University, as we are all so often told, is a time for both “experimentation and adventure”. The classic American teen movie, in all its undoubted wisdom, would have us all believe these terms are merely euphemisms for drug taking and promiscuity, however sometime around last October I decided to follow a different path and get my kicks by applying for the exchange program.
It's now nearly 8 months later, and I’m finally getting ready to pack my bags and take off to the other side of the world. In an unusual twist I managed to get a gig as an exchange blog writer, so here I am with my first ever post. I guess the first thing you should know about me is that I’m one of those people whose past travelling experience is limited to the Australian east coast between Brisbane and Melbourne, and that my last “holiday” was a week on the Gold Coast during Schoolies. I got my first passport about a month ago and have only recently become acquainted with the joys of waiting in line at the US visa office for four hours in order to be fingerprinted and have a thirty second interview. The second thing you should know about me is that the longest amount of time I’ve ever managed to keep a diary for is about two weeks. So, on all fronts, I’m trying something new.
There’s about 20 days left before I fly out, and it’s finally starting to dawn on me that I’m actually going away for a pretty long time. While I like to tell myself that I’m the tough and independent type (perhaps not accurate but attitude is half the battle, right?), the closer its gets to leaving time the more nervous and paranoid I get. I keep having dreams about accidentally saying the word “bomb” on the plane, or getting to my destination only to be told that I’m being arrested because contraband has been uncovered in my boogie board bag. But when it comes down to it, I’m about $10, 000 in airfares, insurance and accommodation past the point of no return, so I’m just going to have to get my act together.
So watch this space for a glimpse of what it's like at uni in Canada. Hopefully I’ll be able to entertain you with cautionary tales of my adventures (or misadventures) abroad, who knows, maybe you'll even learn a thing or two from my mistakes.