Moon Weijens has been on a study exchange in Canada for her BSc International Land and Water Management. She has attended the University of Guelph.
Reasons to study at Guelph
I have chosen to apply for the University of Guelph as they offered two specific courses which I couldn’t follow in Wageningen. Besides I felt that living in an English speaking country would help me improving my English level. Which happened to be very helpful when writing my thesis and doing research abroad. Lastly the culture of varsity sports, playing for the university appealed to me. Before applying I contacted the coach of the field hockey team there and figured out that there was a small chance for exchange student to join the team.
The best moments
There were many great moments! At the start of my period in Guelph during the intro for international students, I met many people from all over the world. It was funny to share experiences of odd Canadian habits with them. And when fellow exchange students return to their home countries, many places in the world are filled with friends. I also really liked how the team, I was lucky to be a part of, felt like a family. I saw my teamies almost every day, woke up early to practice before classes, went together to matches in the weekends and we had fun going to clubs off season. One of the most memorable moments was the bronze medal match at the National field hockey championships in Victoria. We won that match and everything came together at that special moment. It was the result of working hard together as a team while helping each other with studies and growing personally.
The biggest challenge was the fact that there was no proper peanut butter, only those American brands with a lot of sugar. Also the work load in Guelph was a lot more than in Wageningen, we had to hand in many reports and assignments.
In Canada most first years and international student live on campus. That can be great, but I am glad, I made the choice to search for a sublet. In this way I lived in a house with Canadians and had more freedom. In my case living on campus was more expensive as well so I was happy that I could spend money on trips instead 😊
Oh and be prepared for a fair amount of paper work. Arranging an experience abroad requires quite some time but it is definitely worth it!