Travelling after Exchange

Flora Scott, Chemistry, University of British Columbia, Canada

After an amazing year on exchange, despite an inevitable lack of funds, many students (myself included) are not quite ready to go home. Whether you decide to travel after your year abroad, the time, length and type of travel you undertake obviously varies from person to person. There are many options for traveling depending on budget and preference. From my starting point of Vancouver, other exchange students travelled all over the place. From Alaska to New York, Cuba to Montreal. Not forgetting the coast, forests and mountains to explore in Beautiful British Columbia: the province which Vancouver belongs to.

Bowen Island, off the coast of Vancouver

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Before arriving at UBC

Flora Scott, Chemistry, University of British Columbia, Canada

Despite the many similarities when doing your year abroad in another westernised English-speaking country (I wouldn’t say it was exactly a culture shock), there are many differences between Canada and England.

The views are definitely better in Canada

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Nearing the end of my year abroad

Flora Scott, Chemistry, University of British Columbia, Canada

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been in Canada for almost 7 months. My time here is all too quickly coming to end with the semester finishing at the end of April. My last exam falls on the 27th giving me only a day to pack up my whole life and move out of University accommodation the next day.

Vancouver waterfront

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Christmas in Canada

Flora Scott, Chemistry, University of British Columbia, Canada 

After a month of dragged out December exams, my first semester at UBC had finally come to an end. Despite being stressful and overwhelming and even lonely at times, it has all been an amazing experience. Having a whole Christmas holiday off and being able to relax without the worry of revision and upcoming exams was a real novelty. Despite the fact it was the longest I had spent away from home I had no desire to head back to rainy old England and decided to spend my holidays up in the Rocky Mountains. The bus, which ended up taking close to 16 hours, eventually pulled up in the town of Banff, which in the peak of winter has views similar to that of a real life Narnia.

Marble Canyon

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Adjusting to Academic Life

Flora Scott, Chemistry, University of British Columbia, Canada

Studying abroad is definitely not the breezy vacation I was expecting. When applying for a year abroad you imagine spending your time travelling, meeting interesting new people and enjoying the view. Despite weekends spent doing exactly this, exploring Whistler Blackcomb Mountain and kayaking off Jericho beach, there is so very much more to it. Its rather like embarking on a marathon; a great challenge, enormously satisfying once achieved but at times …well pretty much hell. Academic life in Canada was much more of a shock to the system than I could have possibly anticipated. Moving to a new country and starting again at a different university is already a large adjustment in itself. Added to that it was immediately obvious that a completely different method of learning is enforced here.

UBC campus

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My First Impressions of Canada

Flora Scott, Chemistry, University of British Columbia, Canada

Exactly one month after starting in Vancouver, its fair too say there are some definite advantages over life back home. Despite the frequent rainfall, which feels reminiscent of Manchester, the similarity between the two cities stops there. I loved living in Manchester but looking out over the beach and the mountains is a nice change from views of Owens Park tower.

The view from Wreck Beach on campus

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