I never would have thought that the first time I would be living out of home would be so far from my family and friends, yet here I am writing this 16019km from home. I’m doing my exchange at HEC Montreal, Canada and have been here for a little over a month now.
Tonight completes day 1 of my second week of classes and can I just say that the excitement of being on exchange hasn’t settled in the slightest bit.
Within my first month of being here I’ve travelled around Montreal, done a TopDeck tour of the West coast and the Canadian Rockies and been on a welcome week with all of the exchange students organised by HEC’s exchange committee ‘HEChange’.
Within my first week of being here I travelled around Montreal, doing some sight seeing on top of Mont Royal and wandering down Saint Catherine, the Old Port and Downtown Montreal. I had temporary accommodation for the first week, as I would be travelling to the west coast after just 6 days of arriving in Montreal. Never did I expect that this entire city was so French! I was warned it was bilingual but had no idea that signage would be in French. After countless wrong turns and even a parking fine, I managed to navigate this wonderful city and start to fall in love with it everyday.
My 10 day Topdeck of the West Coast was better than that I could have ever dreamed of. Regardless of whether anyone was to do exchange or not I would recommend seeing the beautiful lakes and countless mountains that the Canadian Rockies have to offer. And doing it with a group of young adults, 90% of which turned out to be Aussie, made the trip even more memorable.
Traveling back to Montreal didn’t come without its trials and tribulations but nevertheless I made it back for my Welcome week to start on August 22. For the next 6 days I would engage in ready organised activities with the 324 other exchange students that were to call HEC home for the next 6 months. We went on a beach day (which for Canadians was basically a river with some sand), travelled to La Ronde Amusement Park, Calypso Water park in Ontario, went Jet Boating, travelled to Mont Tremblant and partied for 6 days straight going out each night to either a bar, pub crawl or even a music festival on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River.
It was hard to get back into classes after 4 weeks of these wonderful activities but it’s been so great to see a new campus and experience a new style of teaching, namely 3 hour classes with tutorials and lectures combined. I know what you’re thinking, ‘I couldn’t think of anything worse’, but it actually makes so much sense! I have met countless people from all over the world, each one more interesting than the next. The exchange student body is made up mainly of Swedish, Belgium, German, Finnish and Australian students with a little mix in from other countries like Italy, Peru, Chile, Singapore, etc. I have been inundated with so many new faces, accents, languages and facts about how other young adults live in their parts of the world and I can’t wait for these friendships to become even stronger.
I’m so thankful to UTS to allow me to sit here and write this blogpost from this amazing city I get to call home for 4 more months
Sarah Fuller, Bachelor of Business, 12040628