The Final Countdown (Pre-departure reflections)

By Emily Privett (Queen’s University, Canada)

It’s weird how I’ve been planning for tomorrow for months and the flight has been booked since June yet I still don’t feel like it’s actually real. I mean, tomorrow I’m going to be getting onto a plane and fly thousands of miles away from my house, friends and family, to set up camp in Canada for the year..?!

Although it is crazy to think that I will be living nearly 3,500 miles away from home, I cannot wait to starting building a life out there for a year; finding a house, meeting other students and even getting stuck into my academics (although on my provisional timetable, I seem to have a lecture from 6:30pm-9:30pm?! So that may be interesting…).

Clearly the first step to making this life, is to get there. I count myself incredibly lucky that one of my friends has agreed to come with me for the first two weeks so that I am not completely by myself. Although I’m pretty sure he’s just coming along for a holiday, having another brain and common sense to use while setting up my bank account and other vital but mundane things has greatly calmed me down about everything. This has meant I can get properly excited about the adventure ahead.

Since I finally finished the major task of packing all my earthly belongings into a 20kg weight-restricted suitcase today, I have been able to look ahead to our actual arrival in Canada. According to friends and family who have shared their Canadian wisdom with me, going to Tim Horton’s as soon as we land is a must (I will find out what the big deal is and report back), they have no Cadbury’s chocolate (I know, I was as shocked as you are), therefore I must prepare to go without or stash accordingly and that Canadians are incredibly friendly!

Not only am I very excited to experience this stereotypical friendliness of Canadians, I am hoping that it will help me when trying to find somewhere for me to live! Facebook has really played a key part in me looking for places to live and people to live with (it’s probably the only time where being on Facebook has actually led to something productive). The hope is to get in touch with some of the people I have been chatting to, set up some viewings and hopefully live with one of them. Obviously, we’ll have to see how that plays out but that is the goal.

After finding a house, I’ll just be seeing where the Canadian university life leads me and will keep you updated on all things Canada!

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