As some of you may not know me, my name is Shannon. For the first semester of my year abroad I chose to travel and study in Humber University in Toronto, Canada. I chose Humber as I thought it would be such a great opportunity to see more of the world but to also see how colleges work in other countries in comparison to Ireland. I arrived in Toronto on the 24th of August, frantically trying to find one of my classmate, Sinead, in the airport with no service from my Irish network and WiFi that barely worked. About 5 Snapchat/Facebook calls and a quick train ride, we found each other. The thought of coming to Canada was a small bit daunting but knowing I would be meeting Sinead over here made it that bit easier as there would be a friendly face on this journey with me.
The first month here has been incredible! Words cannot even describe what an amazing journey it has been so far. I'm not going to lie, having weekends off work and time to myself has made this journey so much more enjoyable as there is so much to see in Toronto and the surrounding areas. From the Toronto Islands to the CN Tower to Graffiti Alley plus much much more. We have only begun to see what this city has to offer.
The First few days
The first week here we had a few days to ourselves to unpack and get settled into the campus residence before orientation week began. A trip to Walmart was a must to grab bedsheets, duvets, pillows, etc. Orientation for the course, provided not only information about our classes but a chance to meet our classmates for the first time. The International Exchange orientation and the welcome to residence meeting gave us the opportunity to meet many of the other students who also decided to study at Humber for their semester abroad. Since that first week, I have met so many amazing people from all over the world, Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Finland, Iceland, etc.
There is such a wide range of people from so many different countries it’s amazing to hear about all the different cultures from around the world! The first two weeks is the time you will make the friends that will go on all the adventures around Toronto with. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to come here and to meet all these wonderful people.
The first week of college was all about orientations, getting to know our classmates and lecturers and find out what would be involved for each module. Sinead and I are taking 4 classes which involve, 1 theory and 3 practical’s. These are Menu planning and design, a la carte for the Humber room restaurant, Gardemanger & Charcuterie and Baking and Pastry Arts. The Humber room module is by far the most challenging as, just like in WIT, it involves service for the restaurant.
Sinead and I have been “chefs of the day” ie, head chefs this made
it more challenging for us as we had to make sure everyone in the class had all the components to every dish complete on time for service.
The University arrange a few trips for the exchange students, one of which was a trip to Niagara Falls, which was definitely worth the trip, but majority we have gone to see in our spare time with the other exchange students. We have had a very busy few weeks as we are all so eager to explore Toronto.
The Canadian National Exhibition is a must see, if you are in Toronto in September and if you are also a foodie, like myself. Along with these trips we have gone to the Toronto Islands, a Blue Jays baseball game and a Toronto Wolfpack rugby game.
The Toronto islands is a full day trip, we spent the day walking around the island and watched the sunset over the Toronto skyline, it was amazing!
This past month has been jammed packed with adventures alongside all my new friends and I can’t wait to see what the next three months bring!