Many students will tell you that studying abroad was one of the most amazing and enriching periods of their education. Below are just a few testimonials from Acadia students who wanted to share a bit about their experiences while on exchange. You are urged to consider the possibilities.
Queen Margaret University
I have been at QMU for almost 2 weeks now, settling into the city. It is a nice little campus, and the transportation is great. I am able to take buses and go to Edinburgh Centre everyday if I don’t have class. Edinburgh is a great city and I am enjoying my first European experience! Thank you for your work to make this possible.
ICN Business School - Nancy
#1. I studied abroad at ICN Business School in Nancy, France. Nancy is a small town, about half the size of Halifax. Nancy is a great place to learn or improve your spoken French, as many of the locals will speak the language with you. It is a small enough town that you start to recognize faces, while still large enough to be continuously stumbling across a new shop or bit of architecture. Speaking personally, there was a bit of a learning curve with the store hours and general bureaucracy, but it was a fantastic experience and a wonderful year.
#2. Life here in Nancy is ideal for international students, whatever the benefits they are seeking from their time abroad, whether it’s to meet new people, language exchange, or to travel. Classes at ICN provide you with opportunities to learn with new perspectives about France and Europe in general, as well as doing work with people all around the world, including the French locals. Nancy’s geographical location allows easy access to many opportunities for visiting other countries (Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium), while Nancy itself also has numerous attractions and events that will keep you busy all year long. The student association Globe & Co. specializes in helping international students with their time here, so you’re never left alone with no help!
I was fortunate enough to study at Lund University in Sweden for my entire third year. My exchange was even more amazing then I ever thought it would be. Lund University was the most incredible university, full of students from all over the world. The city has such a great student life; it is extremely historic, being one of the oldest medieval towns in Europe and overall has such a positive Scandinavian environment. The University has so many interesting classes, and for me being an Honours History student it was ideal. A lot of my classes included field trips so I was able to see all sorts of interesting archaeological sites, museums and archive buildings around the province of Skane and even in Denmark. Lund is so easy to get involved with because the school hosts over 3000 exchange students a semester so they have so many programs going on for exchange students, not including the regular student activities. I had the best year imaginable and I can’t wait to back to Sweden again!
UMass Boston (Nova Scotia - New England Program)
I loved Acadia, I loved being in a small town, I loved the school, and I loved the people. But making the decision to study abroad was the best thing I could have done. My experience studying abroad has opened an endless amount of doors for my future, not to mention the amount of connections I have made all across the world. I cannot express enough that getting out of your comfort zone is the most beneficial thing you can do for yourself. Approach everything with eyes wide open, and who knows what door may open for you.
University of Dundee
If you’re reading this, you’re probably at least considering studying abroad for a year – or maybe just a semester. And if you ask me, you should. It would be no stretch at all to call my year in Dundee one of the best of my life to date.
As far as places go, though, Dundee is a great one. It’s a city, no bigger than Halifax. Cosmopolitan, but distinctly Scottish. There’s enough to keep you busy all year, but you never feel lost in a metropolis. It’s a Baby-Bear’s porridge kind of city – just right. The University campus has a community feel to it as well, with nice (if expensive) student housing (and) a small grocery.
The University of Dundee students’ union has a great selection of activities you can get involved in – for visiting and hiking the wild bits of Scotland you may not get to otherwise, I’d recommend the Rucksack Club, personally. But there’s plenty of other activities on offer, too: Gaelic football, skydiving, rugby, kayaking, fencing, etc.
If you’re leaning towards studying abroad, and more specifically of applying to Dundee, I can only urge you to go for it – and jealously wish that it was me heading there again. You won’t regret it.
I encourage going on exchange to everyone who has the opportunity to do so! It has been the highlight of my university career and I wish I could re-live this past year all over again. It has brought me so much joy, happiness and love! I had the pleasure of living in Tours, France for a full year. It is a comfortable sized city (approx. 150, 000 people) with an efficient public transportation system (unless there is a strike, which is almost inevitable in France). For those of you who plan to venture outside of France, which I encourage because of how cheap it is to travel in Europe, there is a local airport in Tours and Paris is only an hour away by high-speed train.
