Saturday, April 09, 2011

Matthew F. - Brock University, Canada - Spring 2011

Before coming to Canada, I was hesitant about my choice and if I chose the right place. I'm always indecisive in what I want to do but coming here made me realize I made a good choice. Is Canada exotic? It depends on what area. I went to Montreal and Quebec a month ago for spring break and it's amazing how much different it is than the area I'm in right now. I go to school in Ontario, but in Quebec (I'm talking about the province now) there is a mainly French influence and the scenery is absolutely amazing, even though I think that the scenery in Ontario is amazing already. There is so much more history for me to see in Quebec (including a castle in the city of Quebec) so I want to go back without a doubt.

As far as social life goes, I’m really happy with everyone who I talk to here and I wouldn’t trade the people I talk to for anyone else. I think I talk to a good mix of people from both the international department and full time Canadian students. One thing that I’ve learned is talk to everyone that you possibly can. After all, most people studying abroad from Elmhurst are going to considerably larger universities so one shouldn’t worry about making a bad impression on another student because there’s a good chance you won’t see them again. Just by talking to random people here, I’ve made new friends and also possible business connections down the road, not to mention I’ve met some people with very strange connections to globally recognized persons and important regional business people. I never know what I’m going to get from talking to randoms but I definitely don’t have any regrets (except for this one crazy girl who always acts like a lunatic, but she buys me chocolate pretzels so it’s not a complete loss.)

As far as school goes, it’s definitely a lot different being in lecture halls instead of small classrooms but that’s all a part of experiencing something different I guess. The grading system is a lot different as well and I find myself studying harder. Here, the percentages have different implications, which at first glance may seem like it would be more favorable than back home. However, it is much different than I’m used to along with the setup of the exams. Marks (grades) are solely dependent on midterm and final exams (at least for lectures) which puts a lot of pressure on me around exam time as well as stress throughout the semester knowing that I can’t do anything toward my marks for weeks at a time. It feels like you can study for hours and hours but it’s still never good enough. I do care about my marks a lot but sometimes when I’m studying really hard and am stressing myself out, I feel the need to take a couple hours to go for a walk and clear my mind. Finding a balance between schoolwork, leisure, and friends can be difficult but I know in the end it will all be worth the experience.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Matt,

Your time in Canada sounds exciting and extremely influential. I urge you to keep opening new doors through communication because like you said you'll never know who you will meet and what potential gains could come from that connection. I was wondering if you visited Toronto? I have friends there and say that it is an awesome city for people our age. I hope you keep enjoying your studying abroad experience and continue to gain a better global perspective. Cheers.

Cary K

10:53 AM  
Blogger Caroline said...

Hey Matt!

Sounds like Canada was a great choice for you. Glad to hear you've made a lot of friends. Thats one thing I'm really looking forward to when studying abroad, because it's really a great way to meet new people.
Hope you have a great rest of your stay there and enjoy your summer.

Caroline G

1:16 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home