It is amazing to think that I have already been away from home for two whole months. Time just seems to move so fast over here. Anyways, my time in Calgary has so far been amazing. I have been able to make friends with plenty of Canadians and people from all over the world.
I have heard from a lot of past exchange students that studying overseas can be either more trivial or more difficult than what they were used to. Calgary’s level of difficulty is surprisingly much the same to what I am accustomed with back home which is a great thing.
My main tip so far, in regards to studying overseas, is to really put careful consideration into your work schedule. I am lucky enough to have to have Fridays off and the benefits are astounding. Every weekend I make sure to spend each day out and about somewhere new. There is usually always something going on around the place so you need to make sure that you don’t waste your time sitting about.
I have become very involved with the Outdoor Adventurers Club, and so each weekend I spend at least one day (sometimes both) going on hiking trips through the Rockies. Most of these hikes require 6am starts, 15-30km of travel, and around 1km of elevation, something very alien to the typical Australian landscape. The views from the top however are absolutely extraordinary. I can’t say that I have quite felt such a sense achievement of when I was able to summit my first mountain. It is a very strange feeling when you start a trip in moderately warm weather, only to become colder as you rise, with snow beginning to become apparent and slowly rising.
Aside from the now weekly ritual of hiking, I have also become involved in the many trips planned by the international center. These range from something as small as a walk around downtown, all the way to a full day expedition spent at the neighbouring city of Edmonton.
Overall my experience has been so far fantastic and I would definitely recommend any student thinking about going to just do it!
Oliver Kingsley, a Bachelor of Arts- Enhanced Program for High Achievers student, Semester 2 2016 exchange at University of Calgary, Canada
- Read Olliver’s pre-departure post here