1) I have always wanted to go one year abroad in Canada, maybe it's because I didn't want to choose the basic option of the USA, or maybe it's because I felt like it was the right place for me, but Canada surprised me. The main reason I chose specifically Red Deer was because of its geographical position and program. It's not a big city, and everyone knows everyone in the school, so it's easy to move around, experience everything and make lots of friends. Not to forget that it's close to the mountains, it's close to Edmonton and Calgary. Furthermore, I have kept myself in contact with several friends that were studying abroad like me, and to be honest, just a few of them had the opportunity to visit their province with their organization and the group of internationals.
2) School is a totally new experience here. As an Italian girl, I believe it is one of the most different school systems compared to mine. The most impressive fact is that here you can actually choose the courses you want to follow. Finally, I could focus on what I like and not on what I am "forced" to study based on the school I attend in Italy. One more thing that I love is the people and teachers from the school. Of course, there is still a certain level of formality between a student and a teacher, but I don't feel afraid to communicate with them, even with the principals! In Italy, a student talking with the principal was a big deal, here, Mr. Good just stops by to ask how I am doing. Naturally, the best part is how school sports are an essential part of the school community, and how sports and outdoor activities are so much better and more entertaining. Now that I think about it, this is also a reason why I chose Red Deer. You have to be ready to hike, bike, and hang out outside a lot!
3)As I already mentioned, the opportunity of visiting the Province with other International students is amazing. International students are recognized by the school, and the help that is provided is so incredible that I was really surprised by how welcoming my first week was.
4) Something that really helped me was playing school sports from the very first moment; all the Canadian friends I met are mainly from school sports. The best moments I had are from the memories of my volleyball season. It has been such a great experience that I would do that all over again. The fact of being a Raider, made me live my school experience more in-depth, feeling the school spirit. Once a Raider, always a Raider. Even just standing on the bench or watching the basketball team playing, was the experience that I would suggest to everyone to live.