By Katie Lewin (Simon Fraser University, Canada)
I leave to go travelling to the east of Canada in two days so I have been busy packing up my stuff, finishing exams and saying bye to my friends. I can’t believe how quickly time has gone, especially the second semester. I am glad I chose to study abroad as it has enabled me to learn and explore so much. I definitely feel so much more confident in myself and I can’t believe how far I have come. I struggled a bit in first semester and it took me a long time to settle in, but once I felt more comfortable with how things work over here and became closer to my friends things got a lot better. You just have to persevere, keep positive and be proactive.
I found the academic side of things at SFU and Canada easy to transition into. Trying different subjects and topics both within and outside of Geography was really enjoyable. I will probably miss having midterms as they are easier than one big final, as well as just less pressure to do well as it is only a pass/fail year for me. My dissertation research was a big stress, but I managed to do it in time and I hope I got enough and to a good standard.
I have had so much fun being a tourist and going on adventures. My highlights are Hawaii, Seattle and Victoria, but also smaller daytrips nearby such as Deep Cove and Grouse Grind. I have loved meeting people from all over the world, and experiencing different cultures. I have made some lovely friends and look forward to seeing them again in the future. If anything, study abroad has only given me greater wanderlust and I can’t wait to go travelling around the world again soon.
I am now finishing my year abroad by going travelling in eastern Canada to Toronto, Montreal, Quebec, Ottawa, Niagara Falls and Chicago among a few other places. However, I am looking forward to returning home and seeing all my friends and family as I have missed them a lot. I have an exciting summer planned and then back to Manchester in September!