Who doesn’t love all the girls who aren’t afraid to dream a little bigger? The girls who go out and experience the world to its fullest. The second part of my series Women Collecting Memories is out. This time with Sarah, 24, who is doing an Exchange in Victoria, Canada.
Sarah loves photography and has not only a passion for travel but also for fashion and accessories. You can follow her adventures on her personal blog MyWanderLook or follow her on Instagram @sarahswanderlook. Sarah started her study abroad program in late August 2015 and will stay in Victoria for one semester, which means until mid December 2015. From December until January she will spend a month in New York. She has been there twice at a wonderful host family and is looking forward to visit and see them and the city again.
STUDYING ABROAD IN CANADA
What made you choose Victoria, Canada as your study abroad location?
My university in Germany offers students a scholarship for several cities in Europe. Although Europe is beautiful and there are many cities and countries on my bucketlist, I knew I wanted to go further away. I always wanted to go to Canada so I had a look at which universities are offered by the organization, I’m here with (IEC). I first thought about traveling to Vancouver but because of my degree it wasn’t possible. Then I thought about spending my study abroad in Winnipeg. But for that I probably would have to do a survival training because it’s gonna be an incredible cold winter there. After a lot of reading and research I fell in love with the pictures and description of Victoria. It’s close to Vancouver (well, 1 ½ hours with the ferry) and to other destinations I want to see. Besides that, the University of Victoria is said to be one of the best here in Canada.
Where have you travelled so far during your time abroad?
I actually spent much time to settle down here. It’s a different experience than traveling around and not having any duties at all. I hiked to Mount Doug, where I had such a beautiful view from the top. You are supposed to see British Columbia and even a bit of the USA. I planned several trips during my stay, especially in October because I hope fall to be an “Indian Summer”. I have already been to Tofino here on Vancouver Island, which is also called the surfer’s paradise. To be honest the weekend in Tofino was one of the best in my entire life because I visited the Hot Springs, I saw whales, bears, eagles, and otters. I learned how to surf and had a great time with my friends who I met here in Canada. I also booked a guided tour through the Rocky Mountains, so I’m going to visit Jasper, Vancouver and Banff.
Is there anything about the culture in Canada that you didn’t expect before getting there?
Not exactly about the culture but it seems that the people here aren’t freezing. It’s getting colder because it’s fall already and while I’m wearing tons of clothes, many (of course not all of them) of Canadians wear a Shirt and a thin Cardigan, sometimes even shorts. I asked them if they’re not cold and they answered: “Well, we’re used to much colder temperatures”. You must know I’m freezing very quickly but that’s fascinating. Because of series as “How I met your mother” I expected the people here in Canada to be very friendly. And you know what? They are! They thank the bus drivers every single time they get out of the bus, they help you even if you didn’t ask for help, they talk to you and you have great conversations with strangers in busses and on the streets – it’s great.
Name one thing that study abroad-ers MUST do when in Canada.
Travel. Although you’ll be busy with studying take time for travelling. I’m on Vancouver Island and I’ll explore as much of the Island as possible. I’ll also explore the surrounding locations like Vancouver and Seattle which are both within easy reach. You’ll live here so make sure you get to know the culture, the people, “your” city, “your” country.
Got any advice for students who will be studying abroad soon?
I’m doing my study abroad for one semester, which means for four months and additionally, I organized a 1-month-stay in New York. I thought four month is a very long time but now that I’m here two month have passed by so fast. If you have the chance stay for two semesters. You need a month (and a little longer) to settle in completely and feel comfortable. You want to do some trips and enjoy your time. Four months are way too short. Be brave and confident and stay for a year. You’ll not regret it.
Do you have any advice for students who will be studying abroad soon? Or any recommendations for traveling to Canada in general?
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