I first considered the possibility of going on exchange around a year ago. I had just come back from a short 1 month trip to the US and UK, and was feeling the need to travel more. Since I have family in the UK, and a cousin in the US, I jumped from house to house, and travelled to all the tourist attractions and landmarks without any issues as my relatives had a car and were very familiar with the area. As a result of this, for the duration of the 1 month trip, I relied heavily on my relatives to plan out my days, drive me around the city, be my personal tour guide and take me to all the places I wanted to visit. While I certainly had a splendid time in both the UK and US, upon the completion of my trip, I unfortunately felt rather……dissatisfied.
I reflected for a while and realised that what I wanted out of that trip wasn’t to be babied or driven around like a princess. What I wanted was to learn to be independent. I wanted to be in an environment where I couldn’t rely on anyone, so when I encountered trouble, I would have to fend for myself and solve the issues by myself. As someone who is introverted, lazy, a victim to constant procrastination, and heavily dependent on her parents for shelter and food, I feel it is time for me to step up my game and try to…. improve myself as a person and to develop the qualities that I admire in other people.
So earlier this year, in the midst of exams and assessments I decided to apply for exchange. (I considered applying late last year but couldn’t be bothered submitting my applications and reading through all the exchange materials and instructions on moodle before the deadline. Like I said, I’m lazy and I procrastinate too much.) UNSW has partnerships with a wide variety of universities from all over the world and honestly, I wanted to visit every single country on that list. However, when the time came to choose a country/university, I wanted to go to a country 1) I’ve never been to and 2) where I have no relatives, no one I’m close to so that I can truly step out of my comfort zone and rely entirely on myself. The UK and China were definitely off the list. Since I’d visited the US already and I’m not 100% comfortable in a country where shootings happen quite often (compared to Australian), the US was off the list. I’ve travelled to Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong before so they were off the list as well. I’ve always dreamed of travelling to France for my honeymoon (and not a second before that), and I really want to travel around Europe with mates after I graduate (plus I can’t speak half the languages – no matter how independent I want to become, I still want to be able to communicate with people when I’m in trouble LOL) so I crossed out all the European countries. I didn’t really want to visit any of the countries in Asia either, so the only option left that I was 100% happy about was CANADA.
To be honest, I don’t know much about Canada. (I do have several favourite Canadian youtubers though!) People keep telling me Canadians are nice ; but that is such a vague term. I mean, us Aussies are nice as well! I don’t recall having any difficulty selecting the university; as soon as I saw ‘The University of British Columbia’ on the list of exchange partners, the deal was sealed. I am proud to announce I have been accepted by UBC for one semester starting Jan 3rd 2016 🙂
I’ll be leaving for China on Dec 13th where I’ll visit my grandparents before I jet off to Canada for one semester! I started packing yesterday, and I’ll post up my packing list tomorrow just as a checklist for myself 🙂