International Exchange Students – The greatest experience ever! That's how I'd describe it.
I heard from this scholarship about 2 years ago, I was taking an advanced English class & a faculty suggested that I should apply for ELAP (Emerging Leaders of the Americas Program), and that's what I did. I got one of the five spots to travel to Canada & it took me actually a while to believe that "it was actually happening". I finally realized it after ten days of living at Dartmouth – Nova Scotia. We have a lot in common (Peruvians & Canadians), clothing, routines, behaviors & we share a couple of traditions as well.
But I think the most interesting stuff is pointing out the differences. Back in Peru & in most Latin American Cultures, people are used to say "hi" & follow it with a hand-shake (between man) or a kiss in the chick (between woman & man-woman). In Canada they just wave their hands from a certain distance, so it took me a while to get used to that.
I don't now about the rest of Canada, but people from Nova Scotia are very very welcoming, polite, friendly & helpful, specially the adults. They are always happy to help or to provide support & advice, & when someone asks a question it is like a compliment. The best example would be a Bus Driver, compared to a Peruvian Bus Driver you can totally tell where you want to take a public transportation.
Talking about transportation, I gotta say, I miss my motorcycle A LOT!. Back in Peru, it took me 5 minutes to get to school, in Dartmouth, it takes 45 minutes (15 walking, 30 on the bus), but after 3 months I think I'm finally used to it. At least there is no transit, most high-ways are kinda empty & the system works perfectly well, back in Peru… transit is a mess.
Now, comparing ISUR (where I study back in Peru) with NSCC, sadly I have to admit, I do enjoy going classes at NSCC. I've never missed a class & I'm not planning to start doing so. All my classes & faculty are very interesting & fun. Even after a bad night, I can still pay attention & stay awake. It is very important to have a faculty member that we can talk with, and if they enjoy their time teaching what follows is pretty obvious, students will enjoy learning, they will do their assignments, they'll go to their classes.
In the end, I've learned a lot & I'm still learning, not only about the Tourism Industry, but about the Canadian culture & it's people. I will share this experience with my Peruvian classmates and recommend everyone at the ISUR to apply for future scholarships, definitely worth it.
International Exchange Student, Peru
Tourism Management, Akerley Campus