White Christmas

Hi everyone,

So we are a little over 3 weeks in now. I have had my first white Christmas although its only starting to get really white now. It’s been hard being away from the family during Christmas but awesome at the same time to have the opportunity to see first hand what its like in a different country. Snow is really falling hard now which is really exciting. There’s some awesome snowboarding to be done soon =)

My orientation at Thompson River University starts soon. I’m nervous about meeting people but this is what its all about I guess. I should have told you guys by now that Kody and I are living together off campus about a 20 minute walk away. Buses are really convenient from here to go to the uni when I get sick of walking which is something we factored in when choosing our accommodation. So if not all of you want to stay on campus for whatever reason you now know that’s its possible if you didn’t before. We have taken out a 4 month lease on a apartment in a building that is mostly rented by uni students. I’m 24 and married so the on campus life style is a bit too much for me these days lol.

Another really crazy piece of information I have found out lately after speaking with my exchange supervisor is that students studying for less than 6 months in Canada do not require a student permit/visa!!!! This is a crazy good thing if you have decided to exchange last minute and your really worried getting a visa or permit on time. I have the paperwork now to back it up if anyone asks me about why I still don’t have my permit yet. Most customs officers I believe aren’t all that privy to this information as I wasn’t.

So we are really comfortable in our little town here just outside of the uni. We have definitely settled into life here in Canada. People are nice and there’s a few things to adjust to but we are having a blast. Another little bit of advice that I have been thinking about adding lately is that when it comes to Centrelink payments (really important to try to get as it helps heaps to have income while your away), it doesn’t pay to go into Centrelink and ask for help. Because of the abilities of there website now, people who work there have become really lazy and unhelpful. They will give incorrect information to save themselves time! Try to get as familiar as possible with the website and only go in when you need to hand in forms etc. One lady gave me a huge run around and had me thinking that I couldn’t get student benefits while in Canada due to me being deferred before I went on exchange. She was an idiot and as soon as I decided she was wrong and went through the site normally, I went to give my exchange uni’s confirmation letter to them as soon as I got it and I got approved in no time. Just FYI in case anyone is having trouble with them.

Here’s a photo of the great snow we have just started to get =) The photo isn’t doing it a lot of justice but you get the idea lol. The second one is our apartment building.

WIN_20141227_152434 20141215_153920

Well that’s it for now guys. Thanks for reading =)

About grantbrechney
I am an exercise science student at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst exchanging to Thompson River University in BC Canada. My blog is for the purpose of giving prospective exchange students a glimpse into the program and provide an account of my experiences and maybe some handy hints.

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