Ben Kendall

Date: SP5, 2016
Degree Program: Bachelor of Business (Sport and Recreation Management)
Host University: Brock University
Host Country: Canada

Why did you choose your host university?

I chose Brock University, as my number one option due to the location of the university. Owing to the fact that it was an hour bus ride from Toronto, within a couple hours of some of the most picturesque places in all of Ontario, and that it was only a twenty minute Uber to Niagara Falls and Buffalo. This and the fact that the Brock had one of the best sport management programs in the country made it an almost impossible offer to pass up.

What was the university like?

Brock has a small feeling to it, compared to rest of the surrounding area, an especially evident when you visit Toronto and view their universities. But this gives Brock the upper hand, as you can meet and interact with your professors and instructors, from day one. You might also get the chance to see them around town, or luck out and see them at the same pub you go to drink at. Classes in first and second year courses are very favourable. You get to discuss topics, in a small setting, where you can develop your discussion and debating skills. The whole campus is pretty easy to get your head around, with walking from one side to the other only takes ten minutes and campus maps seem to be around every corner if you get lost. Besides that, the campus is in the middle of the Niagara Escarpment, meaning that you are surrounded by the wilderness, with lakes, rivers, waterfalls and national parks. Great way to see the local animals or just chill out, and to think about life.

What did you gain from your exchange experience and has it changed the way you think or altered your approach to life?

I gained new friends experiences, as well as having a better understanding of different cultures around the world, due to the large amount of European/Canadian/American friends I made. You end up just asking question, and learning about the way of life in countries that I have only seen in news reports. This changes not only your views on certain matters, but matures your way of thinking.

What accommodation options were available to you?  How affordable was accommodation and would you recommend the same option to others?

Three accommodations, where available to exchange students at Brock. On-campus, on-campus/off-campus and off-campus, all of which are affordable, due to the fact the exchange rate between the Canadian and Australian dollar is basically one for one. I stayed on-campus, which was a five store residence that could accommodate forty students per level, with a recreational room on each level. What should be noted, is that it mandatory for first year students at Brock to board in their first year, so you will be on a floor with seventeen/eighteen year old kids.

Describe your travel experiences; did you travel locally or to neighbouring countries? 

I travelled to Toronto and Niagara Falls about four times, which is very easy. Due to the fact, that the university each week provides transportation to these destinations. Viewing Niagara Falls at night, it’s easy to understand why people travel round the world to view this magnificent site. I also travelled around St. Catharines which is the largest city in the Niagara region, which has many national parks, beaches and rivers.

Describe how you adjusted to life in a different country and how you met new people.

Adjusting to life in Canada was quite easy, due to the fact that I lived on campus and had my own room; and I was on a meal plan with the campus cafeteria only a three minute walk from my residences. It’s really just come down to the individual, on how well they will deal with adjusting to live at Brock, but it’s no to different to life here in Australia. Meeting new people is easy, with the university holding social events almost every second day, it’s easy to bump into other international students, who just like you want to make friends and have someone to hang out with.

Can you see any benefits from this exchange to your future career?

Without a doubt, this exchange will help me with my future career. As not only have I networked and made close friends with people scattered all over Europe, but I’m now completely comfortable with living overseas for an extend amount of time. So I have no objections, if I was to apply for/accept a job where I would have to relocate my life.

What advice would you give to a student who was hesitant or considering joining the exchange program?

I would ask why you want to go exchange, and wait for a genuine answer. As many of my new friends on exchange, would late in the semester say why they truthful wanted to go on exchange, which was very different from their original statement “I just want to see the world and travel”. Depending on their answer, I would tell them either the benefits of exchange or tell them the exchange might not be best for them and that maybe a short study exchange might be better.

Top Tips:
You will make lifelong friends, have unforgettable experiences, and mature beyond your years. However these can only be achieved, if you choose to embraces them.

Areas of study and research

+ Click to minimise