Now that it has come to the end of this academic year, it seems like a good time to reflect on a couple of the highlights of my semester abroad in Canada.

September marked the beginning of my adventure at the University of Western Ontario, and what better way to bring on the celebrations than with HOCO! Flooding the streets in masses of purple, (Western’s colour), the Homecoming, celebrations began!


Beer pong…


American football…


and carnivals…


…it’s safe to say that homecoming was incredible!

Niagara falls was amazing! The Canadians were correct when they claimed that their side of the falls was far more beautiful than America’s…


Not only were the falls breathtaking, but the strange “Canadian Vegas” that surrounded them was as fun as it was bizarre, with gambling, horror houses, and motorbike stores…


October was an exciting month, having settled into my place in Canada during September, October was a time of socialising, celebrating, and enjoying all the things that Canada had to offer, given that exams were so far away! It is probably fair to say that I enjoyed a rather non-traditional Canadian thanksgiving celebration, finding myself in the audience of an underground rap battle. As it turns out one of my Canadian friends, a student of neuroscience by day, moonlighted as a rapper, and thanksgiving marked the unofficial album launch of his friend at a small and dimly lit club in the city. Listening to Canadian rappers dissing the evil-soon-to-be-ex Prime minister Harper, chatting with strange musicians, and drinking neon green cocktails from a jug covered in clingfilm were but a few of the activities enjoyed that evening, finishing the whole night off with dollar beers at the infamous Jack’s bar. Whilst I’m certain my impression of Canadian thanksgiving is far from the more orthodox, turkey eating festivities, I had a blast, met some interesting characters, and wouldn’t trade my version for any other!

thanksgiving uploadjacks

Halloween marked another eventful evening in October. Me and a couple of friends found ourselves at a house party thrown by the university cheerleading squad. Primarily I spent my evening trying to master the basics of beer pong with a girl dressed like winter, (spring, summer and fall were over by the sofas with the guys from top gun). Whilst I wasn’t quite as good as the man-sized pinata playing on the table next to ours, I was still pretty proud of my attempt!


November brought the first snowfall of the season! Canadian snow is truly unlike any weather I’ve ever experienced. From 15 degrees the day before, to waking up to white blankets of fluffy, frosty snow the next day, the intense mood swings of Canadian weather made for exciting and beautiful changes to the landscape and campus!

campus snowcampussss

Whilst I wasn’t quite as seasoned a snowman builder as my Canadian counterparts, I still loved my misshapen snow creation…”Geoff” <3


December unfortunately marked not only the end of my Canadian adventure, but also the dreaded exam season! Whilst I didn’t have as much time for socialising as I had had in previous months, December in itself was bittersweet as I was able to see the payoff of my hard work and study. Exams flew by and it was finally time to say goodbye, (for now), to all the incredible individuals that I had the pleasure of meeting in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Whether it was making friends, enjoying networking with researchers who ordinarily I would not have had the chance to meet, or just being myself and learning more about what that meant, I will be forever grateful for my experience studying abroad. I have made unforgettable memories, lifelong friends, and I cannot wait to get back out there for round two!

camp fire



Reflecting on My Time Abroad

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