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International Relations Stream

The Margaret MacMillan Trinity One Program’s International Relations stream introduces and examines some of the most challenging international issues of our time. Students tackle issues in areas that range from the history of national sovereignty to current debates on intervention, as well as questions related to war and peace, and issues in global social and economic policies. Recent courses have included: the outbreak of the world wars, counter-terrorism, drone warfare, human rights, poverty and inequality, public health, global crime and global environmental degradation.

The University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy is located at Trinity College and offers access to seminars, speaker series, conferences, symposia and roundtables.

While the International Relations stream is a good option for students interested in further study in International Relations, many students have also gone on to academic pursuits in History, Political Science, Economics and many other fields in the humanities and social sciences.


Students in the International Relations stream enrol in two Trinity One seminar credits in their first year as part of the typical 5.0 credit load in first year. These credits will be TRN151Y1: Global Governance and TRN152Y1: Justice and Global Conflict.


Many students in the International Relations stream consider going on to the University of Toronto’s undergraduate International Relations major or specialist program, hosted by Trinity College. Trinity One International Relations stream courses can be counted towards the prerequisites for entry into the International Relations Program as well as the requirements for completing the major or specialist.

Many students also use the strong grounding in history provided by the International Relations stream to pursue programs in History. Students interested in the political issues often seek out programs in Political Science or Peace, Conflict & Justice.

The University of Toronto’s Ethics, Society & Law (ES&L) undergraduate major program, hosted by Trinity College is also one possible destination for students from the International Relations stream of Trinity One. The seminars taken in the International Relations stream can count towards the entry requirements for ES&L.


Your stream mentors will support you throughout the academic year by hosting workshops and activities to assist you with course assessments and to facilitate community building. They will be your first point of contact should you have any academic concerns or questions about student life! Meet your stream mentors below!

Da Seul (Regina) Chong

Program(s) of Study: International Relations (Major), Political Science (Major), and Latin American Studies (Minor)
Hometown: Guatemala City, Guatemala
College: Trinity College

The Trinity One community and friendships were the best part of the experience. Bonding over assignments, connecting through shared interests, and participating at events made Trinity One truly feel like a family. The program is the right amount of challenging to push you to your full potential with the full support of the Trinity One program faculty and staff.

Portia Garnons-Williams

Program(s) of Study: Political Science (Major) and International Relations (Major)
Hometown: Ottawa, ON
College: Trinity College

For Portia, Trinity One’s two end-of-year research papers highlighted how to delve into complex research topics. These assignments allowed her to discover and explore new interests, in the study of genocide and international law, interests that she might never have uncovered in other first-year courses. Portia’s greatest takeaway from Trinity One is the importance of openly expressing one’s thoughts in class, despite the fear of making a mistake.



Hear from graduates of the Trinity One program – International Relations stream!

Maryam and Nivaal Rehman | Class of 2023

A heartfelt congratulations to the class of 2023! Your perseverance through your education is deserving of celebration! I am grateful to have the opportunity to interview two exceptional graduates from the Margaret Macmillan Trinity One International Relation stream, Maryam and Nivaal Rehman. They reflect on a supportive and positive university experience that significantly influenced their continuing education.

Trinity One Alumni (IR Stream) Maryam and Nivaal Rehman

Trinity One Alumni (IR Stream) Maryam and Nivaal Rehman

As students of the Trinity One Program, Nivaal found that the International Relations stream pushed her ideas about preconceived perspectives and Maryam produced long-lasting connections from the program that lasted throughout undergrad. The classes were a strong foundation for their pursuit of international relations: “It was a great way to start our undergrad. Participating in the program was inspiring, and the courses were inspiring.”

The sisters found that the program’s seminar style though challenging, helped them grow. Upper-year courses were easier to navigate and less daunting due to early exposure to extensive research, close interaction with educators, and opportunities for direct interaction and support from professors throughout the program.

Trinity One and U of T had a lasting impact on their global perspectives. In their last year at U of T, the twins won the Adams Sustainability Innovation Prize. Nival was particularly proud of their work with the Sustainability film festival s where they were able to combine their passion for film, storytelling, and UN sustainable development. For Maryam, her proudest moment was organizing orientation for Trinity College, both in 2021 as a mostly hybrid and online experience and then again in 2022 where she directed the return to in-person activities, creating a memorable first impression for new students at the college not once but twice!

To all incoming students, the twins want to let you know to be open and prepared for change. Don’t be overwhelmed by the questions you might still have. You might not be able to learn about everything and might have more questions than you started with, but that’s okay. It’s essential always to have a drive to learn.

