Day in the Life of an International Intern: Toronto

Authored By:

Claire R.

Since coming to Toronto, my daily routine has completely changed. As I have mentioned before, work-life balance is essential for surviving a summer internship. During this trip I have learned how to be much more independent and how to manage a busy schedule in a way that keeps me happy and healthy. 

Here is what a day in my life looks like:

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

6:45 AM 

My alarm goes off and I quickly get out of bed to stretch before getting ready for the day. I make myself breakfast every morning. My favorite quick breakfast food to make is oatmeal, but since we have a full kitchen here in our apartment I have been known to make scrambled eggs or even pancakes if I have a little extra time in the morning. Today I was feeling pretty tired so I just made my regular oatmeal (and mixed in some peanut butter and chocolate chips for some fun and flare on a nice morning!)


8:15 AM

If I am on time (which isn’t very often lol) then I am usually walking out of Innis Residence at or around 8:15 to head to work. I am EXTREMELY fortunate to live about a fifteen-minute walk away from my office, and I can take the same side street all the way there (no sweaty streetcars for me!) I really enjoy my walk to work, and I see it as a form of “me” time. The homes and businesses along Sussex (the road I take to work) are some of the most beautiful buildings in the city. I like to listen to podcasts and admire all of the beautiful structures and landscaping. 

I get to work around 8:30. I work in the Centre for Social Innovation Annex Building. The office is a collaborative workspace, meaning it’s designed to be efficient for sharing ideas and interactions with others. Some organizations and businesses in the building have set office spaces with set desks and computers, and others just use their laptops and sit at hot desks around the kitchens. 


9:00 AM

On Thursdays, we have our weekly meetings in the office. This is when we discuss the progress of the projects we have been working on, review any announcements, and share any successes from the week. I find the work I do for my job to be very meaningful and fulfilling, and I can tell that my coworkers love their jobs too!


12:00 PM

Most days we work until we eat lunch in our office or the kitchen around noon. On this particular day, however, we were celebrating the end of contract for my coworker. We had lunch at his favorite restaurant, a local Hakka place close to CSI. Afterward, we got chimney cakes and gave him gifts. There were lots of happy tears involved. The food was ridiculously delicious and it was a nice break in the day. Plus, I got to celebrate the accomplishments of such a talented coworker! 


3:30 PM 

Depending on the day and how much work I have completed, I head home around 3:30 or 4:00. Again, I really value the time I spend walking to and from work. Every afternoon there is a local farmer’s market/garage sale combination that residents of the neighborhood put on. It’s nice to look at all the fruits and veggies people have grown in their own backyards, grab a glass of lemonade, and chat with locals about their lives in the area. 


6:00 PM

Once I get home from CSI I like to check in with my roommates, grab a snack, and change out of my work clothes. When I’m all comfy, I’ll start working for my second job on my laptop. I thought that working two jobs in Toronto would be unbearable and exhausting, but it’s not bad at all! While trying to juggle it all, I’ve learned that it’s really important to listen to your body. If you’re restless and your brain is foggy, you’re not in a good state to try and sit and work. Your time will be better spent walking off excess energy or grabbing a coffee with coworkers than it will be trying to muscle through work you can’t pay attention to. After finishing a project, I got hungry and made myself some leftover pasta for dinner around 6:00 (and yes, it was delicious) before getting ready to go out for the night.


7:00 PM

One of my favorite parts of this program are the activities we have. Just about every week we have some sort of fun excursion to experience new places and meet new people on the program here in Toronto. Tonight we went out to the Rec Room, a bar/arcade literally right across the street from the CN Tower. My friends and I had a lot of fun playing different games to try and earn tickets while enjoying a beautiful view. Even one of our coordinators, Keisha, joined in for a round of DDR! My roommate Mila and I played an alien-invasion themed shooting game and she screamed every time an enemy popped up on the screen. I laughed so hard I nearly peed my pants! I also had the chance to meet our newest members of the program: a group of interns from Australia! They told me all about what it’s like back in Australia (did you know they don’t have squirrels like here in North America?) and we got better acquainted over a few more games. 


10:00 PM

After a long night, we finally caught a streetcar back home to Innis. But the fun wasn’t over yet! We pooled all of our tickets together at the Rec Room and were able to get a basketball hoop to hang on the door to our apartment. We spent the rest of the evening shooting hoops and chatting until we got bare tired and headed to bed. It was truly the perfect way to end such a fun-filled day!