Sorry for the lateness of my first blog, it has been a crazy two months in Canada! After years of wanting to return, I can’t believe I’m finally here! It’s going by so fast, but I can honestly say it has already been a fantastic experience.
Before I arrived, my parents kept telling me “I don’t think you realise how cold it’s going to be” and suffice to say, I didn’t. The coldest it has got so far is -27 (and that’s not including wind chill!). It was an adjustment, to say the least, but it’s great to finally experience a proper winter for once and that means one thing…..SNOW!! I was so excited about it and the walk to campus is beautiful when a fresh blanket of snow has fallen.
When I first arrived, there was the dreadful January Exams looming over me. Now don’t get me wrong, exams stress everyone out, but the fact that I had to sit them in ANOTHER COUNTRY was very hard. On top of revision, you have weekly assignments, readings and quizzes that you need to do for your semester 2 modules. So if you are thinking about going on exchange; preparation, time management and the library are going to be your best friends for the first couple of weeks. However, it’s only a minor inconvenience compared to what you get in return from your experience abroad!
The modules here are structured slightly differently (in particular we have mid-terms 🙁 as well as final exams) but you get the opportunity to study areas of Geography that are not offered at Southampton; such as ‘Ontario and the Great Lakes’ and ‘Geography of sub-Saharan Africa.’ I’ve actually had to learn names of countries, capitals, rivers and mountains for map quizzes and people who know me, know that maps are not my strongest pursuit! So it definitely was a challenge! Apart from this, they are all going well so far.
My halls (or ‘Rez’ as it’s called here) are really nice. I’m at Medway-Sydenham and there’s around 26 people on each floor; so it took me a while to remember everyone’s names! Nonetheless they have been really welcoming and have made the move from Southampton a lot easier. Each floor also has two ‘sophs’; mine being Boomerang and Preview (not their real names). They’re similar to Fresher Reps and they try to get you involved in all the Rez activities and check in to see how you’re doing, how are classes etc. It’s nice to know you have that support system there if you need it. I’m also taking full advantage of the fact that it is catered!! The menu is on a 6 week cycle so you get a lot variety for each meal and there’s something everyone! The best perk is the sandwich bar; they’re freshly made right in front of you and you get so many fillings to choose from. The cafeteria also does theme nights which are pretty cool; so far we’ve had Hawaiian, Valentine’s Day, Super Bowl and Game of Thrones. Finally the halls host a number of events; in a few weeks’ time we have the end of year formal which I’m looking forward to as we don’t have them back home. So far I’ve been to my first ever ice-hockey game. It was really fast-paced and at times I lost sight of where the puck was but nonetheless I really enjoyed it and hope to go again! I’ve tried ‘Beavertails’ which are absolutely delicious! They’re sort of like rolled out doughnuts with a variety of toppings; like nutella and banana, oreo, apple and cinnamon etc. A must if you come to Canada. I have also experienced Western’s equivalent of Sobar; ‘Prohibition.’ It’s a good night out and I’ve had some great laughs with the girls on my floor there.
Finally I went on a trip to Toronto which was amazing! I’ll talk about it in a lot more detail in my next blog!
That’s it for now but thanks for reading and my next one will be up shortly! 😀