Posted by on 17 January 2012 | 0 Comments
Below is an essay from Georgia Bryers, an Indigenous Scholarship winner who went to Canada in January 2011.
"As I arrived at the airport on the 26th of January 2011 I looked up at the departure sign and alot of emotions ran though me, excitement, curiousity and nervousness. The goodbye was hard as I waved to my mum and dad realising that I wouldnt see them for over 5 months. I had spent the previous 5 months preparing for this exciting and sad day and I was about to set off to Canada, a country that I had never explored and spending five months with people I had never met!
As I touched down at Toronto International Airport I was welcomed by a city full of snow. It is safe to say that it was a bit of a shock going from a 30 degree summer to a minus 20 degree winter but I immediately loved it! My nerves were going crazy as my jet-lagged self pulled up to my soon-to-be home for the next five months. I was warmly welcomed by my amazing host family which consisted of Craig - Dad, Lori-Lynn - Mum, Taylor - Brother and Moriah - Sister. After sleeping off my jet-lag for two straight days I was shown around a bit of my new hometown Barrie. Soon enough I began school at Bear Creek Secondary School and my first day couldn't have gone any better! I made alot of great friends, had great classes and learnt alot about everyday life in Barrie, Canada. I settled in pretty quickly and the next two months went super fast and I was slowly getting used to being covered in snow as soon as I stepped outside!
At the beginning of May, Stephanie, an Australian exchange student, and I headed off on a 10 hour bus ride down to the the City of New York where we spent the next four days. The trip was amazing and a huge highlight of my whole exchange! We did many cool things such as seeing the World Trade Center, shopping in Soho, going up the Rockfeller Centre and loads of others.
I also attended a camp where all the exchange students in my area joined and went to 'Kandalore Camp' for a week and stayed in cabins and did heaps of activities like canoeing and trekking around the beautiful scenery. The camp was a great way to meet all the other exchange students and learn about their countries and about their exchange.
After five and a half months, after all the trips, school, friends, homesickness, travelling and adventures, my exchange had come to an end. Saying goodbye to my family and friends that I had become so close with over my exchange to Canada was by far, the hardest part. As sad as it was to say goodbye, they all gave me a reason to visit again and I cannot wait until then! Throughout my trip I made many amazing friendships and bonds that ill keep for life. My exchange, was definately the most tough, fun and exciting thing I have ever done and it has given me so much more confidence and hunger for life and travel.
I would like to thank all of the staff at Student Exchange Australia New Zealand, for their hard work and organization, for my amazing scholarship and for making my exchange the most fun, amazing and memorable experience of my life.
Thank you so much,
Georgia Renee Bryers."
See Georgia talk about her experience in Canada in her student video located here.