Name: Aneesa Siddique

Type of year: Studying abroad

Location: Nova Scotia, Canada

Course: English


·       Why did you choose to do a year abroad?

I picked the semester because I didn’t want to go into third year not having spoken to anyone really for the year! When I chose to go abroad, I hadn’t even been at Loughborough that long, and so didn’t want to have to say goodbye to new friends for the year. But I still wanted the experience of doing something completely new and, ‘throwing myself in the deep end’, so to speak.

·       How did you choose where to go?

Out of the choices available, I knew it was only Canada I really wanted to go to. Everyone talks about America, not many do with Canada, but that was why I wanted to go. People asked why I’d picked there, but I think it’s easier to go to places in Europe generally, than what it would be to get to go to North America! Also, the fact that there was no language barrier was a massive plus.

·       How have you enjoyed being abroad?

I went with two other girls from my department, and we all said it was one of the best experiences of our lives. Canadians are ridiculously friendly, and they have a minor obsession with the British accent. We were made to feel at home pretty much straight away, and yes it could sometimes be freezing, but they actually know how to deal with the snow, and it looks stunning.

·       What is a typical day like?

With me, it usually involved running out the door in the morning to make sure I wasn’t late for class. We had more contact time in the classroom than we do at Loughborough. I most likely ate way too much in Meal Hall – there is a lot of choice! Obviously essays and revision had to be done, but we were always being invited out to either a house party, the local student pub, or something very Canadian such as a hockey game!

·       What (if any) problems/issues have you come across and how did you overcome them?

It sounds a bit too perfect saying there weren’t any problems – but that was the case for us! Looking back, maybe it was easier having two other students from Loughborough with me, as that felt a little bit like home to an extent. But there were excellent services available even if you were feeling down. We hit the ground running in Canada, and so you may find that everything is moving so fast, you don’t really have time to miss home.

·       How has it/it not benefitted you?

I want to eventually work abroad, and so it gave me a small sense of the realities of living far away from home. It definitely taught me the value of appreciating things while they’re there, as I miss an awful lot of people now!

·       Would you recommend other students to do a year abroad and why?

Yes – because it’s an excellent opportunity to get to know yourself better, and in a culture different to your own. To be taken completely outside of what you’re comfortable with always has the potential to be the best gamble you take.

·       What are your plans after university?

The million dollar question. Straight after graduation, I don’t know. I’m planning on travelling a bit of Canada and America, and then looking into teaching and freelance work. In a couple of years though, I’d like to be teaching English abroad in both English and Non-English speaking countries. That’d be awesome.


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