"I could take classes taught by experts in a huge variety of geological industries not prevalent in the UK (from petroleum reservoir stratigraphy to diamond formation in kimberlite pipes) – areas I’d never have had the opportunity to explore without going abroad."
My international year
During my International Year I studied at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, which enabled me to experience a new academic culture, completely different to back home. I could take classes taught by experts in a huge variety of geological industries not prevalent in the UK (from petroleum reservoir stratigraphy to diamond formation in kimberlite pipes) – areas I’d never have had the opportunity to explore without going abroad. I’ve seen an in-situ fossilised forest, visited the Shell Operations Centre for their active drilling on the Scotian Shelf and studied cores drilled during the prospecting of the Nova Scotian gold deposits.
I also had the unique experience of participating in the Imperial Barrel Award, a venture I would not have had the privilege to apply for if I hadn’t studied in Canada. I provided an alternative outlook to the team due to my different geological background, and it allowed me to develop a wider range of transferable geological skillsets, as well as an international network (both with academics and peers) for a potential future career within exploration geology.
My year abroad gave me the opportunity to learn so much about myself. Before I went to Canada I was a shy and anxious person - I completely surprised myself with how confident and capable I could be placed in situations outside of my comfort zone! Throughout the year I developed new habits and ways of thinking which allowed me to use my own limitations as the motivation to embrace challenges. My time in Dalhousie meant I became part of a huge global community, learning to balance travel opportunities while still being a student. I’ve been whale watching and surfing, seen Niagara Falls, became an honorary Newfoundlander and chased icebergs, while making lifelong friends from all over the world.