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Student exchange in Canada

I went to Canada while studying in the UK

Studying in the UK provided me with an opportunity to go on a student exchange  to Canada. Find out how I  got on!

A  student  exchange in Canada is an amazing experience, and I was able to take up this option thanks to studying in the UK. What memories do I have of Canada?

student exchange in Canada
Justyna in Montreal, Quebec

My student exchange experience in Canada was not perfect from the word go. I did not expect too much from this international exchange, but when I got home I felt inspired and enthusiastic about  continuing to learn and discovering new things. The last eight months of my life have been wonderful!

The first weeks in a new place

The first couple of months were quite hard, because I had to get used  to the kind  of cold weather that I had not come across in the UK or in Poland.The extreme weather warnings, heavy snow and very low temperatures – when Environment Canada declared that  it was -33 degrees Celsius , with a biting wind – had an effect not only on my own mood, but also on the teaching system – whether or not it was possible to go outside!

I found it difficult at times. Particularly when I had to go out to do food shopping  or take a bus to the post office. In those extreme weather conditions, it was quite a mission.But after some time, I found a way of coping with the cold.

It is possible to get used to the weather in Canada, you just need to make a bit more of an effort. There is no point in constantly checking the forecast  or planning any kind of timetable  which could be changed because of the weather. The same applies to your winter wardrobe: think about how active you will be, choose the appropriate clothes, smile broadly and go out and explore the mountains. They are amazing!

student exchange in Canada
Banff National Park

The Rocky Mountains  are breathtaking. A mere two hours away from the Banff National Park, you  reach the cosmopolitan town of Calgary, where you can gaze in awe at the stunning scenery. The Rockies are not only for people who like winter sports, but are renowned for their brilliant running and walking trails.

In Banff, you can visit a host of breathtaking  places which have attracted visitors from all over the world. Start at Banff Gondola Park, then go to Banff Hot Springs  and make sure you do not miss Jasper National Park -Glacier Adventure.

Jasper National Park is a wonderful place to visit. Banff has a reputation for being a crowded and touristy version of Jasper, but without the natural beauty, wilderness and bears ambling across the roads.

Each  town is extraordinary, and  which one you visit depending on what you are looking for. To be honest, I personally prefer Jasper, since this is what Banff must have been like years ago. It’s extremely popular among Canadians, less commercial and more crazy! In any case, if you do travel to Canada, don’t miss seeing both national parks. You won’t regret it!

Time to return

Sadly, my exchange in Canada has come to an end. The coronavirus pandemic cut short my stay  and forced me to go home and finish my courses online.  I am happy when I think about every experience I had, every lesson  which helped me to learn something. I am not feeling upset that my student exchange in Canada finished early, because I have the memories (and tons of photographs) to treasure for the rest of my life.  I hope that I will be able to start planning my next trips in the not too distant future.

Justyna, De Montfort University, UK