They also want to let you know not to feel stuck to one path or feel pressured to follow other people’s paths: “Go out of your way to find courses and programs that interest you and pursue things that are specific or different from what your interests are.” “If you don’t see what you want to get out of university, don’t be afraid to think outside the box and look for other courses.” Finally, for those of you who might be wondering how to make this happen, they advise: “Make sure to take advantage of the campus support; they can help accommodate your needs and passions.”

After graduation, Maryam and Nivaal are excited to attend post-grad at Oxford University. Before they go, they have one more adventure to share. They’ve just been in Brazil to communicate with climate defenders and activists in preparation for creating their first feature film since 2019.

Thank you so much, Maryam and Nivaal, for taking the time to attend an interview. Congratulations on graduating, and best wishes to all graduates and their future endeavours!

Written by: Eugene Seo, Trinity One Program Assistant, Medicine and Global Health ’22

Quinn Teague-Colfer| Class of 2023

Congratulations to the Class of 2023 on your Convocation! I am grateful to have had the opportunity to interview Quinn Teague-Colfer (International Relations ‘20), an alumnus of the Margaret MacMillan Trinity One Program who is part of the graduating class. He shares fond memories of the program and is excited to enter a new chapter of his life.

Trinity One Alumnus (IR Stream) Quinn Teague-Colfer

Quinn expresses gratitude for the Trinity One program, where he developed meaningful relationships with peers and faculty. Quinn recalls entering first-year with some self-doubt, but he was able to overcome “imposter syndrome” thanks to the program’s supportive community and opportunities to practice both academic and social skills in seminars. Quinn decided to further pursue studying International Relations in his upper years. He thanks the program not only for sparking his interests in this field, but for providing a solid academic foundation for his major.

Having spent half of his time at the university online, Quinn is proud of his achievements during this tough time. Quinn shares that his favourite accomplishment is the work he put into the Trinity One program as a mentor in his upper years, seeing the crucial difference that the mentors made to the program. He feels grateful that he was able to stay connected to this community and form a close bond with the mentorship team. We thank Quinn for his contributions and lasting impacts on the Trinity One program.

Reflecting on his undergraduate experience, Quinn emphasizes the importance of “collaboration over competition” in academia. With regards to Trinity One, Quinn advises students to take full advantage of the resources and support available in the program. He recognizes that everybody struggles and says there is no shame in speaking up about it. Quinn encourages incoming students to be confident in their abilities and prepare to step out of their comfort zone.

Quinn will be attending law school at the University of Cambridge. I would like to thank Quinn for sharing his valuable experiences with us, and I extend my sincerest congratulations to him on behalf of the Trinity One community.

Written by: Jessica Wang, Trinity One Program Assistant, Ethics Society and Law ‘22.

Tomer Zaidman| Class of 2023

I want to extend my sincere congratulations to the class of 2023. After years of learning in online, in-person, and hybrid settings, you all deserve a meaningful celebration for your efforts! I am grateful to have the opportunity to interview an outstanding graduate from the Margaret Macmillan Trinity One International Relations stream, Tomer Zaidman. He reflects positively on his university experiences propelling him to his interest in continuing education. 

Trinity One Alumnus (IR Stream) Tomer Zaidman

Trinity One Alumnus (IR Stream) Tomer Zaidman

Tomer Zaidman took an International Relations and Math double major alongside a Political Science minor as an undergrad. As a student of the Trinity One Program, he found the experience from the program a “highlight of the first year.” The small community and seminar classes were the best place for him to form companionship and camaraderie. The classes were  rigorous and engaging, as they challenged him to get a glimpse into global policy that traditional students don’t get to experience.

Trinity One professors Dr. Joy Fitzgibbon of TRN 151 – Global Governance and Dr. Arne Kislenko of TRN 152 – Justice and Global Conflict significantly inspired his undergrad learning. His first publication was based on a topic from his first-year foundations courses, and he continues to cite papers from these courses to this day. 

Despite a solid first impression, Tomer had many concerns and worries about campus life. Covid-19 restrictions diminished community building opportunities and made half his degree off campus. Initially, he had concerns about being prepared enough for in-person classes and being driven out of practice for student interaction. Despite these worries, he was comforted by the quick adaptation to online courses and opportunities for learning around campus. He was able to go on an exchange to Denmark, found connections back to music through playing the clarinet. and had significant involvement in the North American Model UN at U of T. 

To all incoming students, Tomer wants you to know that “It will be fine. Classes will be fine, and you will enjoy yourself.” The most significant takeaway he would tell any incoming students is that things will not go as planned, and there will always be a good reason. As for incoming Trinity One students, he wants to tell them not to get caught up with prestige or social pressures regarding program choices and extracurriculars: “Make decisions for yourself and not from the pressures of anybody else.” 

