In this first part of my blog you will have a better understanding about living circumstances in Nanaimo and what it is like to live with a host family. This will help you to decide if the “Canada experience” is something for and will answer your concerns about these topics.
The University is located in a small town on Vancouver Island. With its beauty and perfect location it gives you the opportunity to see and explore all the beauty that the Island offers. The University is in Nanaimo this town is a bridge between the main land Canada and the Island itself due to the ferry terminal. Vancouver, BC is only a 2h ferry ride away and is also very cheap. A one-way ticket is just 16 CAD, which is equivalent to 11 euros.
Nanaimo is a small university city; it is actually the 2nd biggest city after Victoria the capitol of British Colombia, so it is not that small after all. The city offers you Nature, tranquility and a very nice community. The great thing about Nanaimo is that everybody is very kind and helpful to you. At the same time the people make you feel at home no matter where you come from.
During my stay in Canada I lived together with a host family. Before I start explaining my experience I want to make sure that everybody can live with a host family no matter how grown up and individual you are. When I decided to stay with a host family I had many concerns about my privacy or habits that I had from living alone for almost 3 years. All I can say is that I completely changed my mind about living by myself. It was the best living experience abroad.
My host family was a very nice lady that lived with her dog “Sasha”. I lived in a big house with an amazing ocean view. The next bus stop was 5 min away, which was very convenient for my commute to the University. The closest grocery store is 10 min by foot. Other than that it is a very peaceful neighborhood full of houses just like the American suburbs we see in the movies.
Jane my host mum is the sweetest lady I ever met. She is living by her self and is retired. We had a very nice relationship starting from the begging. From time to time I would take her out to dinners and vice versa. We would share most of our groceries without really separating much. Whenever something was not in place like fruits for example the first person that sees it would take care of it.
I had room to myself with a big nice bed and a desk in it. Everything you can imagine in a normal household was made available to me. Washing my own dishes was of course was my responsibility. One thing I could lay back and enjoy was the weekly cleaning in the house. Maids would come in and clean the whole house including my room. During my stay I had no complications in the house, as longest you are nice and polite there is no way you should get in trouble with your host family. I had a couple friends who stayed with a host family as well and they had all similar experiences.
A day in a life in Nanaimo would involve grocery shopping, activities that the university offers, university commute, studies of course and spare time for clubbing and friends. These are the main aspects that I focused during my stay. In my next blog I will focus more on these aspects especially on socializing and studies.