February 1, 2017. It was like any other Canadian winter morning. I walked downstairs to eat breakfast with my dad – we were going to meet my sister and mom for lunch before going to the airport. Before meeting them, my mom insisted that I get a haircut before I leave – moms being moms. She was right though, and I badly needed one. So accompanied by my dad, we went to the hairdresser, each took a seat beside one another and got our haircuts. Now looking fresh, we left to meet them. Walking out of the salon, I was hit by the ice-cold wind and the unforgettable -20 degree weather that I longed to get away from. This was the start of my last day in Canada, and I couldn’t have asked for a better last day at home.
After a delicious lunch at a newly discovered Vietnamese restaurant, I said bye to my sister. We dropped her off back at university and made our way to the airport. We arrived a little early and with time to kill, we found a place at the bar. We had one last beer, chatted and enjoyed. It was perfect – no exaggeration. With each sip, time seemed to sneak up on us faster and faster, and before I knew it, it was time to go.
Through the gates I go. Next thing I know the captain comes over the PA system, “cabin-crew arm doors and prepare for take-off.” Just like that, I’m starting my highly anticipated exchange.
A pit stop in Toronto, I am met by Ryan, another BIB student off to Chile for his exchange. Better yet, he is my travel companion through Bolivia. I hadn’t seen Ryan since exams in first semester and when I saw him again, I couldn’t hold in my excitement. We rallied each other up, played on each other’s excitement and it made for the best start of what will be a great year.
Hand-in-hand (figurative but some truth in it too) Ryan and I arrived in Santiago ready to take the city by storm. Ryan went to a hostel he had arranged beforehand. I went to my host family’s house to settle in.
Calgary –> Toronto –> Santiago. I made it. I left my family, picked up a friend and made it.
I couldn’t have asked for a better last day at home; I couldn’t have asked for a better first day away.
Zach is a Bachelor of International Business student who is currently studying abroad in Santiago, Chile.
More News Posts
Sprott faculty awarded promotion and distinguished appointments
Several members of the Sprott School of Business faculty have been recognized by Carleton University for their important contributions to teaching, research and their profession. Congratulations to the following faculty... More
MBA Shanghai students compete in race across remote desert in China
A team of 13 students and alumni of the Sprott MBA program in Shanghai raced through the Tengger Desert of Inner Mongolia in the eighth annual Asia-Pacific Business Schools Desert Challenge.... More
In the Homestretch
Student Blogs/Alex in Spain At the end of September, I remember being astonished at how long one month on the other side of the world felt. I was experiencing culture... More