Final Week in Regina

I should firstly start by apologizing for not having written in this blog all semester. Everything has been so crazy and I was attempting to fully enjoy my experience here in Canada. I hope that I can make up for it with a bunch of photos and a more detailed blog post.

It is now my final week in Regina and I am beginning to be a little sad to be leaving my friends so soon. I have enjoyed being in Canada so much and have done many different things and seen many things that I would not have had the chance to see and do at home. During reading week (which is the mid semester break) I decided to take a trip to Calgary for a couple of days and then meet Josh (my boyfriend who I met at the university of Regina) in Edmonton.  In Calgary I was able to take a trip to the zoo and look at all the many different animals although I was quite disappointed and bitter that I was unable to see a bear as they were currently hibernating at the time. I did however get to see both the penguins and the river otters at feeding time which was a great sight to see. I also went to the Ingelwood bird sanctuary which was just on the outskirts of town. Here I got to see a partially melting river as well as one of the most peaceful snowy areas that I have ever seen. There were many different birds and there was pretty much no one in sight. Finally I spent the day travelling around Calgary and looked at places like Calgary tower and the park that was located in the middle of town complete with its own outside ice skating rink which to me was definitely an unusual sight in the middle of a park. I then took a bus from Calgary  to Edmonton where the first thing that Josh and I did, after we both rested from travelling, was go the West Edmonton mall which is the largest mall in Canada I believe. The mall was the biggest thing that I had ever seen, it was complete with its own roller coaster (which I had to try and was absolutely amazing), mini golf courses, water park and ice skating rink. Although my favorite thing in the mall by far was the sea lion show at 2pm where they had an area for sea lions in the middle of the mall which was both absurd and equally amazing. I swear if I lived in Edmonton I would be there everyday to see those sea lions. We also went to a comedy improv performance and a star wars exhibition that had been travelling through Edmonton at the time. It was definitely the best mid semester break that I have ever had and I had so much fun.

I also took a second break over Easter for a couple of days in which my friend Nicole (another international student who had come from England) traveled the very long journey by bus to Banff. As Banff is well known for its skiing Nicole had convinced me to ski, I was reluctant at first as I had never skied before but eventually decided that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and that I should not waste it. So after exploring the town for the first day we headed down to the ski hills in sunshine for the afternoon. We were both rather inexperienced with skiing but both attempted it anyway. I was terrified at first as I did not know how to stop but I eventually got a bit more used to it and only fell down twice during the time that we were there. I would definitely go again. Although I did learn something when we went skiing and that is that you can get sun burnt when it is still freezing cold outside so if you are planning to go skiing remember to put on sunscreen.  On our last day in Banff we decided to go to lake Louise which is meant to be some of the most clear blue water that you can ever see. However it was frozen over when we got there but the view was still breathtaking and it was a great experience to walk over the frozen lake.

Those are just the many experiences that I had outside of university. I also had many wonderful experiences within university and the Luther College Residence that I will never forget.  I was invited to participate in a photo scavenger hunt which was great for showing me around the university as well as getting to know people better. This scavenger hunt was also loads of fun and lead to me doing such things as standing outside in my swimsuit in -13 degree weather, having a pillow fight in the cafeteria and proposing to a stranger.  I also did things like watch movies with friends and go out for ice-cream. I even won an award at the Luthies (the Luther college award ceremony) for being the most Canadian on my quad. This was an honorary award due to the fact that during a game of cranium I was able to spell Zamboni backwards before I was aware of what a Zamboni was. There were also many fun dinners and lunches with people in my residence :). There was a formal cabaret which was lots of fun and it was nice to see everyone dress up and get out and forget about the stresses of uni life for a night, there were other occasional nights out to different places including the Owl (the university bar) and the Hookah Lounge. The university is such a hive of activity and there is always something going on if you just look.

Finally I just want to say that this is definitely one of the best experiences I have ever had in my life and is sure to be one of the best that I will ever have. Going to university in a different country is well worth the time and money. I have loved being in Canada and travelling so much that I have actually altered my plans and deferred university so that I can stay until the end of the year. I really hope that you think about applying to go overseas with CSU global the people are fantastic and you will so glad that you went!

Just shows you how much snow there is on the streets of Regina in winter

Just shows you how much snow there is on the streets of Regina in winter

Icicles :)

Icicles 🙂

My first time writing my name in the snow

My first time writing my name in the snow

view of downtown Regina covered in snow

view of downtown Regina covered in snow

My little birdy friend from the sanctuary
My little birdy friend from the sanctuary

A nice view of the river in the sanctuary

A nice view of the river in the sanctuary

One of my first sightings of a yellow school bus. I just wish I got the chance to ride in one

One of my first sightings of a yellow school bus. I just wish I got the chance to ride in one

The penguins that I got to see fed :)

The penguins that I got to see fed 🙂

View of the lovely Banff from the main street

View of the lovely Banff from the main street

A view of Calgary tower from the street

A view of Calgary tower from the street

View of a completely frozen Lake Louise taken from lake itself
View of a completely frozen Lake Louise taken from lake itself

Me learning how to stop

Me learning how to stop

One of the two times that I fell

One of the two times that I fell

Kickin’ it in Copenhagen

just over a month ago (yes I’m still catching up on blogs), a few of my fellow exchange students and I ventured of to the scandenavian treasure that is Denmark, to me more specific, Copenhagen. A little gem of Europe, located only a stone throw across the water from Molmo, Sweden (literally it is a 20 minute ferry ride from Sweden, very close) .

