Georgia – Semester Exchange to University of the Fraser Valley, Canada
Semester 1, 2017
The stereotype is true… Canadians are really friendly
Somehow it has already been one month since I arrived here at the University of the Fraser Valley and in all honesty not once has it been a let-down. Before arriving at my university (‘uni’ isn’t a thing here… yet) I booked myself a hostel in Vancouver to explore the wide spread city and had my first dining experience at Tim Hortons (a must do if you’re ever in Canada). A couple of the things I experienced while in Vancouver was eating my first Tim Bits (the middle holes of their doughnuts which come in all different flavours), watching the Vancouver Canucks beat the Los Angeles Kings and visiting the impressive Capilano Suspension Bridge which hangs 70 meters above the river. I also explored Granville Island Market on a wintery, snowy day and warmed myself up with a tasty wild salmon soup! Somewhere I definitely recommend eating, as everything there is authentic and delicious!
After exploring the city I made my way with my suitcase in tow, to my new home for the next four months. The town in which my university is situated is called Abbotsford located five minutes away from the US Border and an hour out from Vancouver. The first week of university I had been invited to go on a hike with some of the local guys at the dorm, which was handy as they had a car, one thing that is extremely helpful living out in Abbotsford! The hike was absolutely breathtaking, we had gone a couple of days after it had snowed and it made for a slippery yet picturesque hike. It is impossible to ever get sick of seeing views like that.
Before I arrived in Canada, making friends was not necessarily a worry, but it was in the back of my mind while coming over for my exchange. Which I now realise is totally unnecessary as living in residence is a fantastic way to get chatting to people; locals and international/exchange students alike. I have met so many different people and have found them to be the most welcoming and inviting people to be around. We have had various nights where we get together and make meals from our home countries or even just host a wine, cheese and bread night! It’s the little things in life. The dorm community is like your second family. On Friday night last week my friend and I hosted a burger night at the dorms for everybody, which was a huge success with many people coming to eat together. It is in these moments where you realise that you are surrounded by like-minded, energetic and supportive people that make this experience what it is.
With so many things to do and see while here in Canada it makes missing home pretty hard and encourages me to make the most of the time I have while studying abroad.