February 5, 2021

Meet Ivy

Ivy (student) on campus
Bachelor of Information Technology
(Interactive Multimedia and Design)
From: China

Why did you choose Canada, and why Carleton?

I chose Canada because of its unique co-op program. I can get real work experience before graduating and it’s built into my degree program.

Canada is also a safe country where firearms are restricted and prohibited.

I chose Carleton for its Interactive Multimedia & Design (IMD) program – it’s hard to find a similar program in other Universities.

How did you learn about Carleton and how did you decide to choose Carleton? 

I learned about Carleton in grade 12 when I was doing massive research on all Canadian Universities.

Carleton is located in Ottawa – it’s Canada’s Capital University and has a beautiful view surrounded by the Rideau River and the Ottawa River.

I visited the campus and I like the atmosphere, it’s away from downtown and has a quiet and peaceful study environment.

What’s a highlight of your experience at Carleton so far?

Academically, I am on the Dean’s List for 2019, I received the Michael Oliver Scholarship and get international student bursaries every year. I am in the co-op program and have completed one co-op term.

For extra-curricular activity, I joined the Ravens swim club two years ago and attended the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) last year. I volunteer for the International Student Services Office (ISSO) and help facilitate different events every month.

I also volunteer for the Student Experience Office (SEO) and the Carleton University Student Association (CUSA) to help with orientation and other activities. I’m also an International Student Ambassador!

Why did you decide on the Interactive Multimedia Design program at Carleton?

I wanted to live in Ottawa, the capital of Canada, where I can access many capital advantages and also be exposed to the bilingual environment.

I liked the IMD program Carleton offers, which provides an advanced diploma in collaboration with Algonquin College. I also have the option to do co-op, which is even better.

The program gives lots of hands-on class combined with lectures – at Algonquin we get more hands-on experience and do lectures at Carleton.

Combined together it makes a meaningful study experience. Also, it is a small program, so everyone can get the professors’ attention.

Can you tell us about your program, and what you think of it so far? 

The IMD program teaches you how to use multi-media tools. For example, it teaches you programming, modelling and design processes.

You can learn a lot of software such as Photoshop, Maya and C++. You can learn many skills like video editing, web development, virtual reality (VR) and game development.

Throughout the assignments, our team has made unity games, animations, web-based VR and personal websites. You truly can gain lots of knowledge and it helps you to find out your path after graduation.

There are many opportunities in the IMD program. The dean will send out countless job opportunities during the term through email, it could be a part-time, a research opportunity, or a full-time job.

You can join the BIT society to become one of the executives to add some highlights to your resume. Add all your professors on LinkedIn because they will share many job postings and research opportunities.

What kind of facilities are available for students in your program?

IMD students have access to laboratory facilities at Carleton. That includes multiple computer labs, a motion capture room, audio room, and the BIT Social lounge. Students also get access to motion capture tools, photography tools, and Adobe software.

Have you done a co-op? 

I did my first co-op with Carleton’s Human Oriented Research in Usable Security (CHORUS) lab. I collaborated with a postdoctoral researcher, computer science and another IMD student to design a series of mini-games to teach pre-teens about security and privacy.

We worked entirely online using Zoom and Slack, we had scrum meetings every week, followed the agile workflow and presented prototypes to the lab every week.

I did graphic designs for two of the games. I did pixel art and animations using Photoshop. Throughout the 4 month co-op, we completed two games and had the other two half-finished.

What do you want to do with your degree and your Canadian experience? 

I want to do a Masters degree after I graduate, ideally still in Canada. I plan to go back home once I finish my Masters and work in China. My study experience in Canada is very important to me even if I go back to my country – it will guide me through the rest of my life.

What do you like most about Carleton and your life in Ottawa?

I like Carleton because the staff members are nice. I can get attention from my professors, make friends in and outside of my program, and attend lots of different activities. I enjoy Ottawa’s winter activities, such as Winterlude and skating on the Rideau Canal.

Ivy with a life sized dairy queen ice cream cone

Was it easy to make friends?

It wasn’t easy at the beginning because I didn’t know anybody. After doing the orientation and when classes started, it became easier to make friends in my program because we have lots of common courses.

Did you live in residence? Some students are anxious about sharing space with someone – do you have advice for students considering residence?

I lived in residence, and there’s no need to feel anxious about sharing space with someone. When you do the residence application, there’s a living-style form for you to select your roommate. As long as you fill out the form honestly, you can get along with your roommate, and form a meaningful friendship throughout your university life.

Many students live in residence and make lots of friends in their first year, and they move out and rent a house together in the next year.

Where are your favourite places to eat on campus? In Ottawa?

I like the Caf at Carleton. The residence cafeteria makes exceptional and a different variety of food.

Were you homesick at first? If so, how did you deal with it?

I was homesick in the beginning, especially when I arrived earlier and classes hadn’t started yet, but once class started, I focused on studying and forgot about being homesick. There were so many things that occupied me so I didn’t have time to think about it.

What do you think you’ve gained from your experience here?

I formed lots of meaningful relationships throughout my time at Carleton. With my friends, with my professors and volunteer staff. I gained many experiences by doing volunteer and clubs. I am glad I choose Carleton and the IMD program.

What advice would you have for future students considering Carleton?

You will have a good time here, make friends, enjoy yourself and find your passions.