I have discovered two things that makes my studies here in Canada more difficult compared to back home in Sweden. It is not the language, we are so used with course literature in english and english movies and so forth. But it is my specialization, the businesses I am passionate about, retail (clothing) industry and social medias. It just isn’t the same things here as back home.
Besides from the big, global companies, the examples we get here are mostly about Canadian/U.S. brands. Brands I have no knowledge about. Therefore, thank god, I have my laptop with me in class, and can google the company names, every time I don’t understand what the teacher is talking about. I had never heard about Domino’s Pizza, Papa Murphy’s, Dairy Queen, Lululemon, Snapple etc. before. But the thing is, after only three weeks I feel that I have learned a lot of new brands and I can look at them with different perspectives than those people that have grown up with those brands. That is interesting, and I learn so much new stuff about the industry. It might takes me a bit more time to understand what the teacher is talking about, and therefore it is much harder to be active in class than what it is in Sweden. But I seriously believe that when I leave Canada I will have learned so much more about my favorite industry than what I possibly could have learned in Sweden. That feels good, and it definitely is a skill I will be able to use in my future career.
The other thing that makes my life a bit more complicated is the webpages I use to use. They are almost always in Swedish, which makes no sense to anyone else in class than me. And all webpages automatically understands that I am Swedish so even though I don’t want to go to the swedish version of a homepage I still get there automatically. But in many classes we get examples of good web pages in english (guess how many bookmarks I have saved during the last weeks!) and I find it really interesting and fun to be able to see such a new side of the Internet. I have now begun to read news in English, and found loads of inspiring web pages (my favorite one so far is PSFK). My Facebook account now understands that I live in Vancouver and I love that the ads now are directed to me (more targeted than what the ads use to be in Sweden actually).
I believe that the mixture of the European Linnea and the North American Linnea is a really good one, and I love every day of being an exchange student. I love learning new things, and even though it takes a lot of effort, it is so worth it. And a future career within a global company seems closer than ever.