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The best decision of my life..

Okay, so… I'm currently at Thomson Rivers University (TRU), in Kamloops, British Columbia. So far, it’s absolutely perfect and more than what I ever could have anticipated....

I initially was supposed to arrive here on the 29th December and get settled in for a few days before term started, however life unexpectedly took a turn for the worse after Christmas for my family and I. So my arrival was delayed until the 10th January as I couldn’t leave home, it made it extremely difficult to leave. As a result I got immediately thrown into university life in Canada straight away, starting term and classes a week behind everybody else! Luckily though I am living with my beautiful friend Lucy in university residence, which has made me amazingly comfortable! I also have a friend here called Catherine, who lives in Kamloops, that I met when she did her exchange last year to my uni in Chichester. I’ve been very lucky in the fact that I have had people I know to be kind enough to help me get settled! My journey over here was even wonderful, I met some seriously chatty people on the plane, who informed me what I was doing was going to be the best decision of my life, and I have to say I think they were right.

So during the weeks have primarily been about going to classes and getting a sense of the work ethic here… and it’s so much different than home. Seriously, everything is more relaxed and organised. For instance, the grades here aren’t based 100% on one exam or paper! They base it on your progression, attendance and how well you do in seminars etc, so there will be two essays, an exam and seminar participation results which count towards the final mark.

The people are  friendly and respectful, everyone talks to everybody and there is no feeling of being uncomfortable. I experienced my first weekend in the downtown part of the city last weekend and it was so much fun! It was a Canadian pub crawl of sorts, I met some really funny and kind people and had such a good night. The most memorable thing has to be the deep fried dill pickles!! ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE. And another thing? Everything is a hell of a lot cheaper over here! We are getting so ripped off back home! It’s actually quite lethal, because I’ve basically been halving the price of everything I’ve purchased…

I already have a bucket list of places I want to see and things I want to accomplish whilst I’m here and I’m going to make sure that I do them. There are some seriously stunning places nearby; Lake Louise in Alberta and Banff National Park for example. So far what I’ve learnt is that Britain has a completely different lifestyle and culture; not necessarily a better one. I’m sure Vancouver and the major cities will have a different vibe, but I’m glad I’m in this community orientated city because I’m experiencing proper Canadian culture! And the views, oh my goodness the views… Everyday the view from my window looks different, the weather is just perfect and some of the sunsets just make my life complete.

I think above all I’m just incredibly grateful that I’m able to experience this. I have been truly humbled by Canadian hospitality, they must be one of the most kind and generous nations I have ever experienced. I can’t wait for what is in store for the rest of my time here but Iwill be sure to make the most of it. I’m leaving all my, “uptight Britishness” behind and going to get involved in everything that I can. I do miss my family terribly but thanks to the wonders of Apple, I have been face-timing almost everyday which makes it feel like I’m actually not too far away and I know that I can talk to them whenever I need to!

p.s. There is a TIM HORTON’S on campus, that’s right...