Canada: the land of cold winters, Niagara Falls, Drake and Justin Bieber, it is ranked one of the best places to live in the world, with highest quality of life, education and freedom comparably to other countries in the world. As part of my course American Studies and English, Canada was the top option for my year abroad in North America.
Currently, I am 3 months into my year abroad and I have found Canada to be home to beautiful scenery, countless skiing options, friendly people and the best comfort food to be invented; Poutine. I am studying in Toronto at York University a little way out from downtown Toronto where my student residence is. I travel around 40 minutes to and from University and although it a bit of a nuisance, the perks of living near the city centre is worth the long travel into University.
With Canada’s official language being both English and French, I am attempting to embrace the bilingual culture of the country by studying an Introductory French course at my host university. Apart from this, Canada has given me many opportunities to meet new people, experience different places and find a new independence that can only be gained from living in a foreign country. I’m beginning to sound like one of the many meetings, lectures and leaflets you receive on ‘what to expect’ from the study abroad team prior your departure, but really and truly Canada has not disappointed in regards to the sought after ‘study abroad experience’.
Over the course of the next year and my next semester in Canada I hope to bring you along on my travels, experiences and battles with the Canadian winter. With this, I hope to use my mistakes and encounters to give guidance, for those of you planning on studying abroad, to make your pre-departure a little more organised and your arrival a little less daunting.
Ellie O’Donnell will be joining the Study abroad column as a contributor with a focus on North America. Keep a look out for more of Ellie’s articles over the year!
Featured image by Robert. Embedded image by Ellie O’Donnell