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?
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!
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