27 October 2015

Arthur Corte, Exchange to Concordia University, Canada

Arthur felt "blessed" to be travelling to Montreal during his final year of study on exchange. Immersing himself in the culture, Arthur's greatest difficult was adjusting to the climate in particular the "bone-chilling winter days."

"Learn the language of the city you’re going too."

RMIT Program: Bachelor of Communications (Media)

Global Program: Exchange

Destination: Montreal, Canada

"I was blessed to end last year and start 2015 by travelling for ‘education’…on student exchange. Over the course of a semester, I commenced the final year of my bachelor’s degree in Montréal, where I was delighted with the balance of North American and Quebecor cultures. As it turned out, the latter was more prominent with French being consistent in even menial things such as street signage and restaurant menus. Being a ‘city boy’ per se, I tried to immerse myself in the French-Canadian culture, attempting to be as fluent as I could be in the language (as unattainable as it was in 4 months), just so I could socialise with its locals “like one of them French [boys]”. Travel took the biggest dent on my bank account, just surpassing food (I like to eat), but also gave back the most. Considering the city’s proximity to the US-Canadian border, both American and Canadian cities were just waiting for me to explore…and that I did.

Probably the biggest challenge during my trip was the climate. Born in humid Manila and growing up in Melbourne with its ever-changing hourly weather, the Canadian winter was harsh and literally chilled to the bone. It wasn’t surprising that I chose to travel during the coldest winter in the history of Montréal. But I’m not ready to see snow again until at least after five years. Yes, it was that traumatic.

I had also promised a lot of things to myself that I would do during this trip like making vlogs, or at least writing more. These promises weren’t fulfilled, though I was given opportunities that I never would have expected to come to me."

Exchange in Montreal, Canada

Image by exchange student Arthur Corte