Meet Ashley Oates, a third-year student at Dal’s Agricultural Campus. Ashley is doing a major in Animal Science and Minor in Aquaculture and is currently studying at the University of Hull in England! We caught up with Ashley to see how her exchange is going so far.
Ashley chose to go abroad to England due to her family ties but also wanted to explore another country.
“I believe it is important to go on exchange to experience a different culture and get to travel. Once you are in Europe the possibilities are endless for travel and the things you will see are amazing. Going on exchange will also most likely make you step out of your comfort zone and experience new things you never have before. You will also meet many new people from all over the world.”
Life at the University of Hull
At the moment, Ashley is taking three courses at Hull: Sociology of Popular Culture, Fish Ecology, and Freshwater Fisheries and Conservation.
“Although the courses here don’t really relate to my program, I am enjoying them and it is a great way to take some interesting electives,” Ashley remarked. “Classes here are much more laid back so far, and I actually only have to go to University twice a week for lectures. Plus, there are just assignments in the curriculum, no mid-terms.”
Ashley is putting her extra time to good use by travelling and meeting up with her new friends and her family. The city of Hull was just named the city of culture this year, so there is always something going on! Whether it’s a festival or a weekend trip, Ashley has been busy exploring her new home. Her favourite trip so far was visiting Cambridge and visiting the Fitzwilliam Museum. The University of Hull has a three-week break coming up, which means more time to travel the English countryside!
Even though she’s visited England before, actually living there has opened Ashley’s eyes to a different way of life.
“Coming from an agricultural school, I was surprised how different the farming systems are over here and how everything is mostly free-range. Food is also cheap compared to back home and is a lot less processed. This surprised me, but in a good way.”
Advice for other exchange students
Ashley currently lives off campus at Hull, which has made it more difficult to meet other students. But, by going out of her way to talk to other students and going to university activities and events, she has made a group of friends from all over the world!
“I needed to step outside of my comfort zone and speak to new people,” she says. “By doing this, I have learned a lot about the world by speaking to other exchange students and learning about their cultures.”
Ashley advises other Dal students going abroad to not worry about the initial shock of a new country. Instead, she recommends getting excited to be in a different place, meeting new people, and being immersed in another culture.
Not quite ready to leave
With a few months left in England, Ashley is nowhere near ready to go home.
“I will miss being able to travel throughout England, the beautiful architecture and countryside and mostly the food! I love the food so much over here that I don’t want to go home.”