Each year the Lester B. Pearson International Scholarship, a competitive scholarship that covers tuition, books, incidental fees, and full residential support for four years, is awarded to outstanding students around the world. This year seven of the forty recipients attend UTM. One of this year’s scholars is Aishwarya Arun Nair from Singapore International School, India.

In an interview with The Medium, Nair reveals that she has always done well in academics, achieving the highest grades, but that is just one part of her personality. From an early age, she participated in sports and cultural activities. She enjoys singing, sketching and was an active member of the school basketball team. Nair credits her IB high school program for helping her actively participate in community service and achieving a well-rounded profile.

Her diversified interest from sports to social work to academics made her an ideal candidate for this award.  She has entered the discipline of psychology but intends to specialize in behaviour genetics and neurobiology in advanced levels.

When asked about her post-secondary pursuits, Nair said that she always wanted to come to the University of Toronto and initially did not know about the award. Learning about the scholarship helped facilitate her decision to come to U of T and made the choice easier.

Nair explains that she had always wanted to come to Canada for her studies. Even before she found out that she had been selected for the award, Nair had made up her mind to study in Canada and had hoped to attend U of T since it is one of the best universities in the country. She also chose U of T because the specialist program that she wants to pursue is not offered in any university other than U of T. Nair is passionate about these studies because they offer her an avenue to explore the lives and experiences of real people, instead of simply studying abstract concepts and theories. Nair said that she is “overjoyed” to have been selected for the scholarship, as it is another honor to add to the list of her achievements and will help her to achieve her goals.

Talking about her impressions of the campus so far, she smiled, “Everyone, the students, the staff, and the faculty, is so friendly and welcoming, that I have not felt homesick at all, and I look forward for the most exciting and productive four years and beyond.”