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Canada exchange a cultural feast for Lucy

Tuesday, 30 October 2012


ECU student Lucy Shurman knew that by going on exchange in Canada, she would get to experience another culture.

But she didn’t expect to learn about so many other cultures at the same time.

“I’m living in a house with one Spanish guy, one French guy, two French girls, one Canadian girl, one Irish guy and one English girl,” she said. “Although I am here in Canada, it feels like I have learnt about five cultures at once!”

Lucy, an Urban Planning student at ECU, is currently studying at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver.

“I wanted the chance to travel while still studying, and the landscape here is completely different from Perth. The city is surrounded by mountains, which are perfect for hiking in the summer and fall and skiing during winter.”

Vancouver is in the midst of autumn and Lucy said that it is beautiful to see the leaves change colour to reds and oranges.

She has seen quite a lot elsewhere as well—including Vancouver Island and a trip to the community of Squamish for a hike, a place that is considered the outdoor recreation capital of Canada.

Lucy also lives close to downtown and commutes via train to the university, and with just one building, the campus at Kwantlen is much more compact than ECU.

“I really enjoy the small community feel,” said Lucy. “The class number for all my units is thirty students, which is really great because it allows students to contribute to discussions. There are no big lecture theatres, which I enjoy because you get to know your classmates well.”

Culturally, Lucy has found that Canada and Australia are very similar, “apart from a few slang words”.

And as for her impressions of the city from an urban planning perspective?

“Vancouver is a very sustainable city — recycling plans, designated bicycle lanes. This has inspired me in terms of my major,” she said. “I would love to one day work as an Urban Planner in Vancouver.”

More information about the Student Exchange program and financial assistance can be found on the ECU International webpage.

The next Study Overseas Information Session will be held on Wednesday, 7 November at Mount Lawley (12-12:30pm in room 18.106) and Joondalup (12:30-1pm in room 4.238).


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