My name is Gillian & I'm a 3rd year student!
2. First off, tell me where you went for study abroad?
I went to Oxford University, England. It was one of the first universities in the world, so it was a gorgeous campus and had major historical/academic integrity
3. What interested you in study abroad?
I've always wanted to go to England (it's 3/4 of my heritage) and wanted to study at Oxford University, so this was the prefect opportunity for me. I thought spending a month there would be perfect, but it still wasn't long enough! But for those who have never been away from their home town, this is perfect!
4. What was the most challenging aspect of study abroad?
The first day was tough, I missed home/friends/family and I didn't think I would make any friends, but I made tons of friends and didn't want to come back.
5. Did you face any hardships or encounter things that you didn't
agree with or understand? If so, what were they & how did you deal
The locals were way more informative than the customer services employees, I felt much more comfortable asking a local for advice than an employee at a train station for example. I'm not used to be talked down to by an employee anywhere, especially when I am obviously a tourist(without the English accent, y'know?)
6. What was the most memorable part of your experience? Is there
anything you wish you done differently?
I went to London a lot, and visited family whom I had never met before which was amazing for me. I went out every night. I was super tired for class every morning, but it really was worth it. I wish I had travelled more abroad more with classmates, but I am content in meeting my long-lost family members :)
7. If you could say one thing to a student who was interested in study
abroad what would you tell them?
I know the price may seem a lot, and you don't know if the debt is worth it but trust me, it really is. I did not qualify for OSAP and I am $10,000 in the hole from this experience but it was completely worth it. Every single penny was worth it. It is something you will never ge to experience anywhere else, especially for summer abroad you still get to study with U of T students and profs so you get taught the way you are used to being taught, but you get to be taught in such a significant institution historically.
8. Why should someone get involved with study abroad?
For utsc specifically; experience more than Scarborough has to offer, as well make friends from UTSG and UTM: they're not all obsessed with putting utsc down ;) For others, like I said before, it is a once in a life time experience. 4-6 weeks away from home for those who are afraid of getting homesick. You (usually) get one credit for 4 weeks in class; SUCH a good deal!
9. If you didn't go to England, where would you have gone?
I would have loved to go anywhere in Europe. The Central Europe or Italy program. With central Europe you get to travel to the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria and Poland; and Italy..it's Italy - why wouldn't I want to go there?!