Zoe – Semester Exchange to Nipissing University, Canada
Well, I’ve arrived. In fact I arrived on an aircraft that fit precisely 40 people (to put that in perspective, a local bus in Melbourne carries 75.) Anyway I then made it to my new room for the next 4 months.
I’ve never been the kind of person (wow this is getting deep, 0-100 real quick) to let things overwhelm me easily, but this place had me beat. Yep, the endless trees and forests looked beautiful and the International Students Teachers were lovely and accommodating and so basically, it was just really different. The place was smaller than I expected with less people than I expected and with non-international students not arriving until Saturday I couldn’t help but feel lonely. I missed my friends, I missed my bed, I missed busyness. Pretty much, I was missing home. And it was nothing against North Bay or all the amazing experiences I knew I was about to have, it was just scary and I had never felt so out of my depth before.
I finally realised that this was homesickness and it had kicked in full bore. (Although I did make a new friend at the bus terminal when she offered me a seat next to her and then asked if she could take home some of my groceries. Still, I’ll call her a friend.)
Which brings me to one of the shortest but most magical moments I’ve encountered; one of the ladies in my latest gram when I asked if I could take their picture, responded ‘Well I suppose so, it’s never too late to make it to fame and you’re never too old to make a new friend.’ God. Bless. Her. Soul. The others just smiled and said ‘What dear?’ but that’s beside the point. It’s as if she was talking to future me sitting at my desk alone wondering why I chose to come here. You got me Jude, I need a new friend and fame wouldn’t hurt either.
All in all, an intense beginning, but chin is up and excited for the semester to begin.