December was primarily writing exams and doing finals. Due to the strange way of doing exams here on Saturdays and Sundays I was saying goodbye as early as December 6th, starting with people at church.

As I reflected on my time at Western I became incredibly thankful for the opportunity to come out to Canada, experience the culture and ultimately grow as an individual. I reflected on how considerate, caring and people-focused society is here (from what I’ve experienced) and it’s amazing to have been witness to. I was so thankful to my floor and the people I’d met, I decided to write Christmas cards (ended up being 44 of them!)…which turned out to be very time consuming. However, I’m glad I did it, it was a great way to go over what I’ve experienced at Western, what I’ve learnt and how I’ve changed.

I won’t go into all the details of how Canada has helped me grow but I will say that if you get the opportunity to go on an exchange, whether it be Western or elsewhere, definitely do it. It’s only a semester so you don’t miss anything back home, but you get to meet so many new people, make new friends and experience a new culture.

‘Just do it’ – Shia LaBeouf

After finishing exams and moving out of residence at on the 22nd December I’ve headed to New York City for Christmas with my brother who’s flown out to meet me. After we’re heading to Toronto for New Year’s, before he flies home. I have 10 days to explore the rest of the Canada (probably go and check out Vancouver or Montreal) before heading home to England.  It’s great not to have too much work of Christmas too (although I have to finish my literature review for my dissertation still…).

One thing I would note, however, that most of the international exchange students I’ve met were assessed on a pass/fail basis which doesn’t count towards their final degree, whereas this semester is 1/3 of my degree. This means I’ve had to stay at university and work, whereas they’ve been off exploring the country. If you have the option of a whole year, do that. However, it has meant that I’ve spent more time in residence with the Canadian students, which I guess has meant I have got to know my floor-mates slightly better, perhaps. Basically, go on an exchange, you’ll love it!

University of Western Ontario: 4

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