Oh, Canada…

It’s August and my last part of my study program (GLOBAL Supply Chain and Logistic Management Program) is approaching. I spent last two semesters in Copenhagen (Denmark) and Shenzhen (China) with my 41 classmates from three different universities (Copenhagen Business School, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and University of British Columbia). Now, the time has come to move to Canadian Vancouver to participate in the last collective part of our program before all of us move back for the final semester to finish our degrees at our parent universities.

A big advantage of constant moving from one continent to another is an accelerative ability of adaptation. Thanks to sufficient amount of experience and my amazing classmates from UBC, the first weeks in Canada were stressless with enough time to explore a bit of the new country. After a half a year in China, the culture shock was negligible if we don’t count my disbelieve about how extremely nice people in Canada are. When a cashier in a grocery store asked me for the first time how my day was, I just kept standing amazingly without being able to respond wondering if she’s making fun of me or not. Of course, she didn’t. Everyone over here asks you the question and it’s polite to ask back. It is also polite to thank a bus driver at your last stop, so every morning on my way to school, I hear “Thank you” at least 100 times. However, the study shock came already within the first week.

At my parent university in Copenhagen, we have a very flexible education, which consists of two subjects per 7 weeks followed by final exams from these subjects. The lectures are optional and the finals count for 100% of the grade. It’s very different from Canada. The education resembles a high school a bit. All the lectures have compulsory attendance, we have assignments every week, a big amount of group work, and a couple of midterms during the semester. Even though I would say that the content is slightly easier than in Denmark, the class preparation is way more timeconsuming.

One part of my program are also different company visits which mostly happen once in two or three weeks. Here in Vancouver, we visited the harbor, the airport, and three different logistic companies. Moreover, we have our last study trip in two weeks time, and one of the activities planned is 48 hours case competition.

UBC with more than 60 thousand students is the largest of the three universities. The university campus is actually a small independent village. One of the biggest advantages is an unbelievably large amount of student clubs and societies. I personally became a member of Supply Chain and Logistic Club and Social Entrepreneurship Club. Thanks to that, I was a part of a one day conference called Chasing Sustainability and I had a great company visit at LUSH.

Even though the study load and my responsibilities toward the program take most of my week, there is almost always at least one day to discover more about Canada and its culture. So far, among my favorite experiences are my first Homecoming, NHL hockey game Vancouver Canucks against Detroit Red Wings (the goalkeeper was Czech Petr Mrázek), and absolutely stunning Canadian nature. Vancouver has everything; beaches, sea, beautiful city center, forests, mountains, and the nicest and the most polite people in the world. If it wasn’t that far away from home, I would move here within a second.

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