The main academic advantage of going on exchange is being surrounded by French in your everyday surroundings. Whether it’s buying a fresh baguette (at one of the thousand bakeries), visiting a luxurious château or shopping at a chic store you will converse, listen and learn in French.
France is a country known for its gastronomy, arts and history. It is a culture which embodies living in the moment, such as taking an hour (or two) out of each day to share lunch with family and friends. I quickly learned to enjoy this way of life; it only took me a couple of days to be enjoying lunch by the Loire with new friends sharing baguettes, cheese, and wine. This is one of the many daily experiences that I miss from my exchange. There is also no shortage of things to do: grab a drink in Place Plumereau, go for some crêpes, or curl up in a cozy café and read some French classics.
The best part about going on exchange is all of the friendships you will form with people from around the world! You will be surrounded by individuals who also have a passion for travel and exploring. I learned so much from my international friends and I feel like I am more connected to myself and the world. Although it is hard at the end of exchange knowing you all must go back to your native countries, there is comforting in knowing that it is a “see you later” rather than a goodbye. My French friends were also very important in my successful year; they were so helpful with the development of my day-to-day French conversational skills and when it came to understanding certain cultural norms.
If you are totally up for travelling to a new country, but the only thing holding you back is a worry that your French skills are not good enough, please go! The professors are more than willing to help, as well as French students, and please do not forget that you are not the only non-Francophone student! It really is a team effort. You all help each other succeed, and by the end of the semester or year you will come back to Canada deeply missing your friends and France, but you will be more confident in your abilities to communicate in French and most importantly you will have grown as a person. As cliché as this is, Tours will always hold a special place in my heart for all of the beautiful memories involving dear friends, lots of laughter and daily adventures.
La vie est belle!
University of Newcastle
#1. My time abroad was by far the best and most exciting point of my life thus far. I studied at the University of Newcastle, in Callaghan, Australia from mid July to mid-November 2015. This experience was a once in a lifetime opportunity to create as many life memories and amazing friendships with people from all over the world. The campus was beautiful and had by far the best meat pies and spinach feta rolls in Australia! I was fortunate enough to travel all of eastern Australia. We rented a hippie van and lived, slept, ate and drove in it for 15 days discovering new places, new beaches and national parks all the way down the east coast of Australia -- this is a must and i highly recommend stepping out of your comfort zone and living from a van ( many Australians do this!). I was also fortune enough to travel New Zealand and South East Asia. I spent 8 days in NZ and wish I had more time to adventure, explore and create even more memories. Then I spent over a month backpacking Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. Each destination was filled with life long memories and heaps of excitement.
As for school I took 4 classes at the uni and had no problem getting them transferred back to Acadia. The uni was spectacular, res life was very welcoming, the people are beyond nice not mention how nice the weather is too. Australia is an amazing place and I highly recommend to anyone. Here you will learn more about yourself, adventure some of the most beautiful spots down under and create life long friends. To end, I would do it all over in a heartbeat.
#2. I studied abroad in Newcastle, Australia, roughly 2 hours north of Sydney. The southeast section of Australia is unbelievable, with so much to offer for sites and activities. I was there from the middle of March, up until the beginning of November of 2015. My time studying abroad was absolutely unreal and I would not trade it for the world. I met amazing people who I will never forget and experienced some even more amazing events. The schooling down under was pretty slack, so I had a ton of time to travel around on my free time. I was also able to visit Southeast Asia in November and December, backpacking through Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Hong Kong before returning home.
This is an absolutely unbelievable opportunity that is offered by Acadia, and I honestly do not know how or why anyone would pass it up. I'm not even behind in my schooling! All of my credits transferred over perfectly. Acadia and your host university do a great job at making sure everything lines up upon your return here. If you want to go skydiving, scuba diving, hiking, surfing, or would just rather do your study-cramming on the beach, Newcastle is your best bet. This is an experience that is too good to be true.