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Amelia Sykes – Ryerson University Exchange – Starting out

One week in Canada and finally everything has just about fallen in to place.

I’m writing this post from my new (rather uncomfortable) bed in my share house apartment bedroom. Pretty exciting stuff.

The process has been a whole lot easier than anticipated – I’ve spent the last couple of days scouring Craigslist and Kijiji (Canadian version of Gumtree) for a room in a share house and within a couple of days have landed a spot that’s within walking distance of uni, located in a really cool suburb (Kensington Area) and living with a group of young students/travelers who are a similar age to myself. Super ideal. If student housing accommodation isn’t for you, then I would definitely recommend doing something similar, as the whole process was surprisingly cruisey.

Prior to my arrival in Canada, I traveled around the states for one month. New York, Seattle, LA, San Francisco, finishing up at Burning Man festival then off to Toronto –  its been a blast. One month of travel is just enough time to spread your wings and explore a bit before getting back on track and into a routine again.

Right now my subjects are a bit all over the place. I have successfully enrolled in three courses, however I still have one direct equivalent to match. The course I had matched has unfortunately reached full capacity at this time. My subject coordinator at Ryerson has been fantastic, really organised and readily responding to messages, so this has definitely helped put my mind at ease. It’s really important that you get on top of your subjects straight away when you arrive – once that’s sorted you’ll have all the time in the world to relax and explore your new home!

A month of solo travel has really proven to me just how rewarding it is to put yourself out there sometimes. Sure it might be a little uncomfortable to chat to strangers, but what do you really have to lose? Most of my greatest memories so far have been created when I’ve put myself out there and engaged in conversation with complete randoms. Once you do it a couple of times, it just gets easier.

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