I have, unexpectedly, incontrovertibly, fallen in love with Copenhagen.

It was a very last minute trip , with most of my fellow exchange students watching sites like ‘skyscanner’ like obsessive hawks, all hoping to snap up cheap  deals for the weekend. So it happened that one of us was browsing flights one afternoon and found cheap flights to Copenhagen, it sounded cool.. so we booked ourselves the flights.

( Quite the novelty to weekend in foreign cities to the extent they do in europe. with most major cities under 3 hours away, it is all too convenient)

Copenhagen city square

Copenhagen city square

Traditionally its not the most popular, nor raved about city in europe its true, being comparitively small and limited in terms of sites and attractions, it was not at the top of my list.  However,its perfect for a weekend trip for this exact reason, you can fit in a lot and leave feeling like you have seen a large portion of the city/culture.

After a two and a half hour flight we touched down, despite it being late at night, the city was alive with people out eating and drinking and being generally merry, quite a nice welcoming. After some midnight Maccas we checked into our accomodation for the weekend, the Downtown Hostel (incidentally, a really great place to stay if ever you are there), a cool little place just left of the city centre.

On the plane to Copenhagen

On the plane to Copenhagen

Enjoying Copenhagen's Night Life

Enjoying Copenhagen’s Night Life

With its own bar and movie area downstairs is very chilled and a great place to come back to after a day sightseeing in the chill for a beer and pizza. Hostel traveling can be hit and miss, finding a gem in one city with cosy beds and fun staff one day, and cold showers and mice the next… so buyer be ware- check out sites like famoushostels.com and read the reviews from fellow travellers. However on the flip side, we met some really cool people staying at the hostel and were able to  compare notes on what cities and sites to see.

The Quirky Down-town Hostel

The Quirky Down-town Hostel

The docks of Copenhagen

The docks of Copenhagen

What a view!

What a view!

The city of Copenhagen itself is small enough that you can walk everywhere. We were lucky that, for the most part, it was sunny for our stay. that being said… it gets VERY cold.. so pack your coat and umbrella!

With a central network of canals, its worth taking a boat tour, they will give you some background info on the city, as well as take you to possibly the most famous monument, the statue of local Hanz Christian Andersons most iconic creation, The Little Mermaid… did someone say photo op? The city itself was an inspiration for many of his fables, with its cobbled stone streets, palaces and generally romantic vibe its not hard to see why.

One of the Many Canals

One of the Many Canals

Hanz Christian-Andersons little Mermaid

Hanz Christian-Andersons little Mermaid

View of Copenhagen from the cities Observatory

View of Copenhagen from the cities Observatory

If the water is not your thing, the staff at our hostel pointed us in the direction of free walking tours that are on offer, although we didnt have time to go on one, everyone we spoke to raved about it and said it was a great introduction to the city and culture.

Monster Burgers in Copenhagen

Monster Burgers in Copenhagen

Copenhagen, is an odd mix of southern Europe and Scandinavia. Sitting between the two, its not quite either, the buildings echo both the sand-stone look and feel of france- and the clean lines and design orientation Scandinavia is famous for, with a slightly quirky edge. little cafe’s and bespoke stores line the canals, with multicoloured buildings and street art a common fixture.

Copenhagen street art

Copenhagen street art

The people themselves are fantastic, very friendly and open. English being a common tongue, it made it a really easy and relaxed trip, we were able to soak in the city and talk to locals with ease. Of course part of travelling is experiencing the challenge of language and really immersing yourself in a culture, so rolling with those challenges and taking the opportunity to soak in an alternative vocabulary. never the less, hearing your mother tongue in a foreign city makes it a lot less foreign.

The Streets of Copenhagen

The Streets of Copenhagen

Lost In Copenhagen

Lost In Copenhagen

One of the many palaces in Copenhagen

One of the many palaces in Copenhagen

More Palaces!!!

More Palaces!!!

Copenhagen royal Apartments, now THAT is a bed!

Copenhagen royal Apartments, now THAT is a bed!

I would call Copenhagen a must see for Europe, travel and accommodation are relatively cheap, but eating can be a little more pricey. Even so, the city has an incredible history, and night life. There are several castles and palaces dotted around the city, including the royal residences. Most of these are open to the public and well worth the look, especially the royal stables for those horse lovers.

The Royal Horses

The Royal Horses

Copenhagen is the perfect city for wondering around and getting lost ,everything being so close, and with plenty of museums, cultural centres, shops, cafes, bars and parks, for an easy weekend, with a chilled out atmosphere and certain charm. It’s easy to fall in love with.

Explore your opportunities

Hopefully our student bloggers have inspired you to take off on your own adventure sometime soon.  If you’d like to find out more about the options available to you – and about some scholarships on offer – come to one of our info sessions being held on your campus during April/May:

Bathurst        Tues 23 April 12–2pm and 5-7pm at Rafters Bar

Orange         Wed 24 April 12–2pm and 5-7pm at Banjo’s Bistro

Albury           Tues 30 April 12–2pm at The Gum’s Cafe and 5-7pm at The G

Wagga          Thurs 2 May 12–2pm Eat@20, and 5-7pm at Dining Hall