My name is Nathaniel Colleran. I was born and raised in a little town north of Boston in Massachusetts and am a Senior at Norwich University in the Corps of Cadets. I was afforded this far out opportunity to study in Montreal for the fall semester and write about it in a blog! If there is one thing my friends will all tell you about me, it’s that I love to hear the sound of my own voice. So blogging is the next best thing, right? My plan is to provide my loyal readers with my experiences not only in the academic sense, but also of the cultural sense. I’m kind of a wild and crazy guy, so you shouldn’t be too bored.
As a Residence Assistant for Montreal’s housing facility, I attended preliminary RA Training at Champlain College in Burlington, VT. Previously I had been a First Sergeant in the Corps of Cadets at Norwich(which is like an RA for military students). The job of a Residence Assistant is to be a student link to the administration and sub-manager of the residence hall while maintaining a safe environment for students.
You’d think that after spending the majority of the last 3 years of my life in Vermont, I would have made a trip to Montreal at least once…but I never did. In one sense, I’m glad because it gives me absolutely no idea what to expect! I’ve read the travel books and visited Canada’s website, but I know enough not to speculate about anything. Psyched/excited would be a gross understatement as to how I feel about studying in Canada.
Ok…I’m in Canada! Its EPIC! Things are so different here. For the mere 2 hour bus ride it took to get from VT to Montreal, you’d think that you were traveling across time and space! As soon as you step off the bus at the Montreal station, you know that something is different. The city has a whole different feel to it. Well…that and most everyone is speaking French. haha.
As soon as the bus arrived, Champlain’s local Activities and Residence Coordinator was there to meet me and show me around. After settling in(and trying to memorize some handy French phrases), my fellow RA and I were introduced to the Montreal Staff. They were just as eager to meet us as we were to meet them. The next day, the rest of our fellow students would arrive.
Orientation begins! Everyone was a bit nervous coming to a new place and moving into a building with primarily French speakers. The nervousness quickly evaporated as the amazing staff helped us ease into our new atmosphere with great, down to earth activities that helped us acclimate to our new surroundings all the faster. Scavenger hunts through the metro(subway), comedy clubs, hikes, and food were only a few of the great welcoming activities to help us get to know one another that much better.
Academics!! I just finished my first week of classes(its Wednesday by the way They have all been excellent! One class that I was worried about in particular was French. There is no english spoken in the class. I maybe…on a good day…remember how to say “bonjour”. So as you can imagine, I was a bit worried. But…just like everything else around here, everyone is extremely friendly and wants to help you to do well.
While I have only been in country for a few days, I am extremely excited and glad to be here! More to follow! Au Revoir! B)