Cold weather, cold shoulder
Every student, at some point in his or her academic career, has at least fantasized about what it would be like to study abroad.
There are many concerns involved in choosing a possible destination — the quality of the instruction and research, language barriers, financial feasibility and, most important of all, the weather.
Okay, so the weather shouldn’t be the most important consideration, but it’s up there. Given a choice between studying at comparable schools in, say, Spain or Iceland, the majority of Canadian students are going to be yelling “Arriba!”
That’s why we really can’t blame foreign students for being a bit wary about making Canada their home for a semester. Especially the winter semester.
The president of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada wrote an editorial for the Globe and Mail calling for better international education marketing after a recent survey indicated Canada isn’t even on the radar for students from China, Brazil and India.
The biggest barrier they identified to choosing Canada as an educational destination was summed up in just three words: “The weather — COLD.”
Touché, potential exchange students. You are indeed perceptive.
Our news editor relayed the sad tale of a German exchange student she met last year. He came to Calgary with dreams of snowboarding in Banff every weekend, or at least the weekends when he wasn’t busy jetting off to check out Montreal or Vancouver for a few days.
Needless to say, his dreams were dashed on the cold, snowy rocks when he realized those activities are prohibitively expensive and far away for someone on a student budget with no car.
“What do people even DO in Calgary during the winter?” he lamented.
So, there’s a few aspects of Canada in general and Calgary specifically that make us less than appealing to those who come from south of the 49th parallel.
But hey, let’s put things in perspective here: at least we’re not Siberia. Or Saskatchewan.
Get your butts over here, warm weather denizens — otherwise there won’t be room for us Canadians to soak up the sun in your home countries.