As my first semester of university came to an end, I can confidently say that I have learned a lot from these past few months and grown tremendously as a person. It was very challenging time but I see how much I have changed myself from the last September.
First of all, the key point to finish a semester with good grades is systematicity and hard-work. I have never seen more motivated and hard-working students before, as I see here in Canada. They are very smart, hard-working and they always do their best on assignments and exams. It is extremely motivational because when I look at them I want to be as good as they are. As the University of Ottawa is the largest bilingual university in the world, mostly all of students are bilingual and they are taking some courses in English and some in French. I can also say that I have improved my French skills a little bit, as the all informations are given in French and English. Also I have some friends from France who are also on the exchange and in the first semester I used to live in Gatineau – the other side of Ottawa, which belongs to the Quebec province so I have met many “Quebecois”, and their first language was French.
I was really lucky to be able to spend my Christmas break with a wonderful French speaking family and their 4 lovely kids in Bromont, which is a Ski Resort city in Quebec (a province in East Central Canada). It really was so amazing to experience the life as a “Québécois”.
At the moment I`m enjoying the weather here, because it is not much colder than the winters I am used to back home in Germany. But, the winter starts and the snow arrives much earlier here than I`m used to! I’m already wearing my thick winter clothes, so it’s going to be interesting to experience Ottawa’s extreme winter weather later on which is apparently often more than -30C! Continue reading →
In the past couple of weeks such a lot has happened!
As you probably heard, there was a shooting in Ottawa on Wednesday, October 22nd, where a soldier was shot while he was on duty standing guard at the war memorial in the centre of Ottawa.
After shooting the soldier, the gunman went into the main Canadian Parliament building just a few 100 meters away. There was more shooting until a security guard finally shot the gunman.
While all this was happening, I was studying in the university library which is quite close to Parliament hill, when suddenly the library building, like all other public buildings in the area went into so called “lockdown” mode. Meaning, no one could get in or out. After a few nervous hours glued to the Web trying to find out what was happening outside, we were allowed to leave the library, but not allowed to go back in again. When we got out of the library all the shops were shut, and the busses weren`t running through the city centre anymore. It was a very sad day for this peaceful city. Continue reading →
Wow! So many things have happened since I last blogged.
As I mentioned last time, the Canadian students are always very hard working. When we (them and now me too!) are not in lectures, we are all in the library studying hard. I’ve already had 3 midterms and there are more coming up soon.
To celebrate Thanksgiving, uOttawa have given us a week free of lectures – but of course, the time should be used for self-study and project work 😉 Continue reading →
Time is passing so quickly and lots of things are happening here. I have already had two midterms which went… I have no idea how, I am still waiting for the results. I am having a reading week now, but I have decided to stay in Ottawa, because even if I have no classes this week, I have three other exams next week and I have to study hard for them + I am busy with my work. (btw. Zoey visited New York City last week, so I am pretty sure she will post something nice here :D) Anyway, I am also enjoying my time in Ottawa during the reading week. The weather was perfect till yesterday, so I was hiking a lot. Once with the people from the University, and many times by my own or with my host. You can see some pictures below. Even if it looks like a recreational trip, there were many demanding and steep parts of trail where I had to climb and push myself to get to the top, like Waterfall Trail in Gatineau Park. It was worth the effort, because view from the top was absolutely breathtaking.
I hope all of you are having fun on your exchange and I am waiting for your posts as well ! I am going back to my assignments but I hope to be back soon 🙂
First off, I’d like to apologise for this post being 9 days late. This can be attributed to assignments, lazy brain cells and runny noses.
As over two weeks have now passed, I’ll update you on what’s happened and how I’ve been settling in! 🙂
During my first week, I got lost, saw Lupe Fiasco live and my classes started. Uni here is definitely more intense; longer lectures & more classes. I’ve already had 5 (small) assignments!
The first Thursday I went to a place called The Loft – it’s a bar in which you have the choice of over 700 board games to play – where we played Ticket to Ride & Cards Against Humanity (first time). One of many quirky things about the Loft is that each person is given a tab (first time) & can choose any name at all. As our group decided to go with Harry Potter as a theme, I named myself Sirius Black. I had a great time and I’ve since decided that I’ll be dropping out of uni and starting my own board game/bar business when I get back.
I still can’t believe I am here. After a 10 hours long flight, I’ve finally arrived in Montreal. I remember my excitement when the plane was about to touch the ground and I when relized that I was on a different continent far away from Europe. In one second, my tiredness had gone away. After leaving the plane I applied for a study permit which took almost 4 hours of waiting! Once out of the airport, I got a taxi to my host from the couchsurfing site, because I thought it would be nice to see Montreal before coming to Ottawa. My time in Montreal was amazing to say the least. My host made me feel comfortable at his place, he was very carying and he took me and two other awesome couchsurfer’s (from Brasil) on a trip to the Mont-Royal where we had a nice view of Montreal , as you can see below.