Harrison Harding

Date: SP5, 2016
Degree Program: Bachelor of Business (Management)
Host University: University of Ottowa
Host Country: Canada

Why did you choose your host university?

Originally I had chosen a different university in America but did not get in. I was then provided with the opportunity to study at the University of Ottawa. After a bit of research I was happy with the option that had been given to me.

What was the university like?

The university campus was pretty surreal, especially when it was covered in snow. The classes which I attended were pretty similar to that of Uni SA’s but instead of having a lecture and a tute there were two 1 and a half hour lectures, which was pretty easy. The assessment structure was a little different with an emphasis on exams rather than assignments, for most courses there would be a mid-term and a final exam as well as an assignment, which was always done within a group. At first I thought this was a bad thing but having less assignments allowed me more time to travel and go out and do things with the people I met over there.

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

I have made mates from around the world that has given me an insight to how they live and their culture. Doing the exchange has made me more open to talk with people not just from home but from around the world because while on exchange you are forced out of your comfort zone which is the best part.

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

At UOttawa all exchange students from the business school stay in the same building which was great because you live with people from all nationality’s. These are also the people that you will spend most of your time with, apart from the locals that you will eventually meet if you throw yourself out there a bit. i would recommend staying in the allocated accommodation as it is where most of the fun stuff goes down.

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

I went through America for three weeks prior the exchange to make the most of the summer over there which was a great idea, if you are by yourself I would recommend a contiki or something along those lines. While on exchange I went on various trips with the people I had met. Flying to Calgary and hiring a car to travel around Banff was definitely a highlight and something I will never forget. I also went to Toronto, Montreal, Quebec and many other places which Is a must do. Canada is so big and so diverse that you may as well stick to just exploring that while on exchange, America can be done before or after although Ney york is so close that you could travel there easily as well, there are so many options.

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

Canadian culture is very similar to the Australian culture, they like having a good time. This made it easy to meet similar people as everyone is there to have a bit of fun. Yes, you will have to do some Uni work along the way but that’s not why I was there. As long as you are willing to put yourself out there just a little bit the locals will welcome you in and invite you to their party’s, houses etc.

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

Going on exchange also looks good on CV, it shows that you are not afraid of putting yourself into situations you may not necessarily be confortable in. It may also help with networking in the long run, I have met many people from around the world who are all in the same field as me.

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

Just do it. It was the best thing I have ever done. It literally feels like you have lived another life completely distant from your friends and family at home and it is something you can not fully describe. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Top Tips:

Say yes to anything, even if you are hangover and have an assignment due the next day, just go out and do stuff. You only have one chance at the end of the day you can always come home and redo another course however you can never re-live the exchange.                                  

Areas of study and research

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