By Ros Harwood (Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada)
I literally can’t believe I am writing this post, where has the time gone?! The year abroad has flown by and I am unbelievably sad to have to leave this place. I am really looking forward to travelling and going home; it’s been a while since I’ve been there, but I have made some amazing memories at this fantastic university. Despite the long, hard Canadian winter, the hardest thing right now is that we are finally rewarded with beautiful sunshine, blue skies and a lot of positive temperatures which makes Kingston an absolutely stunning place to be. Being on one of the Great Lakes, many trips to the lakeside and the pier just to bask in the sunshine, drink smoothies and just be outside have happened.
I luckily finished my exams and assignments within four days of the exam period starting and have had one week to pack up, enjoy the weather, see all my friends, say goodbyes and just enjoy being in Kingston. The one thing I have come to realise is that I am so glad I went to a city that is not usually part of the big touristy list of Canada. If I had been studying in Toronto or Montreal, I probably would not have visited a place like Kingston. However, it is a little gem that should be discovered, as well as being incredibly student friendly and a great place to ‘experience’ Canada. It was the first capital of Canada so it’s a cool place to have visited.
For anyone considering a year abroad or even coming to Queen’s, you are incredibly lucky. The community at Queen’s is so welcoming, Canadians are lovely people and it is a fantastic and diverse country. The opportunities and experiences I have had at Queen’s have been great, the friends I have made (international and Canadian) have been great and it is a great university. The campus is beautiful, it’s a fantastic location for visiting Canada and there’s nothing I can fault really. Queen’s was originally my third choice of university to study abroad at, but if I applied again it would definitely be my first!! I am so sad to leave, but am so motivated to return and visit and relive the memories I have made this year. I would continue showering compliments on Queen’s and Kingston, but I think you get the idea. You will have the best time of your life in snow and sunshine, just go for it. Outside of Canada, Queen’s does not get the praise it deserves, and I promise anyone they will have a great time!
I’ll leave you with my Queen’s and Kingston photoshoot. I would not have changed this at all and am so glad I got this experience. As a Queen’s student would say, (from the Scottish roots)… “Cha Gheill!” (literal translation = No surrender!).