Countdown to Calgary, Canada!


It seems like ages ago that I got my acceptance letter informing me that I had been accepted into the University of Calgary for a semester exchange in fall this year, but for a part of me it still doesn’t seem real! I am so excited to commence this opportunity, just 20 more days to go before I board a plane on what will hopefully be the adventure of a lifetime!

Having taken an extra topic last semester, which kept me super busy, and working non-stop since coming back home to Adelaide, there hasn’t been a lot of time for it to really sink in. Although booking my flights a couple of months ago was an exciting moment amid the chaos of my study in first semester.

I am really looking forward to the opportunity to meet new people on my exchange, and hopefully form meaningful connections with people from across the globe! Of course, I am also nervous about this at the same time, and there is that slight nagging fear I won’t settle in as quickly as I hope to. I am keen to join a club or two, or maybe take up a sport while I am there, which will hopefully help me meet new people as well as be lots of fun!

I also can’t wait to experience the country. I have heard so many amazing things about Canada, especially its spectacular natural beauty. The Banff National Park in the Rocky Mountains isn’t too far from Calgary, so I can’t wait for the opportunity to visit and hopefully explore a bit.

I know there will be plenty of challenges during my exchange, but I am looking forward to opportunities to push myself outside my comfort zone and experience new things. Hopefully, living in Adelaide away from my home in regional SA for much of the past 18 months will have helped me somewhat, especially with having to look after myself independently, but I will find many new and unexpected challenges awaiting! I know that this trip will provide an opportunity to help me grow in confidence and hopefully re-enforce to me that I can do anything when I put my mind to it.

Having never seen snow before, I can only hope that I will receive plenty of local advice when it comes to shopping and dressing for the cold weather that I will experience in the second half of my exchange. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t totally psyched for my first snow! Although I am a little apprehensive as to how well I will cope with the cold…

Of course I am also looking forward to starting my topics, I mustn’t forget the ‘university’ part of this exchange experience! I am interested to see how different Calgary will be to Flinders, especially the way topics are structured and taught. I think the ones I have chosen should be really interesting and engaging and shall enrich my exchange experience.

Anyway, with now less than three weeks to go, I am still left with plenty to do and keep me busy while the clock ticks down!

Until next time!

Samantha Whillas, Bachelor of Arts (High Achievers) is undertaking an exchange to University of Calgary Canada in S2 2019

Read Sam’s 2nd blog post here.

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