The student exchange program provides a great opportunity to enrich diversity and culture, say two visitors from universities in the United Kingdom.
Ngozi Ngene of Southampton Solent University and Antonette Wedderman of the University of Hertfordshire are exploring the differences of life in Canada. Certainly studies present challenges in terms of the curriculum and distribution of work over the course of the semester.
“Workload here is much more than my home university,” says Wedderman, a law student. “I guess it’s because of the weight of our overall grade. It’s spread throughout the semester, unlike my home university where the final exam weighs 70 percent.”
Ngene, a business major, agrees: “I don’t know how Canadian students do it for four years.”
Both note that while they share a common language with Canada, speech is not identical. Wedderman says she gets special treatment from classmates fascinated by her British accent. For her part, Ngene finds endearing the conversational Canadianism “eh.”
She has signed up to participate in Greek life. Sororities are not common in the UK, she says: “I wanted to try something new and exciting.”
And Wedderman has enrolled in a course of intensive Spanish, noting she has always wanted to learn it.
Both say they have been encouraged to explore a range of social and cultural events, as well as group trips to sightsee and travel. Living by the U.S. border also provides opportunities in Detroit and Chicago.
Overall, they give their seal of approval to the study abroad program. The Canadian stereotype “friendly and approachable” impresses these exchange students and is one they thoroughly agree with.
—photos and article by Ninthuja Saseetharan