Life in Canada: Too Much for Two Months

Life in Canada: Too Much for Two Months

Annie Le, Lê Khánh Nhật An, IB Class of 2017
Creative Industry, Ryerson University

I live right downtown at the heart of the creative city and I have to say, it is pumped. The Yonge-Dundas Square is always fueled by public events and unending flow of people. It is colourful, animated and energized. It makes you feel more alive than you actually are. I personally found the people stereotypically nice, which is great. Another thing that is great about the people is that they are unapologetically themselves. Step onto the street and you will find yourself mindblown as if you were at a fashion show. Sometimes I question if it was “true" for one to wear certain things on the street, I guess they can after all.

While it seems like everything is within walking distance, your life is much easier, especially in winter, because of the  multiple forms of public transportation with a very forgiving student discount. Trust me, student discounts are  a blessing when you live on a budget. After all, nowhere is as cheap as Vietnam, am I right? But hey, traveling around the city for two hours with just a TTC ticket? Why not. I have been exploring the city for myself from north to south and from east to west. Get on a bus and you have just earned an amusement ride through drastically different areas of the city. At the end of your journey, take off those shoes, dip your toes in the freezing water of the Toronto Beach and end the day by watching the sun set on the wonderfully calm city line.

Being away from home has made me realise it takes a lot of effort to make a home. From the necessities you never really pay attention to, such as bathroom cleaning tools or how quickly you run out toilet paper. From the obvious like having to do your own laundry to paying your bills and taking out the garbage. I did not expect to start balancing with my current academic and social life. It would take sometime to settle down but, “Annie, your mom isn’t here to help you through anymore”. So now, though I have yet to get a firm grasp on the whole “adulting" thing, I am learning, and that is all it matters.

I notice that being in a foreign country has helped remind me of my own country's great values. I miss how cheap everything is, and also I realised Áo Dài is the most gorgeous and flattering traditional costume among any other nations’.  Furthermore, Vietnam possesses one of the most delicious cuisines and is among one of the most beautiful countries in the world with our prolonged coastline, natural landscape and rich cultural values. Sure I could be biased but I am proud of my country. You can decide for yourself by widening your own horizons.  After all, it has only been two months but I'm already loving Canada, the easy transportation, the new life I have to deal with but I do miss Vietnam.

From the previous FAM tour hosted by CIS and CBIE, within more or less 10 days, I saw, experienced and learnt a lot about this country. It was a one of a kind experience. I was then confident in making one of the most important decisions in my life: to pursue higher education in Canada. Fun fact, I only applied to one program at one university that I was sure I loved and gave everyone else a heart attack. Worth it but very risky. I do not recommend that, but here is one thing that I do recommend: don’t hold back from exploring the world if you have the ability to. It can teach you so much more than any lecture hall or a 4,000 word research paper.

 More information about CBIE Familiarization Tour (FAM Tour) 2017: