Media & Press

“The costumes are otherworldly, the Emerald city is glowing and the audience is utterly enraptured…”

1 January, 2014

Gurleen Chahal

Frequenting magical West End musicals, wandering the nooks and crannies of Diagon Alley, floating atop the Seine while watching a sparkling Eiffel tower, meandering the kaleidoscopic streets sown from Gaudi’s imagination, riding on gondolas through winding canals, time-traveling to another millennia via the Coliseum, eating haggis to the backdrop of verdant highlands, climbing Mount Olympus…

My summer of travelling was breathtaking, unforgettable, and entirely due to the generous support of Seymour Schulich, the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, and Western University. Thank you doesn’t encapsulate how grateful I am to you for providing me the chance to learn and experience different cultures abroad.

“My roommate is from Switzerland, my neighbour is from the Netherlands, and my friend across the hall is from Spain!”

After an international summer, I was ecstatic to learn I’d be living on a floor with international exchange students. The three listed are just a small sample of the diversity that wove the fabric of our residence floor this semester. Learning about their culture and teaching them about our customs was a unique experience—a perfect complement to what I’ve learned via my extracurricular and academic pursuits.

“And then the speaker said it was our duty to help the people who weren’t born into the privileged lives we have here.”

An avid desire to aid others is characteristic of all Schulich Leaders; accordingly, it spurs my volunteer ventures here at Western. These include my roles as Junior Editor for the Scholarly Scoop, Fundraising Commissioner for Western Red Cross, Mentor for Science Expo, member of my Residence Soccer Team, member of our Global Issues Committee, co-founder of a child-oriented tri-science organization, and a Director for Western Friends of MSF. Balancing these activities provides me the opportunity to improve my time-management skills, meet a variety of talented individuals, and learn skills I couldn’t acquire through reading a textbook.

“I’m more excited than nervous to be writing this exam. Is that strange? Maybe. Probably. Definitely.”

My two favourite courses this semester have been Physiology and Scholar’s Electives. Physiology was applicable; the little details from other science courses coalesced, and when exam season arrived I was eager to showcase what I’d learned from that course. 

Scholar’s Electives provides the opportunity to conduct independent research under a mentor’s guidance. My research involves conducting analysis on the first metatarsal (using remains originating from the Dakhleh Oasis Project in Egypt) in order to discern the feasibility of a new method for diagnosing osteoporosis. This unique amalgamation of anthropology and biology allows me to maintain an interdisciplinary approach to science—to constantly hone my ability to look at biology through various lenses.

“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.”

This final quote isn’t from my journal, but from the magnificent mind of Eudora Welty. My travel partner and I captured over 15 000 photos, all in an attempt to remember every sight, every person, and every wonder we encountered on our two-month global road trip. My computer serves as a scrapbook mapping out every landmark from my first two years studying at this amazing campus, while my journal supplies the captions. Is there a point to this post? Maybe. Possibly. Definitely. Whether through pictures, words, emotions, or memories… never forget to capture the moment!

Photo: Eiffel Tower, Park Güell, Point Skala (Mount Olympus), the Colosseum, Temple of Zeus, Trevi Fountain, Temple of Hephaestus, red telephone booth in London, and the Scottish Highlands.