years and thousands of written texts worth of experience in Canadian English, writing at the highest levels of post-secondary education. Due to my high writing skill and breadth of experience, I have also worked at my university's writing center and peer-review group, helping fellow students polish up their written work to the best of my ability. Once again, my accolades and years of experience working with professional and academic writing makes me a great fit for Writing and Editing courses.
Q3： What is your favorite subject to teach and why?
I don't have a heavy favorite, but the subject I lean towards is University Applications. Through uni apps, I feel I get to meet new students and learn a lot about them: their strengths, their academic goals, their professional vision, their life so far, etc. It gives me an inside look into many great young student's minds, which is always refreshing for me.
Q4：What is the most common problem you see on Chinese students when they are learning English language or writing their essays?
The most common problem is familiarity with the English language. The level of vocabulary often times will not be at a satisfactory level for senior high school or university classes, which is where most of my essay editing takes place. Students always have great ideas and more or less can understand the text and their instructions very well, but (through no fault of their own) their lack of familiarity with academic English holds them back from expressing their brilliance and ideology to the best of their ability.
Q5：What is your suggestion to your students on improving their writing skills?
Q6：University application season is starting soon, any advice on how to do well in the supplementary applications?
Always try to be direct and concise in your answers, nobody wants to read fluff and unnecessary text.
Don't try to get close to the word limit, just make sure you get your point across well. The word limit is just a guideline, don't fill your answers with fluff and unnecessary words/sentences as applications departments will not want to read any more than they have to.
Always be honest in your answers. Don't try to write answers that you think Universities want to see and hear, write answers that genuinely reflect who you are and how you think. Giving them an honest look into your mindset and ideology is the best impression you can create for them, as being uniquely yourself is the best quality you will bring to any university you apply for.
Q7：Some students want to know how to do the uni apps video interview classes? Could you please introduce the classes generally?
The video interview classes have both a written and a video component. The written component are usually short answers that are about introducing yourself, your hobbies, your goals in life, what you want to accomplish in university, etc. Very general questions. The video questions are similar, but instead of a written format you make a short video and submit it. The video allows universities to see how well you deal with answering questions on the spot, and while the questions are fairly easy it allows for them to get an unfiltered look into how you can handle the pressure. Some universities also ask questions regarding current world issues or general topics, to get a sense of your worldview and what kind of mindset shapes the opinions you have. Again, more about them getting to know you better is the objective, not them looking for right or wrong answers.
Q8：What else do you want to say to your students from China? (Anything about life, university experience, story that impressed you or how to improve English etc. )
I myself moved from an Asian country to Canada to pursue higher education, and the transition here was a big shock to my system. The social practices, how people think and operate, the openness of communities and belief systems, many things were much different from what I experienced in my early life. Living in Canada especially independently has taught me a lot about independence, but has also allowed me to find a place where I feel like I fit, where I belong. That is my biggest positive change; previously, I lived in a very traditional country that I never really felt too happy in or felt like I was a part of. The country itself is great, and there are many people including my whole family who absolutely love it, but it just never felt like the right place for me. Canada is far more independently progressive, which I think is much more to my taste. The opportunities I have been afforded here both professionally and personally have been a blessing for me.
University life will be very different from high school life, as the workload and responsibilities that will fall on your shoulders will be significantly larger. Despite being in classes with hundreds of people, University is far more independent compared to your prior school experiences, where the importance of being reliable and accountable for your own work is paramount. This includes being prepared for classes before they happen, learning materials in a timely manner and doing work with time to spare rather than anything last minute. Hard work and a good routine is just as important as knowledge and intelligence in college and university, so it’s extremely important to build good habits and try your actual level best in order to succeed in this environment.