Leaving my family at the airport seems almost a distant memory after just two weeks in Toronto. Traveling to a foreign city can be daunting, and I left feeling completely overwhelmed with emotions, scared, nervous, extremely excited and many, many more. Having never traveled alone before, and the fact that I did not have one single friend or family member on the content of North America, I was particularly worried about meeting people, feeling lonely and not having anyone to share experiences with, but already, after such a short time in the country, it’s hard to imagine this will be much of a problem.
I spent my first week in Toronto staying in a hostel, where I explored Toronto and its surrounding areas with people from all over the world. Niagara falls, the Toronto Islands, the CNN tower, Kensington market, China town and little Italy are just a few of the amazing places I have been to, making the most of my free time before university begins. I moved into my student accommodation four nights ago, not knowing a single person in my building, but now four days on, I have numerous friends all within the building, who are also studying at my university. My accommodation is basic, but provides everything I will need over my next four months in Toronto, as well as having one of the best views of the city from its roof top terrace.
Whilst my university classes do not start until tomorrow, I have already had two orientations, a campus tour, a scavenger hunt, parties and much more within the university all provided by the student exchange group at Ryerson University. These have all been great ways to meet people, I have made numerous strong friendships already through them, and it has helped me to feel comfortable on campus before the semester begins.
I never could have imagined that so early in my exchange I would feel so comfortable, have such strong friendships and feel at home in such a different and amazing city. I am so excited to see what the next 6 months hold as I study and explore everything Toronto and North America has to offer.
By Hannah Maher, 98048097, FASS