January – Exams, birthday and heartfelt goodbyes. The end of semester 1 – what a ride!

Leave a comment Standard

So with the end of January comes the end of my first semester at Heidelberg, which has been incredible – seriously though, what an absolutely mammoth semester, full of surprises and experiences that I will treasure for the rest of my life!

This post will be divided into two simple parts, both of which I hope have some practical (if a rather nostalgic) benefit: firstly, how to deal with the end of the semester academically, and secondly, how to deal with it emotionally… Continue reading

Final Exams and Start of the Road Trip

Leave a comment Standard

I have finished!

The last few months of my exchange were pretty hectic.The fourth year courses that I was taking were less prescriptive than the third year courses for which I was examined at the end of the last term. I found myself having to work very hard to keep atop of them. In the lead up to the final exams, I was spending twelve hours a day in the library. The exams themselves were spread sympathetically. I had at least two days between each exam and I am sure that this contributed to being awarded a mark of 80% back in Durham for my year abroad. Not that I noticed. My travel plans began abruptly after my final exam.
24 hours after my final exam, I was Boarding a plane for Vancouver with two friends, Tom and Joe.boys-Tom and Joe Continue reading

A Second Semester at Peking University

Comment 1 Standard

一步一个脚印儿 ( yī bù yī gè jiǎo yìnr )

– Every step leaves its print; work steadily and make solid progress.

Boya Pagoda at Peking University

Boya Pagoda at Peking University

This semester has gone by in a flash – it seems like only last month we were retaking the placement test to be set into our classes and buying our books for the term ahead. The Durham and Edinburgh students all took the plunge to choose “gaoji” or advanced class after doing well on the tests, and I vividly remember opening my books in trepidation and seeing the 90 new vocabulary words per lesson. However, being in advanced has its advantages as the elective courses offered are more varied and challenging than those offered in intermediate. We were required to take 20 hours of class and therefore choose two electives from a list of Business Chinese, Newspaper Chinese, Chinese History, Chinese Cinema, Classical Chinese, Essay Writing and Chinese Culture. Our friendship group chose completely varied options (due to interests and different timetables) and I elected to study Newspaper Chinese and Chinese History.

Where our elective classes took place

Where our elective classes took place

Continue reading

All’s Well That Ends Well

Leave a comment Standard
DSC01206

My final day in California – cold and wet but on top of the world!

It’s been almost two months since I left Calgary and yet that part of my life already seems like an age ago. I’ve travelled so much recently that I currently feel very far away from what I’ve come to view as my second home. Especially now that I’ve finally ended up in Belize, somewhere which is miles apart from Canada, both quite literally (6,239km to be exact) and in other senses; the climate, the culture, the languages, the food. You name it, it couldn’t be more different. Whilst adapting to this new Belizean lifestyle, which I currently find myself indulging in, I’ve had some time to reflect on my experiences since leaving Heathrow last August. This year has broadened my perspectives and changed my attitude towards others; it’s taught me how to respond to new people and unfamiliar ways of life.  In that sense I’ve learnt considerably more than I could have ever done at home – not just in the academic sense. I have thought long and hard about the things I’ve learnt whilst being abroad and, as this is my last post, I would like to share them with you.  I hope this proves to be good advice, wherever you travel in the world. Continue reading

Leaving Kingston

Leave a comment Standard

That’s it then, I finally waved goodbye to my Canadian home just a couple of days ago. The last few days were a hectic chaos of packing, unpacking, repacking, saying goodbye to European friends I’ll see in the not too distant future and Canadian, Brazilian and Australian friends who I’ll have to wait longer to be reunited with. With all the chaos it was easy to be distracted from the fact that I was about to leave Kingston and Queen’s for good! 

 

It’s just as well I didnt discover Mio Gelato until the last week of term!

Continue reading