Hi! My name is Emma and I’m studying the Social work program at Jönköping University. During my fourth semester I did an exchange at Windsor University in Canada.
I have always wanted to study abroad so when the opportunity came I decided to apply. I did my exchange together with another girl from my class, together with our teacher we chose which classes to take and that would be the most similar to the ones we were missing at home. We ended up taking “Understanding Social Life”, “Meeting Human Needs Through Social Work”, “Theory and Practice of Social Work with Communities and Organizations”, “Theory and Practice of Social Work with Families” and “Risk & Resilience: Perspectives on Human Development”. The two first classes were first year classes and a bit easier since there were no assignments, only exams. The other three were third year classes and a bit ahead of our own program, in these ones we had quite a lot of group projects and papers as well as exams. They were also located at the downtown university which was a newly built building that only held social work classes, you could take the bus there or even walk. We learned so much about the canadian culture and welfare through our classes. It was also a whole new experience to study five courses at once, it is quite intense but you learn to study in a different way.
Before going there we had contact with the exchange coordinator in Windsor, Michelle, which was really helpful with information. The first few days she also arranged an orientation for us newcomers so we all could get to know each other. At Windsor University you can either choose to live on campus in dorms or at a student housing just beside the school. I chose to live on campus at Macdonald Hall where you had your own room and a shared bathroom with the others on your floor. You prepay a meal plan that is added to your student card. You buy food from the restaurants on campus with this. I enjoyed living on campus because it was really close to everyone, there were lounges on each floor where everyone could hang out. Since being on the 9th floor I had the most magnificent view over the Ambassador bridge to Detroit and also the skyline of Detroit.
The grocery stores holds the same price level as in Sweden, some items are cheaper and some a bit more expensive. Eating out is usually a bit cheaper as well as some of the clothes, and my suitcase ended up being a bit heavier upon going back.
I have always enjoyed the english language but noticed my lack of academic words when having to do papers and presentations in english. So I would say I did expand my vocabulary during this experience as well as getting even more fluent.
The best thing about going on an exchange is all the new people you will meet. Everyone is in the same situation as you and are therefore open and friendly. Another great thing is all the travelling you can do. A group of us went to Chicago during Saint Patrick’s Day and Michelle also arranged a trip for all of us to go to an NBA game in Detroit, it was a real fun experience (even if you’re not a fan of basket!).
I would recommend going to Windsor. It is a really nice school, you will meet a lot of friendly canadians and have a chance to travel in both Canada and USA since Windsor is located right by the border. Doing an exchange is an experience for a lifetime and you won’t regret it!
If you have any questions you can send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org