By Joe Gaskin (UBC, Canada)
Something I thought most about when choosing where to study abroad was where could I travel to from where I’ll be living. I believe that Vancouver is in a great location as pretty much anywhere in North America is accessible from the city. This led to me going on few awesome trips beyond the city.
My first big trip was down the coast to Seattle during American Thanksgiving weekend. It was such an easy and relatively cheap trip since the city is only a 4-hour coach ride from Vancouver. Thanksgiving weekend has a big sporting tradition and we were keen to experience this so we attended the big college football game between the University of Washington and Washington State. This was such a surreal experience. The day starts very early by going to the stadium and getting a good spot for the tailgating which starts soon after, the build-up to the game consists of mainly beer and barbecues and a whole lot of socialising with loud American sports fans. The game itself is mad. It’s hard to remember that these are just college students you are watching (most of them probably my age or younger) when there’s 80,000 people in the crowd. We adopted the University of Washington as our team since they were the home team and we were surrounded by home fans and they were in good spirits as they thrashed Washington State. For the rest of the weekend we spent our time seeing the sights of Seattle, the best being the famous space needle which gave great views of the city and Mount Baker. We also met up with some friends from Manchester who were studying abroad in Arizona. This was a great chance to hear what they had been up and to see just how different our experiences abroad had been so far. This just goes to show the variety on offer when choosing to study abroad. Every place is different!