Eilish Austin

from University of Victoria, New Zealand

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I would recommend getting involved even if its just societies within the Dalhousie community, these will give you Canadian friends and help you feel part of the university.

What is the best piece of advice you have for living in Halifax?
Make friends in your courses and with people who know the area/have cars so they can take you on trips during reading week or weekends. Be open minded and enthusiastic about trying new foods and engaging in new cultural experiences e.g. going to a hockey game, having storm chips. 

Is it easy to travel in Canada?
It takes a long time to get anywhere since it’s a huge country so it’s a good idea to explore your options whether it’s flying (very expensive), training, bussing or car pooling. I would recommend travelling on your way to Halifax or on your way home so you’re not spending too much money on return trips – they add up very quickly.

Is it really that cold/wet in Halifax?
It can rain quite heavily at times but the summer/fall weather isn’t too extreme. As long as you have a raincoat and a warm coat you’ll be good. 

I’m so thankful I packed my… 
Woolen socks, raincoat and camera.    

Is the course load very different than home?
The papers I took had lots of quizzes rather than take-home assessments which was different to my home university. Other than that it was not drastically different from home. .

Favorite part of going to Dalhousie?
The Dal merchandise. At home we do not have much University merch so it was awesome to be able to support your school at sports events and generally. Gave you a sense of pride.    

The things you MUST see/do when living in Halifax?
The Citadel, historic buildings, Argyle street (downtown Halifax), Cape Breton (especially in fall, google image search it), Peggy’s Cove, Point Pleasant, go on hikes while the weather is summery, eat poutine, donair and Tim Horton’s.    

Favorite thing about Halifax?
I think Halifax is a great city, everything is within walking distance or a short bus ride away. The lifestyle is very relaxed and laid back which is great. I love the quirky shops in the side streets and in the North End. The sense of community is great in Halifax, you feel at home very quickly. The entertainment scene is great, there’s always something on every night whether it be a quiz night, stand-up comedy or karaoke.

How has studying abroad changed you?
It’s given me a more accepting and embracing outlook on others since some cultural aspects of Canada vs New Zealand were quite different. Being friends with other International Students also gave me a global outlook which I value immensely. I also have a love for Tim Horton’s, poutine and 40c wings which cannot be crushed.

Why would you recommend going on exchange – to Dal specifically?
I would recommend going on exchange at Dal because of all the great people you’ll meet. Everyone is welcoming and excited to show newbies all that Halifax has to offer. I was very impressed by the hospitality of Haligonians. The university campus itself is beautiful. I had the best time of my life at Dal and wouldn’t trade it for anything else!