My name is Mia Chiosso from the Melbourne Campus of the Australian Catholic University and I am heading to Nipissing University for Semester 2.
Leading up to my departure I was excited and also terrified at the same time as I was looking forward to trying a new experiences as well worried about if I would survive. My family and friends were thrilled that I was trying something completely different and truly becoming an independent adult. It was also amazing as many of my other friends were also heading to go on exchange and therefore I could confide in them about my worries and how excited I was.
The day is left for Canada I was so nervous that I was going to get lost in the Airports as I have a habit of getting lost and if I didn’t have the right paperwork of Visas but I was prepared as my mother was a travel agent and therefore knew what to do. I was also less worried as I wouldn’t be alone at the university as someone else from my campus and country was heading to the same university as I was.
When I arrived at North Bay (that’s where the university is) I was lucky effort to be picked up by the University as they offered for all students to be picked up when they arrived. I thought this was amazing and also made me feel as if they really cared about us and really wanted us here.
They dropped me and two other Exchange students at our residences and I was staying at the Townhouse Residence (they set aside places for all exchange students at residences) that was a house with five other roommates. I loved this residence as it was only for upper year students and therefore it was quieter and closer to the university. We were at the University a couple of days earlier than the other students as they could run an orientation program for us so we could find our way and meet other people.
The university set us up with our own mentors and mine was called Natasha. This was a great idea as it allowed for us to meet people and to have extra support and it was great for the mentors (in my opinion) as they were able to learn about different countries and also a lot of them were interested in doing exchange themselves so they could get information from us. (Loved to know if there is a program like that at ACU- I would be apart of it)
What I loved initially about this university as how it felt like a community and you were supported everywhere you went and that they were so thrilled to have us. The campus was beautiful and all the people that I first met were so welcoming and kinds that made me want to stay longer. This was a great first impression.