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The Journey to Ottawa


After a month of making my way through Europe, I have finally reached Ottawa, Canada. Although this wasn’t the conventional route to my exchange destination, the few weeks I spent traveling through Europe opened my eyes to what was really out there. Although, usually being a reserved person, meeting many different people and learning about their cultures in Europe, prepared me to be more open to the experiences in Canada thus far.


Leading up to my arrival in Canada, it has been quite a journey so far. As my friend and I departed Amsterdam and headed towards Montreal, our flight was delayed, which meant we had missed the last bus into Ottawa that night. We didn’t let this stop us from getting to Ottawa, so we rented a car and made the two-hour drive down. By the time we had reached Ottawa, it was well past midnight and lacking internet data, we were unable to contact our Airbnb host. Adding to our eventful night, we decided to spend the night in the car we had rented. We awoke as the sun came up and went on a hunt for some WIFI, ending up on the steps outside of Sephora at the Rideau shopping center, where we were finally able to get into contact with our host and have a home that night!


The culture in Ottawa is completely different to life in Sydney, where French is a predominant language spoken and the atmosphere is very calming. The area is very quiet compared to Sydney and the locals are very friendly. As the first week of University came around, I found that it was difficult to make friends with the local students, as many of the classes are lectures and students tended to keep to themselves. Although this was the case, we ended up befriending a retail worker, who turned out to be a uOttawa student.


Although I have only been in Ottawa just over 1 week, I feel as though I have settled nicely and am excited to see what the next 4 months of adventures are and the many more people I will meet.


Annabel Ngo
B Medical Science B Business
University of Ottawa

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