New Beginnings in Ottawa!

By Rhiann Singh, University of Ottawa, Canada

The week before moving to Ottawa was such a hectic, overwhelming and emotional week filled with saying goodbyes and celebrating my 21st birthday early with my family and friends. If you don’t like celebrating your birthday like me, I definitely recommend doing a fake one. It’s all the fun of a birthday but without the actual ageing! Like always, I left all my packing and shopping till the last minute – definitely don’t recommend! – but I managed to be completely done the day before I left. I was so lucky that my Dad was able to come out with me to Ottawa, and I am forever grateful that I got to share the start of this new experience with him.

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By Olivia Bucherer-Ezer, University of Toronto, Canada

It’s been just over a year since I packed up my life and set across the pond to start my year abroad in Toronto and it got me thinking about all the thoughts, fears and anxieties I had that, in retrospect, I truly didn’t need to worry about. So I thought it was suitable to whack them in a blog in case they provide any reassurance for those heading out this coming September. 

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Touristing in Toronto

By Olivia Bucherer-Ezer, University of Toronto, Canada

**subjective of course**

Whether you’re heading out to Toronto in September, perhaps along with a family member or are expecting visitors throughout the year, here are some top tips to give you the most fulfilling experience of the big T-city. 

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Returning and Reminiscing

by Olivia Bucherer-Ezer, University of Toronto, Canada

It’s been two months since returning home from Toronto and 3756708911 “HOW WAS IT?!?!” conversations later, I thought I’d reflect a little on here about what a whirlwind of a year its been. 

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Concrete Jungle + The Capitol (Trip to the States)

By Modinat Tijani, Queen’s University, Canada

For my February reading week, me and 5 friends (all of us coincidentally English international students) decided to do a trip to New York City and then Washington D.C.

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Getting into a routine and Life on Campus

By Modinat Tijani, Queen’s University, Canada

After completing O-week (orientation week), it was time to brace for Queens University academically and my timetable was pretty intense compared to my friends’. I had to get used to the complete change in assessment methods, where there are assignments, midterms, and finals. Coming from UoM Chemistry, where most of my modules were 100% exams based, it did take a lot to get used to. I see the benefits to both having regular assignments vs having 100% exams. Being in the labs felt different compared to the ones in Manchester.

Honestly at first I struggled with the workload, mostly because I wasn’t used to the sheer amount assignments that we were getting. Plus the unfamiliarity of grading and a whole bunch of stuff. I did ‘badly’ on an assignment and I went to the IPO and they were really great with me and kind of just reassured me that everything was fine. My visit to the IPO was amazing, one professor in particular (shout out to Dr Margaret from the IPO) was extremely reassuring and we just had a long talk in her office. If you’re ever going through anything just go to the IPO and ask for help! Plus, Queen’s has free counselling for students.

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Q&A with a Mitacs student

The Mitacs Globalink Research Internship scheme is a UK-Canada mobility programme for undergraduates to develop their research expertise. The competitive programme co-funds undergraduates from partner countries to complete an intensive 12-week summer research internship, in a variety of academic disciplines, under the supervision of a professor at one of 70 participating Canadian universities.

We took the chance to speak with Nichole, who participated in the programme in the academic year 2022-2023. She even managed to get an offer for a PhD with her former MITACS supervisor!

Read on to find out all about Nichole’s experience in Canada:

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Reading Week Trip (J’adore Montreal!)

By Modinat Tijani, Queen’s University, Canada

If you go to Canada, I would definitely recommend travelling. I went to Montreal during reading week and it was such a great time. It’s such a beautiful city, I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

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Settling in Kingston, Orientation Week! NEWTS!!

By Modinat Tijani, Queen’s University, Canada

My first few days in Kingston were at the end of August and school hadn’t started yet. In this time, I started getting used to my surroundings. Because it was summer and very hot I did quite a few outdoor things.

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Snow, Toronto, Homesickness :( and my trip home :)

By Modinat Tijani, Queen’s University, Canada

Of course, we all know what Canada’s weather is famous for being, and the stories are true. I can now say that I’ve experienced -30°C weather and survived. THE COLD IS NOT A JOKE. My nose hairs literally froze but I made it through.

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A guide to finding accommodation in Toronto

By Olivia Bucherer-Ezer, University of Toronto, Canada

Time to plan where to stay in Toronto? Let’s break some options down. 

Just a cheeky disclaimer before we get into the nitty gritty’s of Toronto’s accommodation options… this is all based on mine or my friends experiences, which are obviously subjective so don’t be completely put off if you already something in mind. This is more of a guidance in case you have absolutely no clue where to start… just as I did this time last year. 

So lets jump in and hopefully this can be of use!

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Ending the year abroad in California!

By Christevie Ngoma, University of Toronto, Canada

Pre Holiday

In January, me and my best friend (Danielle) from London (who did an exchange at McGill in Montreal) decided we needed one more holiday after New York to celebrate the end of our exchange! So we picked California, I have a close uncle in San Diego and my best friend has a close Aunt in Los Angeles. This meant we had free accommodation so we were saving over £1,000 not paying for a hotel.

My flight from Toronto to San Diego with a return from LAX costs £374 with Air Canada, me and Danielle planned to meet in Chicago during a stop over! We didn’t have to pay for a ESTA since we got one in December for when we went to New York so that was sorted! All we had to do was plan our trip!

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