 After graduation, Tomer is excited to pursue his Ph.D. at Stanford’s political studies program, where he can combine his love for mathematics and politics by applying formal theory and game theory in political scenarios. A Ph.D. was not on his radar, but his professors and the academic environment provided by U of T built up his confidence and passion for pursuing a direct entry. He’s anxious but incredibly excited to do what he loves at a Ph.D. level.

 Thank you, Tomer, for spending the time to partake in an interview. Congratulations on graduating, and best wishes to all graduates and their future endeavours!

 Written by: Eugene Seo, Trinity One Program Assistant, Medicine, and Global Health ‘22

Tessa Di Vizio, Rachel Zack and Sarah Weiner | Class of 2022

Tessa Di Vizio Rachel Zack Sarah Weiner

To celebrate the Convocation of the Class of 2022, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tessa Di VizioRachel Zack and Sarah Weiner, who are three Trinity One International Relations stream alumni. They graciously shared their experiences with Trinity One, how it affected the rest of their undergrad and their plans following this incredible milestone.

All the alumni cherished their time in Trinity One and highlighted the sense of community that Trinity One fosters, especially in a large University like UofT. They emphasized their ability to develop long-lasting relationships with not only their classmates, but other Trinity One students and even Professors.

Looking back, all the alumni appreciated the rigorous nature of the Trinity One program because it prepared them for the challenges of upper year courses. They were already familiar with much of the content thanks to Trinity One and it helped them succeed for the rest of their undergrad. They were also able to better manage their time and gained experience with complex readings and citations. Additionally, the seminar setting helped them gain confidence with public speaking and debate. Sarah said “the experience felt very much like being thrown in the deep end [but] in the years following I felt so much more prepared, capable and confident because of my experiences in Trin One”.

Each alumnus also credited the stream for influencing their future program decisions as well by developing their interests in different aspects of International Relations. Tessa said that the content from the International Relations stream also helped foster her love for History alongside her International Relations academic interests.  Similarly, Rachel stated that her experiences with her professor encouraged her to also pursue a history major in addition to her International Relations major. Sarah’s exposure to International Relations through the Trinity One Program also led her to pursue an International Relations major with an English major.

Unsurprisingly, their university journeys have seen many challenges, especially because of the COVID-19 pandemic. When classes were moved online, they all felt that they were losing out on their university experience. Rachel couldn’t play her two varsity sports, rugby and wrestling, and also had an exciting study abroad opportunity cancelled. Tessa lost out on the sense of community that she had enjoyed up until the pandemic as well. However, they expressed that there were some upsides like being able to rewind or pause asynchronous lectures or even being a part of online group chats to maintain the social aspect of class. Nevertheless, all the alumni are extremely excited to be able to attend convocation in person and celebrate their massive accomplishments.

This group of alumni has overcome many obstacles that university or the pandemic threw at them and wanted to impart some advice on incoming students. Tessa stressed the importance that there is no one right way to get your degree and urges students to take courses that they are interested in. Rachel emphasized that “you are not your resume” and that your grades or extracurriculars do not define your worth. Sarah highlighted the fact that “you belong in that room just as much as everyone else does, even when you feel like that’s not true” and to not be afraid to fail.

After convocation, each of the alumni will be taking a well-deserved break from academics and starting new careers. Tessa will soon be applying to various master’s programs so that she can pursue her dream of becoming a History professor. Sarah will be studying for the LSAT so she can apply to law schools for the Fall 2023 term.

I would like to thank Tessa, Rachel and Sarah for taking the time to speak with me during this extremely busy and exciting time and wish them all the best in their future endeavours. Congratulations on these amazing milestones and we can’t wait to see what you will do next!

Angela Hou | 2015

Angela Hou

My participation and learning in the Trinity One International Relations stream was integral to my success in HIS344. Trinity One provided me with the most rewarding and intellectually stimulating experience among all my first-year courses. Trinity One exposed me to primary historical sources, foundational literature in political science, the art of research and many more. Specifically, through writing final research papers in Trinity One, my professors supported me and equipped me with the necessary skills to work on long, daunting upper-year course assignments. Most importantly, the rigour of the Trinity One Program taught me to embrace and explore academic challenges. Without Trinity One, I would have imagined or feeling comfortable challenging myself with a third year history course in my second year. Overall, Trinity One allowed me to discover my academic passions and empowered me to conduct effective research.


Contact Us:

Sharon Reid
Margaret MacMillan Trinity One Program Coordinator (Acting)


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