Going on exchange to Canada was the best experience I have ever had. Being able to travel the world whilst studying is something I will always cherish. It gave me a fresh start in another country, allowed me to step out of my comfort zone, and whilst I was very nervous going by myself, it was all worth it in the end. Studying and living on campus gave me the true ‘University experience’. The classes I took were so interesting, because as an exchange student, you are able to hand pick the courses you want to do. Living on campus also gave me the advantage of being surrounded by people all the time, and making so many memories and friendships.
The best thing I got out of Canada would be the incredible people I met whilst I was there. I made so many lifelong friendships in my time. I was able to make connections with people from Ireland, England, Germany, the United States and of course Canada, that I still very much keep in touch with. I ended up extending my stay from 4 months to 6 months, and have my first white Christmas with a few Canadian friends I had met because I did not want to come home.
Going on exchange allowed me to travel a lot whilst I was in Canada as well. I got to see most of the East Coast of Canada, and was lucky enough to take a short trip to New York as well, which was a highlight of my trip. Enriching myself in the local culture was also warranted whilst I was there, learning to skate, play ice hockey, trying new foods, becoming a fan of American football, snowboarding and of course learning to drive on the opposite side of the road. I have never been in a place so cold, so it was definitely something new for me, but what an experience that was.
I cannot recommend going on exchange enough. It is an amazing chance to see the world whilst you study, make lifelong friendships and connections all over the world, and step outside your comfort zone, making memories you will never forget.
-- Emily Allen (Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education, Southern Cross University)