How hard could it be to move to another English-speaking country? How much culture shock are you really likely to experience? Actually, quite a bit. The thing with doing a year abroad in Canada is that you expect it to be British with a few quirks and slightly American sounding accents. And then you arrive and the signs are in French and the people speak at you in something which sort of resembles French but also really doesn’t.
My degree is in Theology. That’s it, just plain Theology. (If you’re wondering, no, I don’t want to be a nun). But the last place you’d imagine a theology degree to take you is up a mountain, on the back of a dog sled, atop ten feet of snow, in temperatures of minus thirty, hidden in deepest, darkest Quebec. And yet, with the study abroad option, that is exactly where I ended up three quarters of the way into my humble theology degree. And I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Emma Dukes, 21, is studying History and American & Canadian Studies at the University of Birmingham, and has spent her year abroad at the University of Ottawa in Canada. You can follow her on Twitter @emma_dukes, and here is her survival guide to making the most of your year abroad in Ottawa.
If you choose to study in an English-speaking country, you might turn your attention to the States and Canada. With top universities and colleges, high-ranking departments and a reputation for first-class lectures, it’s easy to see why. Inevitably, rising tuition fees and living costs in the UK have boosted the trend to go to North America for many students - either for full-time study or a year abroad. Although studying across the pond is not exactly chump change, with many colleges in the US charging upwards of $30,000 in private institutions and Canada marginally cheaper at $25,000 for international students, it is still an appealing option for many. Aside from the fact financial help is available through grants and bursaries and the bureaucratic paperwork studying abroad may entail, over 9,000 UK students decided to make the switch. The big question is: where should you study, Columbia, UCLA and Harvard or McGill, British Columbia or Trent? Read on to find out what are the pros and cons to each country and what they could offer you.
Hannah is studying Theology at the University of Exeter, and is spending her year abroad studying at the University of Ottawa in Canada. Here is her insider guide to surviving (literally) in Ottawa over the winter and beyond, with top tips about getting there, sightseeing, food, the university, and keeping warm!
Louise Wiseman is 21 and studying French and Italian at the University of Kent. She has spent five months in Montréal at the Université de Montréal and will be spending five months in Italy at Università di Parma from February. She fell in love with Montréal and Canada almost immediately after arriving for the first time in August, and is planning to move back once she graduates. Here she passes on her top tips to students studying either French or English and thinking of living in Montréal on their year abroad.
Lauren Pluss gives us an in-depth account of her year abroad as a Geography student at Queen's University, Kingston, Canada. She tells TYA about her time out there, what to watch out for, how crazy the parties get and loads more...