Published: January 11th 2011January 9th 2011
Yesterday I started writing another entry, but somehow I pushed a button that leads to the previous page, so I have to start all over again.. Luckily that it's Sunday, perfect day for sitting at home and writing. Alright, where to start? Since I've arrived in Waterloo a lot of fun stuff happened already. It wasn't snowing as was the forecast, but there still is old snow everywhere so it looks beautiful! When I was in the van that brought me to the University, I didn't really feel like I was in another continent. Also didn't experience a cultureshock yet, it just feels so natural to be here. The busdriver was a really nice man, he told me what I definitely should see in Waterloo. Too bad I was to tired to remember anything. Just remembered the word museum.. But I'll find my way around.
When driving up to the Student Life Centre I paid him 40$ and dragged my luggage inside. I expected to get some information and keys there but apparantly you have to be at the Community Centre for your keys. So they called a taxi for me and I arrived at Columbia Lake Village South. What
an awesome place! Snow everywhere, small paths between the houses. Looks like a proper holiday village! When I entered my house there was one girl at home, Elizabeth from Manchester. A really awesome chick, we hit it off immediately. Another roommate is Nathalee, Canadian girl. More quiet but really friendly. So I was lucky again! They first put me in a single room dorm, with a mandatory mealplan (which is much more expensive than cooking yourself, and tastier probably..) and at the last moment they told me something went wrong in the system and if there would be space somewhere they would put me in CLV. Thank god they did, I love this place! The house is so big, it's a townhouse for 4 people and you have a diningroom, a big livingroom, a big kitchen with a huge stove and fridge, nice bathroom and rooms upstairs. Even the bed is really comfortable. And you can decide per room how warm you want it to be, you have your own thermostat. So it's pretty luxury here. And really clean. Compared to my house this is sooo much nicer.
(I didn't feel done with this post so I've saved it,
and wanted to finish it today. Most of my Sunday was spent at the Conestoga Mall, because I still didn't have a pillow or blanket. So I went to the mall and thought it was so big! Others say this is nothing. Even in this mall I didn't even remember where I was half of the time. Can't imagine how big others must be..)
Time seems to pass by so fast, there is so much to do here. I feel like I'm going to have such a more active life over here. I feel like walking around all the time, exploring the area. The whole time I think of another thing to do. Most people also take the bus to campus or the store. But I've got my snowboots and warm clothes, so I think walking around here is so much nicer. The stores are pretty close and around campus are a lot of cafeterias everywhere. And it all looks so cute and wintery (?). I already feel so at home.
Today (Monday) was my first day of school. It started at 10 and I only had 2 classes, so it was a relaxed day. My first class
was from the Peace and Conflict Studies faculty, and the course is called Conflict resolution. It was really interesting, and the teacher was good at making you interested and engage in the class. Very different from Tilburg. There you just sit passively in a huge classroom, sucking in big amounts of information in a short period of time. Here they really take their time and just explain some broad concepts. Maybe it will get more intens in a few weeks, we'll see.
The second class I had was Psychosexual organisation. That was kind of strange because I feel like he hasn't talked about anything in class. He looked like a hippy with really long hair and he was a real character. The whole class was just about gender, gays and lesbians and how they can be called, that you should ask them how they want to be called etc. But after a while I kind of stopped listening because he spoke so softly that I really didn't hear anything. But I think the book is going to be interesting anyways. And I spoke with him after the class and he was really nice. Plus, when looking at the workload,
this is a good alternative. Because I originally wanted to take a course about Poverty in Canada and social consequences, but it was so much work and the course outlines weren't that appealing. Furthermore, half of your grade consisted of groupwork writed and presented. Not my cup of tea!
Speaking of tea, my awesome roommate from Manchester calles dinner tea. So confusing! But I like getting to know all the little differences between the cultures here. It is really nice to see that there are so many sorts of people here. Because Waterloo is known for Mathematics and Engineering, there are a lot of Asian people. Really a lot.. But you only really see them on campus because the rest of the time they stay in their room or the library I quess. But loads of other interesting people here. I had a Shadow program meeting today (kind of what I did in Tilburg with the Buddy program, you just get someone to show you around and spend time with) and there were some really funny students from Singapore. They also live in Columbia Lake Village so we are planning to hang out some time soon. What is really
nice is that they arrange all sorts of things around here. We have a don, which is kind of the residence person you can talk to when you have questions etc. And on Sunday there was a free pizza night, and a lot of CLV people showed up. So nice socializing time there. Tonight there is a hot chocolate night, but I really had to finish my blog. Don't want to make you wait so long. And with the timedifference you will probably see this tomorrow, so you've waited long enough ;)
After the meeting I went to the International Office and I've met a guy there that is leaving this Friday to go to Tilburg. What a coincidence, because he was talking to someone next to me and he just happen to mention is. Of course I couldn't keep quiet once I've heard he went to Holland. Then he mentioned going to Tilburg and that was enough information to grab some lunch together. He was really nice. I wanted to check out the campus, because I hadn't really seen anything yet so we spent the entire afternoon walking around, taking pictures and chatting. Really relaxed. Unfortunately time flew
by as usual and before I knew it, it was time to have tea.
When I got home my roommates cooked a lovely meal and I felt so happy! What more can you ask for?
So to sum it up, life is genuinely beautiful here. And the people are really nice, they had told me in advance and they were definitely right. I had a really positive image of Canada without ever really having been here. Now that I am actually here, it has really exceeded my expectations! Probably once my jetlag is entirely gone, I will feel even more extatic. Day by day I keep feeling happier and happier.. Hope tomorrow will be the same, already have a quiz and an assignment to hand in. So maybe wise to stop here and get back to you when I'm in New York. Can't wait!
You guys should all come to Canada, it is so awesome!
There are more photos below