From Winter Wonderland to the Desert

The semester in Canada starts in January and finishes by the end of April. Therefore, my exchange semester in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, is already over. I finished all my assignments and packed my stuff. It was hard to say goodbye to all the people I met here, but at the same time I was very excited for what was to come! I flew to Denver in the US where I met my brother for an eight-week road trip on the Westcoast. 

Continue reading “From Winter Wonderland to the Desert”

Challenges of Winter in Canada

About two months ago I arrived in Sault Ste. Marie. A small city on the shores of Lake Superior in Ontario, Canada. The winter months here are pretty harsh. Very cold temperatures, strong winds and lots of snow. When I arrived it was -26°C cold. I had never seen winter like that before and therefore also never known how life is like under these conditions. It led to quite a few minor cultural “shocks” for me. Let me tell you about a few of them:

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“Je suis Québécoise, pas Canadienne!”

2017 – Canada’s 150th anniversary! When I first got to Canada this summer, I travelled the West Coast, and I was very much aware of the fact that Canada was celebrating its 150th anniversary. For me as a traveler this meant free entries to National Parks, several celebrations throughout the year and heaps of special offers. The Canadians I met, stayed with and travelled with celebrated the anniversary and it was often the topic of our conversations.
Continue reading ““Je suis Québécoise, pas Canadienne!””

Having a beer with my professors in Quebec City

Having spent almost two months in Canada now, I have many striking experiences worth narrating. The big portions at the supermarket which make it difficult do groceries for one person, the excessive overuse of and dependence on cars which make it difficult for exchange students to get by without a car and the extreme distances in this big country are only a few examples. The one I would like to focus on here, however, concerns one of the first things I noticed at my exchange university – Université Laval in Quebec City: The communication between students and professors, which is based on a much more familiar atmosphere than what I am used to in at my home university. Continue reading “Having a beer with my professors in Quebec City”

Au Québec, on a des « blondes » et des « chums » !

“You’re not gonna understand them!” – “It’s a whole different language!” everyone told me when I had made my decision to go to Quebec for my stay abroad. I was well aware of the fact that the “Québécois” speak had quite a distinct accent and I was extremely looking forward to this challenge. Having studied French for quite a while before my stay abroad, I was already quite comfortable with this beautiful language, especially when it comes to my listening and reading skills. Being in Quebec now, I’m having heaps of fun experiencing Quebec French.  I have already learned many expressions and I must say that I have grown quite fond of the dialect, even though it’s still extremely bizarre for me. An example are the expressions “blonde” and “chum” for girlfriend and boyfriend. Also, what makes this whole experience difficult is that not only the pronunciation and some vocabulary is different, but that there are also differences on the level of the syntax, a fact I was aware of before coming here. Continue reading “Au Québec, on a des « blondes » et des « chums » !”

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