And how are things in Vancouver?

Canada: the country of ice hockey, kind people, high prices, long distances, and beautiful nature. Two months ago I arrived in this country to study for half a year in Vancouver. And yes, all the stereotypes above are true and this place is beautiful. The main photo shows me (most right) at the top of Eagle Bluffs.

photo Noëlle Schuijtvlot

Ice hockey is really important, although the university’s ice hockey team has lost everything up until now. The people are so kind that the bus driver will stop at every bus stop, even if no one is waiting. The country is really expensive, a loaf of bread will cost you $5. And everything is far away, and I mean everything. Nevertheless, Vancouver has become one of my favorite cities.

This place is beautiful. First of all, the kindness of the people here is so nice to experience when you just arrive here and creates a feeling that makes you feel at home immediately. Next to that, you have everything in name of nature: forests, mountains, beaches, and the city. One of the coolest things I’ve done here is an overnight hike in Joffre Lakes Provincial Park. This park is known for its blue lakes and is one of the most popular parks in British Columbia. While we froze in our tents, had no running water, and had to carry 20 kilograms uphill, this was an experience that I will never forget. If you ever go to Vancouver, make sure you do this hike.

I study at Simon Fraser University (SFU). This university is known for the fact that almost all of its students live on campus. This campus lies on a hill, which makes that you’re further away from Downtown (the city center), but really have a student community. SFU has three campuses in Vancouver, with a travel time of almost 60 minutes between all the campuses. Traveling that long is completely normal here, but it took some time to get used to. The American mindset of long distances will take over rather quickly, fifteen minutes to get to the supermarket is really close. Luckily, public transport is very good here and it is easy to get home at 3:00 am after partying in the city.

While I am doing my best to explore the city and its surroundings, I cannot wait to see more of this amazing city. Vancouver is the complete opposite of Eindhoven, but I feel completely at home here.

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