If you’re still contemplating studying abroad then perhaps read my previous post here, which is my opinion on why you should study abroad in general. If you are already persuaded and are now trying to narrow down all of your options, then this is the post for you!
Ottawa is a fantastic city. Albeit a small city, I personally thought it offered everything. Not once did I wish that I was somewhere bigger. I live in Reading usually, so Ottawa is bigger than what I’m used to so perhaps if you are accustomed to living in a big city you’ll find it tiny but I still think it has everything you could possibly need. In between Montreal and Toronto, Ottawa has a fantastic location if you want to travel. However as the other cities are larger then you will no doubt have better transport connections there. Ottawa felt welcoming, safe but still exciting and I found it very easy to make it my home.
Canada is simply fantastic; So many places to see and new things to try. Going skiing is a big thing for me so being able to go casually at the weekend was so strange and I loved it! Canada had lots of yummy, foodie treats that I was quite surprised by; Beaver Tails and Poutine are sorely missed, as well as Maple Taffy – a maple syrup lolly made on snow, how much more ‘Canadian’ can you get?! It is a very beautiful country too. When there isn’t breathtaking scenery, there is a gorgeous city, my favourite (after Ottawa) being Montreal. Before I went to Canada I thought there was just snow and maple syrup but I discovered it is actually a unique and interesting country.
I found that Ottawa had many more available classes than what I am offered in England. I had the choice of their second and third year courses which increased my options. On top of this, I had no restrictions on what I could then choose which I do in England. However, do bare in mind that this is my situation studying History – courses, even within the same faculty, vary considerably, and you may have many options in England to start with.
The university was fantastic at organising trips. Various different groups organised events and excursions which was very handy. They were often at a great price, saved you the hassle of organising and provided a situation to meet new people. Whale Watching, Ice Hockey, New York, Omega Park, Skiing and Bungee Jumping were all with University groups.
The University of Ottawa has a brilliant campus. All the city universities that I have visited have all been dispersed, with regular buildings separating the university ones. UOttawa has a campus right in the city but still has everything together which I loved, it was the best of both worlds. The campus was pretty nice to look at too. Admittedly there was the odd sixties monstrosity thrown in for good measure like at any university, but it had a very favourable ratio of good to bad!
I would wholeheartedly recommend anyone to study here.