By Sarah Winspear (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada).
I’m currently sat in a hostel in Vancouver waiting to meet up with people for breakfast before moving into residence later today so I thought what better time to write my first post about getting here and my first impressions.
It seems like such a long time ago that I went to the study abroad notice board and found UBC next to my name and now I’m here, in Vancouver. I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet. The last couple of weeks I’ve just been waiting to get here. I was surprisingly calm and relaxed about the whole thing, I expected to be panicking and worrying but I really wasn’t. Saying goodbye to friends and family wasn’t too bad either, probably because I knew all my friends from home will still be there when I get back. Also I would never be able to forget them because they’d put together a photo album for me and wrote little personal messages in, this was along with them getting me a colour by numbers book and pencil crayons (geography joke). With all the goodbyes done all that was left was the packing which was probably the most stressful part but still not that bad. I thought I’d packed a lot until I got to Vancouver and saw Naomi’s luggage.
So the morning came of my flight. When I woke at 4.30am it still hadn’t really hit me that later that day I would be in Vancouver. I arrived at check in over an hour before it opened so sat around waiting then got through security to sit and wait for another 3 hours. I was so relieved when the flight was called that I would finally be on my way. Just as we were boarding Naomi, a fellow Manchester geographer, joined me for us to have a quick ‘hello, how are you?’ before we had to go our separate ways on the plane. The flight was ok, nothing special, but I was gutted when there was no personal entertainment system and just a very small screen a few rows in front showing films which weren’t of interest to me. This was the one thing I was looking forward to, catching up on some films on the flight. I thought ‘oh well at least I have a window seat so ill get good views’ but ohh no it was just cloudy until out of nowhere I saw a glacier!!! I got far too excited at this expressing to the person sat next to me I’d never seen one before but had taken a module on glaciers last semester. I was astonished at its vast size and it made that whole module become a bit more real. When we got to Vancouver we met up with Hannah, Naomi’s friend also here on exchange, and Steph, an Australian who will be living in the same flat as Hannah this year. So the 4 of us went to the hostel and met up with 2 other boys from Manchester here on exchange. We went out for tea and ate salmon and rice before heading to bed ready for the big day today. It was nice to arrive in Vancouver and not be alone. I already feel like I’ve made new friends as I didn’t know any of the other exchanges we met up with other than through a Facebook group we made!! I think everything will become a lot more real in the next few hours after I move in to halls and meet my new flat mates. Apologies for the lack of pictures but as you can tell I’ve been quite busy. I will let you know how the next few days pan out and keep you updated on life in Vancouver and UBC!!! Sarah 🙂 <a href=”http://sarahwinspear.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/image.jpg”><img src=”http://sarahwinspear.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/image.jpg?w=300” alt=”Leaving gifts from some of my home friends including: photo album, colouring pencils, a globe pencil sharpener and a colouring book.” width=”300″ height=”224″></a> Leaving gifts from some of my home friends including: photo album, colouring pencils, a globe pencil sharpener and a colouring book.