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International Exchange

Top 10: Fears and Cheers- Revisited!

9 January 2020

As hectic uni life took over my blogs had to take a step back but now it’s a new term and I am so excited to get going again!

Before I started at UBC I wrote a piece on what I was most and least looking forward to, I thought I would write an update on how each of these Fears and Cheers have panned out!


Aston Villa-

This has definitely been tough. I have struggled to watch some games, often only finding streams with foreign commentary, if at all. However, have found a way to keep up with most games. The only exception is midweek games which usually fall at around midday on a mon/tue/wed for me when I am at uni. Just before Christmas I even had an exam whilst villa were playing and had to go in knowing that we were 1-0 down- not good for the nerves! My biggest problem is not necessarily with watching and keeping up with the matches but with keeping up with football in general as I do not see any news.

My Family-

I haven’t found this as hard as I expected, there were a few weeks right before Christmas that I felt really homesick but other than that I have found I have dealt pretty well, obviously I miss them but I have found that because I am away we make more of an effort to talk to each other!

My Boyfriend-

I’m not going to sugar coat it, being away from Sam has been so tough. We found a good routine pretty quickly, talking at every possible moment, thank god for Skype, eh?! But it’s just not the same, It was wonderful when we got to see each other but leaving again was so hard. I miss him more with every day that passes and am counting down the days until I get to see him again- 111 days!

My friends-

This one has surprised me, I expected to miss them, but not as much as I do. I love talking to them and telling them about how things are going over here but I have this feeling that I am missing out on so much being away from them, it’s hardest in the evenings here, when it’s the middle of the night in the UK and no one is up, because I want to tell them so much but they are all asleep.

Navigating a New City-

Navigating Vancouver has been surprisingly easy! Mostly thanks to google maps. Vancouver’s public transport system is brilliant, and I have a pass for buses trains and even a boat, meaning I can explore the city easily and quickly!


Exploring a New City-

I have loved visiting various parts of the city, especially when Sam visited for a week, it is beautiful here, the area combines sea, city and mountains and you are never far from a spectacular view! My favourite place I’ve visited though is the best shopping centre ever- Metropolis, it has everything you could possibly wish for over four floors!

Meeting new friends-

The first few weeks at UBC were tough as I didn’t make many friends however when we started to get stuck into labs, I easily found a group of friends and they have made life in Vancouver so much better! I’m so glad to have met them but don’t want to leave them behind!

Exploring North America-

I have been lucky enough to visit multiple areas of British Columbia with uni as well as make it down to Vegas for a long weekend, over this term I hope to squeeze some more travelling in and the big one is a week in New York City at the end of my time in Vancouver, where I will meet Sam- I can’t wait!

Watching Different Sports-

I enjoyed going to homecoming to watch the American football but the biggest hit for me has easily been Ice Hockey! I have watched the UBC Thunderbirds play numerous times and have started to follow the Vancouver Canucks, I can’t wait to see them play live with my parents in February!


So far, I have been unsuccessful in my quest to see a real life moose, however I have expanded my collection of cuddly moose! I am hoping I can persuade my parents to take me to the zoo when they are over so I can finally achieve my goal!

Three Things I am looking forward to tomorrow:

  1. Settling back in to UBC
  2. Talking to Sam
  3. Seeing my friends!


  1. Sam Mordey-Jones

    Glad you’re enjoying Canada, can’t wait for you to be home again, miss you lots x

  2. Paul O'Reilly

    It was lovely having you back for Christmas, but I am excited that you have so many good things to look forward to. Can’t wait to visit next month (although, have to admit, I hope I have to come back a day early for the League Cup Final !!!!). Looking forward to watching the Ice Hockey, sight seeing, seeing “The Island” and just spending time with you. Enjoy the next 6 weeks and live it to the full, as it will be over quicker than you think. Dad xxxx

  3. Sheila O'Reilly

    Wonderful positive comments ……. I was fine reading until I got to ‘My Boyfriend’ paragraph …… but then I am a ‘softie’ at heart …..
    …… Your Exam Results whih you took before the Christmas Hols., were brilliant …and you are now in the ‘second’ part of your time
    in Vancouver … you dealt with the first part with some ups and downs ….but you are now heading for the ‘Finishing Line’ and look to Sam
    for inspiration on how to get there when it seems your body is full of lead…… Proud of you xxxx Love Nan xxx

  4. Joe O'Reilly

    As I said on the original one! Biggest fear is the villa finally winning a trophy and you missing it! Yes I originally said 2. But be realistic!

  5. grandad

    Good to see your first fear was not being able to keep up with the villa games,second not seeing Sam.YOU ARE DEFINITELY MY GRANDAUGHTER

  6. Chrys Mordey-Jones

    Love the blog Niamh, won’t be long before your Mum and Dad come over bet you can’t wait to see them again. Sam’s ok we will look after him until you get back. Take care love Chrys and Stephen xxx hope it’s not too cold

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