New One students on a field trip to nearby Kensington Market (photo by Nadia Molinari)

New One students on a field trip to nearby downtown Toronto neighbourhood Kensington Market. (Photo by Nadia Molinari)


New One: Learning Without Borders is a first year foundation program that provides a small class learning experience for intellectually curious and socially-engaged students. In New One you will explore, question, and deepen your understanding of aspects of your daily lives that can easily be taken for granted – the food you eat, the languages that allow you to communicate with others, the technology that you can’t imagine living without, and the role that science plays in our everyday lives. New One provides you the opportunity not only to learn about the social relations that shape these everyday elements, but also to reflect on the implications of the choices you and others make in relation to them. Together with your peers and professors, you will participate in conversations about what it means to be responsible global citizens in the 21st century.

But why Learning without Borders?

Firstly, New One is all about connections that cross and transcend borders. The topics of the New One courses – food, language, digital technology and community art – all refer to elements that bring people together across borders and connect us around the globe. But they do so in ways that can both unite and divide us, in ways that are not necessarily fair or just. New One is the place to learn more about these connections and to find out what different communities are doing, for example, to bring about more equitable access to food or technology, or to use language and art to express and build community.

Secondly, New One emphasizes learning.  The program offers opportunities for you to explore new experiences and ways of seeing things, to develop academic skills and creative thinking so that you can be successful in your undergraduate career and beyond, in the complex, rapidly changing, interconnected world.

In New One: Learning without Borders you will:

  • Learn beyond the borders of the classroom and build bridges with local communities. You will visit community sites and hear talks by community leaders, and in the process learn about what matters to different communities and how you can use your academic knowledge, your experience and energies to make a difference.
  • Learn across the boundaries of academic disciplines. All four New One courses use an interdisciplinary approach. You will view topics from many different perspectives.
  • Learn in a variety of conventional and creative ways. With committed professors, talented peers, small class sizes and a range of creative assignments, you will explore different ways of learning, develop critical thinking, gain research skills and participate fully in a safe, supportive learning environment.
  • Learn from and share experiences with students from all levels of the university. Senior undergraduate and graduate students will visit the classrooms to tell you about opportunities for engagement, share their education experiences and impart their wisdom on how to get the most from your undergraduate years.
  • Learn so much more than just the content of your own New One course. You will participate in sessions where all New One students get together for common experiences and the exchange of ideas. If you are interested in more than one of the course topics, you can choose a second term course different from your first term’s and still be part of the enriched program.

Are you ready to apply? Apply now.