Lawrence Rickard is a Reading BA philosophy student, and is studying abroad at the University of Ottawa for Autumn/Fall 2015.
When I discovered I had the opportunity to study at uOttawa and be in the capital of Canada I jumped at the chance! Being raised in London, I was keen to see how the two capital cities compared with one another.
The study abroad application was quite a long process. The university nominated me to study at the University of Ottawa around six months before I left to study abroad, and asked me to I fill in my application online via Moveon. After submitting my application and I was accepted to study at uOttawa, I was given permission by uOttawa and Reading to choose five modules.
Although the application process was time consuming, the study abroad office made the whole process very simple. The study abroad office gave concise answers to any queries I had concerning my studying abroad application. From questions concerning grade transcripts to questions about whether I would need a study permit. My study abroad co-ordinator also helped me with any problems I had with module selection.
Once I got to Ottawa I immediately realised that the hard work paid off! My experience of studying abroad has been one of the best experiences of my life, and I’m incredibly grateful that I was given the opportunity. I’ve made a number of Canadian and international friends from all around the world! Canada is full of the most welcoming people that I have ever met!
The whole experience has also given me a lot more confidence, and has helped me become more independent. I’ve gained a greater understanding of different cultures, and furthered my interest in learning more about Canada and other cultures.
uOttawa is a great place to study! A lot of my classes were in the Tabaret building which is the main building advertised on the uOttawa website. My professors were able to help me with any questions I had in class. The university also had a more relaxed approach than at Reading when it came to deadlines and many professors gave extensions if students were unable to hand in their work on time. At Reading I’m usually given two essays and one exam which takes place in the summer term for each module, but at Ottawa I was given essays weekly. In addition to this, I also had midterms after reading week and finals exams in December. Although the uOttawa system is vastly different to what I’m used to at Reading I had very few problems with adapting to the system at Ottawa.
The university is also in the center of Ottawa, and everything was within walking distance from the campus! I was able to walk to ByWard Market, Rideau Canal, Parliament hill, and a number of other sights in Ottawa with ease! I also visited galleries and museums within Ottawa, and the surrounding areas, such as the Museum of History. It is easy to walk across the bridge to Gatineau, and you can see great views of Parliament Hill from the Museum of History! Going on trips to the surrounding areas was fairly easy! Be sure to go to ice hockey matches if you are interested in sports and try beavertails (a Canadian pastry not an actual beaver tail!) if you decide to study in Canada.
I would definitely recommend studying abroad at uOttawa, and applying through the exchange program at Reading. Both Reading and uOttawa have made the experience a highlight of my degree. I’ve had the opportunity to go across the world to study at a different university system, learn about new cultures and I’ve made great friends in the process! Studying abroad at Ottawa is an experience that I will never forget and is something that I will encourage anyone to do if they have the opportunity to do so!