A Sri Lankan Student from the University of Guelph in Canada to answer aspects of studying mechanical engineering in Canada.

What is Mechanical Engineering and why did you choose?

Mechanical engineering is the study of anything that moves. They can do anything from turning gears into a forming car. The reason I chose mechanical engineering as a career path is that I have Mechanical engineering from the day I was born. I have always been good at math and sciences and loved cars and that’s basically why I pursuit Mechanical Engineering.

What’s the main thing you should look for when applying for Mechanical Engineering in Canada?

The main thing you should look for when applying is, you should look for a university that has a Co/Op system. Co/op is basically the fact that you can work during your university experience that gives you, allows you to gain work experience connections and it allows you to pay university debts as you go through and earn your degree.

Another thing you should look for is, whether you feel comfortable in the university. You should take a tour around the University and just kind of gain a feel for the environment it has. Because everyone has different environmental like. some people like very studious University, some people like a very party like university, right? so it just depends on how you are feeling and like.

How much averagely will it cost in Canada Per year to study Mechanical Engineering?

So, for someone that is a Citizen of in Canada, already and they want to study in the University of Canada, It will cost around $14,000 a year for us to study engineering but for someone that is international if they’re coming into the study, it costs averagely around $28,000.

Do they have Financial Assistance to study?

So, they do have financial aid services at the beginning, though you must have at least about 30% and after the rest of the months, you can discuss with the university and your financial aid supervisor on how much you can pay each month to pay off your debts.

How many credits should you have to apply for a University to study Mechanical Engineering?

So, in order to apply for engineering, you must have all your high school credits done so you must have your high school diploma but also on top of that you must have prerequisites. If you’re studying in Canada you must have English which is a must and you must have advanced functions, calculus,  chemistry, physics and that’s the main prerequisites to be done if you want biology you can, not bad but it’s not necessary and not needed for mechanical it depends on what field you want to go to that you might need  biology so, yea.

What subjects are most important during High School to follow Mechanical Engineering?

So from my school, in fact, you should be doing this from elementary, you should be very strong in maths and Sciences if you’re not strong engineering is not the pathway to pursue but if you are then you should continue focusing on that and mainly focus on functions, calculus, physics, and chemistry.

Those are the main four things that you should really focus on when you’re applying for engineering. English you must know in Canada. Especially physics. There’s a lot of physics when it comes to engineering.

When do you Specialize in Mechanical Engineering?

so your first year in engineering is very general, everyone is going to be all together and you’re going to be doing basically the same thing as everyone else’s. You might have some parts we’re going to switch off that’s natural to do trying to do different branches way. But in the second year is when everything really starts to branch off and then after that you go third and fourth year you are basically all on your own and everyone is doing their own their own specialty.

Give us an insight into CO/OP?

So, co-op is the process in which you can work in your career in your chosen career path. So if I were to do mechanical engineering with co-op, I’ll go to work at a mechanical engineering facility and get work experience and make connections and that allows for a very easy process in order for you to start working on right after you’re done getting your degree. So, co-op is the process by which you can work during your university time period.

So, for an international student to join co-op they must get a work permit and a study permit. The study permit is actually to study in Canada and then they need a work permit in order to work during co-op and get in there during the time here.

For them to get into co-op they must have a pretty high average. I had an 86 that I’m glad to get in co-op into in Guelph and then on top of that to maintain co-op you must maintain over 70 average.

In high school. It could be different than other schools it all depends but in my university,  we had to maintain a 70 to join the co-op. The moment you drop under that, you lose your Co-Op and in your overall, you can have some success it doesn’t really matter. As long as your overall over 70. you’re going to keep/maintain your Co/op.

Is Mechanical Engineering as hard as it sounds?

Mechanical engineering is as hard as it sounds, as the hardest in it is the application aspect. whatever you learn in school you must be able to apply that to the real world, that is the hardest part. You had that transferred it means you can have the constant feel. Else you will be up long nights.

One project which was hard during your first year?

It is a recent project that I have done it’s called teddy bear wheelchair project that we had created a small little miniature robot car and they basically go over obstacle course and they had to come back so they’ll be bumps on the ground and then you had to go to the end and then come back in the fastest time, would get the best score.

Then the second part of it was you have to go a certain distance about half away and there will be a big bullseye target and then have a catapult and shoot a ping pong ball try to hit the dead center and then come back as well. It had a teddy bear on it, so the catapult cannot fall of either.

And this is a very complicated project as we started with just metal pieces and you had to somehow make a car with it You had to put motors and everything and we had a whole motherboard and breadboard to connect all the wiring and make sure it runs automatically and we cannot touch it.

Can you have a work-life balance while studying Mechanical Engineering in Canada?

You can have a balance, just very difficult as engineering does take up most of your time during the university time period. But personally, I was able to have a very big balance. I have a very crazy social life and I do go to party a lot but on top of that I do work hard and I got to stay on top of my stuff and I started a club at the University. I started the UoG Latin Dance Club. I’m the president and this allows me to basically let off my all my stress. So, my advice is for you to actually find something that allows you to lay off stress as you know it does bring a lot of stress to your life to find something that allows you to cool off and relax and chill.

What are the three priorities one should know to study Mechanical Engineering?

The three priorities that you should be really focusing on during the university time are, first your grades, you must keep your grades up especially in engineering because you want to be at the very top and you want to be separated from the rest of them right. And you don’t want to fail your courses if you fail it’s going to be very hard for you to keep up and pursue your full career.

The second thing, you should be making connections you should be making connections with just about everyone you meet and also your professors they will be helping you a lot during your career and you want to make really good grades. Its lot easier to make them notice you and also allow them to be able to slightly help you in certain projects, they could give you extensions on your assignment or they will take in assignments themselves if you forgot to hand in or whatever.

Then the third thing it should be your own mental state. You should take care of yourself during engineering. it’s a very stressful time you have to be able to cool yourself down and keep strong in your mind if you’re weak in your mind it’s going to really tear you down especially with all the stresses that Engineering’s going to put onto you. So, the way I keep my mental state strong is by having my own dance club so, me being the president allows me to do something that I truly love and I truly enjoy spending time doing. It really helps with my mentality and it keeps me calm and relaxed and allows me to focus better take my studies but for you there are hundreds of clubs in the school that you can join, whether that’s going to be joining the  soccer team, football team, rugby team or you can do something like art it’s all up to you and the university provides all this.

Advice to future students?

University is the best time of your life. You do not want to miss out on it. If you miss out on it you are really going to regret not going to university and also not having the fun you could’ve had and also the party.


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