Home Sweet Home

By Jing-Jing Hu (University of British Columbia Okanagan, Canada)

After another two weeks of travelling in Canada and the US, I eventually made my way back home – first to Germany and then to Manchester (at last).

In Germany, I spent the majority of my time with friends and family, exchanging stories on all the things that had happened in the last few months (and there were a lot), celebrating my sister’s highschool graduation and visiting friends in different cities in the area. It took me a while to realise that I am not in Canada anymore (it is summer, but where is the snow?!), but I eventually got used to the fact that my time in the country famous for its beautiful nature, its icehockey team and maple syrup was over – for now. Writing and talking about Canada still makes me feel nostalgic, but at the same time I have missed my loved ones at home. And there are a few things that  I sometimes take for granted in Germany that I have missed, too:

The architecture, for instance, (here in Freiburg)…

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…or a good wiener schnitzel with spätzle – a typical German dish.

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Back in Manchester I worked as a student ambassador for a couple of days before starting my internship.

IMG_9774As part of the internship I sometimes travel to London and I must admit I was quite surprised when I found a sunny and hot London (it was over 30°C!)  instead of the cold and rainy one I was used to. I mean, where is the rain?! Where is the wind?! Why is it not cold?! Well, at least the red buses are still there and of course, the impressive architecture. London never fails to amaze me in some way or the other – and neither does Manchester.

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Although it is in the middle of summer and many of my university friends are back in their home country or travelling, I was very pleased to see some of them during graduation in July. It is unbelievable how fast time has passed. Two years ago I first arrived in Manchester, not knowing a single person. This year I am welcoming new students to our University in September, with a wealth of experiences to share. And next year? Next year I will (hopefully) be where some of my friends were this July – graduating with a degree from The University of Manchester. Let’s see what the future holds in store for me, but whatever is going to happen – the beautiful memories I have made in Canada will always stay with me.

Kangaroos in Kelowna

By Jing-Jing Hu (University of British Columbia Okanagan, Canada)

With only one and a half weeks of teaching left, the term is slowly coming to an end. After weeks full of coursework, from term papers and assignments to group work and presentations, I finally found time to visit the kangaroo farm that reopened about two weeks ago. They had a variety of kangaroos (wallabies and wallaroos to be precise), from brown ones to grey ones and even an albino kangaroo. Apart from that, there were also some other animals such as peacocks, parrots and sugar gliders, but the baby kangaroos were my favourite. 001

On the left you can see my friend Karlee holding Steve, who is currently the youngest out of all baby kangaroos at the farm. Somehow he looks a bit angry (maybe we disrupted his afternoon nap or perhaps it’s the sun) but he looks adorable nevertheless.

The one that I was holding is slightly older and looked very sleepy that day.

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Here you can see one of the adult kangaroos lying in the sun:

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And after I tried to take a close-up picture:

511He was very calm at first, but when I accidentally blocked his sun, he suddenly got up as if to say, “Human, what are you doing, I am trying to get a tan.” – Sorry kangaroo, my bad!

And for all those of you who are going to be in Kelowna next year or in the near future and want to visit the farm: When you are at UBCO, take the bus number 23 and get off at the bus stop right after 7-Eleven (a gas station). From there you just need to walk 5-10 min down the road. There should be signs when you get closer, but it is relatively easy to find. It is advisable to arrive early to avoid the long queue in front of the baby kangaroos.

What else happened last week?

Last Wednesday we started filming a video for the International Office at UBCO for prospective exchange students who are thinking about coming to Kelowna. On the photo you can see Lydia from the University of Birmingham just before her interview. She has been attending UBCO for almost a year now. It will probably take some time before we are completely done, but I will put the video up once it is finished so that you can learn more about the experiences other exchange students have had here at UBCO.

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On Friday, I went to the last B.A.R.K. session of the term. Below you can see my friend Maddy with our special guest of the day – Doogle, a 4-month-old golden retriever puppy:

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Later that day there was a cultural fashion show called Rejoice that celebrates cultural diversity. Students from different countries sang traditional songs, performed traditional dances or showcased their countries’ traditional clothing. There were also some aboriginal designers involved that presented their creations. I was really impressed and enjoyed the show very much.

258All in all, it has been an eventful past week and I am looking forward to the remaining ones to come.