Graduation Gift for New PhD Moving Internationally
April 27, 2020 5:32 PM   Subscribe

My kickass sister is finishing a PhD in cognitive psychology, then moving to Toronto. What should I get her as a graduation gift?

She's defending her dissertation in May, then moving from Ohio to Toronto in June (COVID permitting) to start a postdoc in July. Her interests include the brain (she studies music and language cognition and cochlear implants), running, tennis, baking, museums, classical music (she's an oboist), and musicals.

A gift with small or no physical footprint is probably best, since she's moving internationally and presumably downsizing from her current 2-bedroom apartment. Preferred price range is a $200 limit, though I might be able to sweet talk my brother into going in together for something more expensive. She mentioned that she'll be living by the central library (guessing the Reference Library?), in case there are any neighborhood-specific suggestions, like maybe a membership for a particular museum that's can't-miss.

Thanks for your help!
posted by bassooner to Human Relations (11 answers total)
 
Wow your sister sounds awesome. I'm not worthy! Anyway, how about a gift certificate to the TSO?
posted by foxjacket at 6:03 PM on April 27, 2020 [2 favorites]


Check out an Art Gallery of Ontario membership. The $145/year (CDN) "member plus guest" membership gives the member plus one guest free access to any special exhibitions (there are several each year), free access to the regular collection at any time, along with a few other perks. I get a lot of use out of mine.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:05 PM on April 27, 2020 [4 favorites]


And if she like Baroque, Tafelmusik is worth checking out, too -- they offer a subscription for their Koerner Hall shows. It's a purpose-built venue that has fantastic acoustics.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:12 PM on April 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


As a PhD psychology student, membership to a museum, definitely. Don't have specific suggestions, but the ability to just walk into the museum whenever and stay for as little and long as I like is amazing. I treasure my public museum membership deeply.
posted by brook horse at 7:04 PM on April 27, 2020


If you need a top-up gift, a gift card for Balzac's Coffee is a solid choice. There's a location in the Reference Library.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:06 PM on April 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


If you want something physical - a really good kaleidoscope has been my go to graduation present. I usually get the casing engraved with the date of graduation.
posted by Barbara Spitzer at 12:50 AM on April 28, 2020


I was given a nice new carry-on suitcase for a graduation gift and I use it all the time. Not a small footprint, but could be useful if she's in the market for one.

On a similarly practical note, a gift card to help her replenish the physical things she'll need once she gets to Toronto would likely be useful. Maybe something for a nice kitchen store?
posted by mosst at 6:50 AM on April 28, 2020 [1 favorite]


The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is walking distance from the Reference Library and, assuming she's doing her post-doc at U of T, on the way home.

Tafelmusik and Koerner Hall are excellent suggestions as is the TSO.

There is a gourmet grocery store right at Yonge & Bloor (McEwan) that may be an appropriate spot for a gift card. Another spot to consider a gift card would be Canadian Tire. It will be the closest spot to get home supplies, so not glamourous, but practical. Also spot close by for kitchen and home supplies is Kitchen Stuff Plus. Eataly is also close by, but that isn't as Toronto or Canada specific.
posted by TORunner at 6:55 AM on April 28, 2020


Before buying anything, I would double-check the university she's at for her post-doc. My answer assumes Central Reference Library and the University of Toronto. There is a Central Library in North York, which would be closer to York University.
posted by TORunner at 7:05 AM on April 28, 2020


My favorite gift when I got my PhD was a really nice travel coffee mug with "Dr. [Fuego]" on it. You could get her a Yeti type mug and have it customized and still have enough left over for something else.
posted by Fuego at 10:33 AM on April 28, 2020


Lots of good suggestions here. Thanks all!
posted by bassooner at 2:55 PM on May 11, 2020


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