So, to absolutely no-one’s surprise at all I’d imagine, I’ve decided to keep a blog documenting my thoughts, experiences and travels during my year abroad in Canada next year. Sorry/not-sorry guys, but a blog was inevitable!
I’ve had a taste of the blogging life through keeping up a University of Exeter endorsed blog on a semi-regular basis, but this one I hope is going to be a bit different. For a start, it’s my own site, so I can redesign, re-edit and add as many photos as I please (so that’s going to probably be quite a few photos). Also, as it’s not affiliated with the university, I think I’ll be allowed a little more freedom in terms of content too. So even more brutal honesty than usual then!
But first introductions, to anyone reading this who isn’t related to me (hi Mum).
My name is Tess, a 19-soon-to-be-20-year-old, born and raised in the Midlands, and currently in my second year studying History at the University of Exeter. When I’m at home, I live with my parents, brother and much-beloved ancient chocolate lab. When down in deepest Devon, I share a typically dodgy student house with 5 other students, and divide my time between playing a whole lot of basketball, volunteering with the student Nightline, spending hours writing things that aren’t to do with my degree and playing Sims 2 when the history reading just gets all a bit too much. I like having DMCs with friends on long dog walks, being in charge of the playlist on car journeys, Instagram accounts dedicated to puppies, and pancakes with too much syrup.
That last one, actually, is pretty convenient given that I’ll be moving to the undisputed Land of Maple Syrup come September. For the academic year of 2016/7 I’ll be living in Ottawa, the political capital of Canada (I know, I know, it’s not Toronto, much to universal surprise). Situated on the border between the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, Ottawa is about two hours from Montreal, four from Toronto and home to just under a million people. uOttawa, where I’ll be studying, is the capital’s main university established in 1848 and located right in the centre of the city, along the Rideau canal and a short walk from the Houses of Parliament.
Through this blog I hope to keep track of my planning and thought processes building up to September, my experiences once I’m out in Canada, both day-to-day life and any travel I get up too, and my reflections on coming back home too. Who knows, maybe I’ll keep on using this blog to document things going into my final year at university as well.
While I feel like I’ll be primarily writing on here for me (I don’t expect much in the way of blog traffic, let’s put it that way) a way to put my thoughts to paper, and to encourage me to keep an online diary that I can look back on, I would also like this blog to be useful for other people too. I’ll be trying to balance personal diary-esque posts with more article-style pieces, which will probably include a whole lot of lists and attempts at general guidance/advice on this whole study abroad thing and on living in Canada. I have found the blogs on sites such as thirdyearabroad.com and from just general Googling to have been some of my most useful sources of information and guidance going into the decision to study abroad, and I like to think I’ll be able to add a little to that online platform of help.