It has been 4 months since I got back from Canada, and I feel like I’ve lived a quick dream, it doesn’t seem like I spent 16 months living abroad. Time flies by! It may not seem like this, but it is the truth. So, enjoy your time as much as you can while studying overseas. Here are my 5 tips on being an international student in Canada based on my awesome experience studying agriculture at theUniversity of Guelph in Ontario:
1) The winter: How to talk about Canada and not mention the (long) winter?!! For me, it was a great experience! I used to love seeing everything covered by snow, even more when it was those days with a blue sky… such a beautiful view!! By the way, sometimes during the winter you’ll look through the window and think that it’s a sunny and hot day, but don’t trust that, you’ll still need a good pair of winter boots and coat. During the winter, there are some trips to go snowboarding or skiing that you should try, just take care, the first and only time I went snowboarding I fell down and sprained my wrist. Overall, I’m sure you’ll successfully get through the winter, no need to worry!
2) Share your culture: Other than the winter, there is always a warm welcome when we say we are Brazilians. They love us! So, you will no longer feel homesick or alone, you’re going to meet people from all over the world! You’re going to learn so much from them and teach them so much about Brazil! Besides, making friends with people from other cultures is an important way to improve your English.
3) Build your networks: I strongly suggest the importance of making networks. You’ll get an internship and will have classes with fantastic professors, so talk to them and show your interest, show what you’re truly capable of because many doors may open up for you. For instance, I’ve kept in touch with a professor who I did an internship with while studying at the University of Guelphand I met him last week here in Brasilia (he was here for some meetings) to discuss my monograph, which will be based on the data from that internship. How awesome is that?!
4) Try the food: Believe it or not the type of cuisine that I ate a lot in Canada was actually Japanese! OMG!! I used to eat twice a month in “all you can eat” Japanese restaurants. An interesting detail: they use avocado in their sushi; I loved it!
5) Be active: I have a passion for running. There are lots of races in Canada that I wish I could have participated in, especially the “Spartan Race” and the “Terry Fox Run”, this last one is to raise money for the cancer foundation. Being active while you are a student is very important, so whether it is playing a sport you already know, or trying a new Canadian sport, I highly recommend being active – it will help you make friends and can even help your grades by relieving stress!
I could continue to write much more about my Canadian experience. No doubt that this opportunity was the wisest decision I have ever made in my life. The memories from my exchange will always be full of beautiful places, amazing trips, excellent professors, cold winters, and nice people.
Credits to CBIE