BA American and Canadian Studies student Emily Edwards spent her year abroad in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia.
Studying at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, has been, without a doubt, one of the bests parts of my American and Canadian Studies degree.The year abroad gave me the opportunity to study at an internationally respected institution, providing me with an entirely new academic experience, as well as the ability to completely immerse myself in another culture. My advice to anyone going on a year abroad would be to get excited instead of panicked.
Before I went, there was a part of me that was worried that I wouldn’t make friends or get the most out of my year abroad, but in hindsight there was nothing to be worried about. Making friends was as easy as going to the first university event of the year, an Improv Show, and I met a lot of other exchange students, we encouraged each other to try new things from entering a Longboat Competition to climbing the (in)famous Grouse Mountain.
I was also able to attend and organise cultural events since my friends were from around the world, from authentic Italian pasta nights to a traditional celebration of the Netherlands holiday Sinterklaas, which gave me the ability to learn more about the wider world through the similarities and differences of our respective cultures. It also gave me the opportunity to explain the quirks of British culture, like our obsession with tea and a home-cooked Sunday roast!
Returning home, it is clear that my year abroad, and the people who I met at UBC, have brought out my best qualities, as I am now more outgoing and confident than I have ever been. I look forward to applying what I’ve learnt in Canada to my final year at Birmingham and I hope to encourage as many students as possible to also take the plunge and go on a year abroad.
"Studying at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, has been, without a doubt, one of the bests parts of my American and Canadian Studies degree."