I have been back in New Zealand for about two weeks and am already missing Canada and my time at UBC. Truthfully, I have struggled to write this post as it is really difficult for me to look back on the most wonderful time I have had without getting too emotional. I can safely say that my four months in Vancouver was a life changing experience that left me with some fantastic memories and life long friendships. It has definitely been adjustment coming back to New Zealand summer after a few months in the cold weather, but I am loving the sun so far.
I thought I would use this post as a place to look back on my favorite memories of my time away. I got the opportunity to live on campus at Fairview Crescent, and loved being so close to university, as well as getting to live with some fabulous people. Over the four months, I became really close with my three roommates, Camryn, Sara and Jordyn. Coming home after a day of uni and getting to hang out with them all was great, and the house had a really positive and fun vibe. All three of them were from different parts of Canada and introduced me to their friend groups, meaning I was able to make friends with heaps of really cool local UBC students.
While on Exchange I got the opportunity to travel twice. Over thanksgiving weekend I went the Rockies with the UBC exchange student club and a hundred other exchange students from all over the world. It was a super fun trip where I met lots of interesting people and took in the gorgeous scenery that is the Canadian Rockies. After the last day of classes, I was able to go away for the weekend with another exchange student from the university of Auckland, Abby. I really enjoyed Seattle and exploring, but must say that Vancouver had to be my favourite city by far.
Some of my fondest memories were just spending time with all the lovely people I met whilst away. I managed to find some nice people in all my classes and in my group project assignments, as well as through my room mates. Me and my room mates really enjoyed having movie nights together, and watching friends, a show we all loved (we even had a friends poster hanging up in our living room!). As weird as it sounds, I really enjoyed the hours spent at the library with my room mate Sara and good friend Mary, studying for finals.
Overall, I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to study the last semester at UBC. I had so much fun and fell in love with Vancouver, UBC and all the welcoming people I met along the way. Coming back to Auckland and re-adjusting back to life at home has been bittersweet. I am happy to be back with my friends and family, enjoying the beautiful weather, but part of my heart will always be back in Vancouver. Vancouver will always be a second home to me, the first place I moved away from home and where I made some close friendships with people I already miss dearly.
To anyone that is thinking about exchange, I highly recommend you go for it. I had the time of my life and wouldn’t trade my experience for anything. Although it may seem scary, you will have the most amazing time and won’t regret your decision!