A Canadian in Fleet Street
By Mordecai Drache
Though she learned a great deal, the trip was not without its share of challenges. One of the biggest challenges with living in London was getting used to the damp climate. In the first two weeks, she and some of the other Ryerson students got the flu. Ann says that no matter how much you prepare, there are always stresses that you don’t expect.
“At some points you feel homesick. A lot of people in my residence were international students, but because I entered in the middle of the year, everyone had made their friends. That could be discouraging, but of you’re outgoing, it’s not that bad.”
Given that it was an exchange program, Ann paid the regular tuition fees at her own university, plus airfare. She did not have to pay the fees at City, and thus have to convert Canadian dollars, which are significantly valued lower than the British pound. The cost of living in London, though, is twice as much as it is in Toronto. Ann knew that she would need to work in London, so she got a job in a pub.
The need for work, however, gave her an opportunity to meet people outside the university, some of whom were from over the world. “Working was great. London is so cosmopolitan.”
Ann used to feel that the costs of an exchange were overwhelming, but she found that there are many places to find money. “You just have to know what the available resources are. Just don’t give up, because all through high school, I wanted to study abroad but was deterred financially, and then when I got accepted third year, I realized it was my last chance. So fundraise, work and look at the resources available because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”