The second semester is now well underway and has absolutely flown by! Its currently ‘reading week’ so I thought I’d take a minute to recap over my time at home over christmas and the semester so far.
Spending some time back in the UK over christmas provided a welcome break following the hectic first term at UBC. Seeing family and friends again was awesome….the jet lag less so. After landing in the UK at midday, I lasted until 10pm before crashing, and following a decent nights sleep I thought I had beaten the so feared jet lag everyone warned me about. I couldn’t have been more wrong. For 10 days my body clock seemed to have given up the fight. Sitting bolt awake every morning at 3am followed by quite dramatically crashing at 4pm in the afternoon was less than amusing. My family would tell you otherwise, trying to convince me it was morning having woken me up from my afternoon nap. So as a warning – prepare yourself for the trip home if you do venture over here….. Jet lag aside however, I had a great time at home and it was nice to indulge in some familiarities which have been missing in Canada for the past few months.
My return to UBC started out in a typically disorganised fashion with a last minute rush to buy my plane ticket. For some reason returning on the 8th of January (4 days into term) was £200 cheaper than any other day in January, and so after some slightly awkward apologetic emails to my professors i booked my tickets and belatedly flew back.
Arriving in Vancouver on a typically overcast drizzly day was welcoming and dare I say, brought a slightly homely feel! The new term started off in fairly chaotic manner having missed the first couple of days, and the workload was as high as I had come to expect. It took a couple of days to get back into the routine but it wasn’t quite so much of a shock as when i first arrived in August. It was also refreshing to meet the host of new exchange students who had arrived in January. Hearing the familiar conversations of their first impressions of the city and the exchange experience was particularly refreshing and certainly reignited everyone’s appetite to get out and about and take full advantage! Over the break I realised I hadn’t actually explored the city half as much as I would have liked to so in the new term I was keen to make amends! Downtown Vancouver has so much to offer and is so easy to get to from UBC…or should be if I didn’t have such an acute lack of navigational skills.
Ive also been keen to take advantage of UBC’s proximity to Whistler and am still slightly perplexed at the notion of being able to take a day trip there! Getting there is a relatively simple, yet often interesting experience. A number of buses are available; however, as a typical student, the significantly cheaper ‘ride share’ option is much more appealing with students driving up for the day offering lifts. This does however bring its own host of issues such has drivers failing to turn up or being late, but it’s all part of the experience, and when it works it is fantastic. Despite having one of the worst winters in a decade (worst in this neck of the woods means warm!!), a day on the slopes is never disappointing, and definitely worth the ordeal of getting there!
Its sad to think there’s only half a semester left of my time in Canada, but I’m hoping there’s still plenty to look forward to to round off what has already been an incredible experience!