Throughout my past two months on exchange so many people have asked me why Nipissing University and why North Bay of all places in Canada?
I’d be lying if I said I chose Nipissing because it looked like an awesome uni to go to, I chose Nipissing because I got the most units credited here and it just happened to be in a little town called North Bay which is as Canadian as you can get. Writing this after my first 2 months here I can honestly say if someone asked me to choose a uni for exchange again I would have no second thoughts about choosing this AMAZING and very big uni for me, but very small uni for the Canadians.
Nipissing University has given me a home away from home with such a big family along with it. And North Bay may be a tiny cold town 5 hours north of Toronto but it has given me the most true Canadian experience one could possibly want. Because I’m in such a small place the big things that I have experienced here which seem to be the most smallest to the locals here are definitely the best things about my host uni and city.
When you come from a City where the lowest temperature is around 11 degrees experiencing temperatures ranging from minus 30 to minus 50 doesn’t seem as brutal when you have all this white fluffy snow surrounding you. It automatically puts you in such a good mood and all you want to do is jump in and play around in the snow. The fun that comes with the snow is what makes it the best; snow fights, tobogganing at 10pm at night with your roommates because there is nothing else to do, learning how to snow board, making snow men and snow angels and ice skating on ponds and lakes just because they have frozen over – activities you would never get to do on a daily basis in Sydney.
2) THE FOOD
I have never eaten so many carbs over a period of time like this but they keep you so warm so they are definitely my food of choice. My first taste of a Smore (chocolate coated biscuits with a melted marshmallow in the middle) was amazing and I now snack on them on a regular basis. Canadian Maple Syrup is like nothing you will ever try, it is 100% pure syrup and simply tastes amazing! And who can forget the Poutine, fries covered in gravy and cheese doesn’t sound very inviting but once you have good Poutine you will want it all the time. Quick aside: grocery shopping in Canada has proven to be one of the biggest obstacles I’ve had to overcome just because there are so many different products that I am not used to in the shops!
3) THE TOWN OF NORTH BAY
Going downtown in North Bay is like visiting a small suburb in Sydney, except it’s a city here. With a city brings its night life. Night life in North Bay compared to night life in Sydney is a big big BIG change. The only options are small bars that turn into night clubs and you generally see the exact same people in the clubs every time you are out. However it’s not as bad as it sounds having the same people out with you every week makes sure every night is a fun one with a big group of people, half of them you don’t know, but you always have the best time. Who could forget the price of things when you’re out. Another thing I love about this city because everything is much more cheap.
4) MY CLASSES AT NIPISSING
Because my uni is much smaller compared to other Canadian universities the class sizes are much smaller and my learning experience here has been much more personalised. I feel really valued in my classes because my Profs are always interested in my Australian point of view. My Profs are always really supportive of my learning because they know I am adjusting to different teaching methods as well as a different way of life in general.
5) THE RESIDENCE LIFE
Res life is awesome and living in a dorm is possibly one of the coolest things I have ever done. I live in Governors House (Govs) which is the biggest residence complex on my campus. Along with a big res complex comes a lot of res parties and a lot of people knowing me as “the Aussie in Govs”. I have made a lot of friends in Govs, some of them more like family to me. The people I have met so far have proved to be unforgettable and thinking about leaving them in a couple of months is already making me upset.
The first 2 months here have been the most exciting, crazy, sad, happy and best times of my life. I look forward to updating you in my next blog. See ya, Carla.
What are the best things about your host uni or host city?