University of Hertfordshire Graduate Laura Clint, the first winner of the Student Travelling Scholarship to York University, Toronto, set off for Canada at the beginning of last month. Laura has had a busy schedule since touching down, with much of her time spent at the University, learning plenty about the Canadian way of life, both in terms of therapy and culture. While in Canada, Laura is staying with Loriann Hynes, Assistant Professor at York University and her family. Laura wrote to us to let us know how she is getting on:
'I just thought I would give you an update on my Travelling Scholarship and offer a little glimpse into some of the amazing things I have been doing.
After arriving on the 8th, I had a day where I went into the University to meet everyone and from then it was very full on. We had the baseline testing for the concussion research project for the football team, the York Lions, which was a pretty busy day as there are a lot of players! The next day football camp started, which turned out to be a very, very busy two weeks.
I didn't know what to expect at the University but was surprised at how big it was; they have three stadiums on campus, which is a bit different to a few grass pitches that most universities have in the UK.
With the football team, there is the Head Therapist and a team of six student therapists that I have been working with. They have all been really nice and helped me settle in. It's been good to work with the students and help them out but also learn the way they do things in Canada. I've had to get to grips with the lots of things, particularly first aid supplies being called different names here...and remembering which way to look when I cross the road!
During football camp, days were pretty long so I would get up and go to camp, come back and sleep, so I didn't get to see too much of the Hynes family during this time. But I was given a day off to go to Niagara Falls with them last weekend and it was good to get a bit of down time and spend some time with them. The Falls were really impressive and we managed to get a really good view on the boat, despite getting a bit wet! Loriann and her husband Chris also introduced me to poutine (chips with gravy and cheese curds on top) at Smoke's Poutinerie which I really liked! The trip was finished off with a visit to Hershey's, which resulted in me buying a lot of fudge!
On one of our shorter days I got the opportunity to go to see a Canadian Football League game, Toronto Argonauts vs Montreal Alouettes. It was good to watch football from a different perspective and see it at a professional level.
The best bit so far was definitely getting to go down onto the field and watch batting practice at the Blue Jays game, which, from a sports fan and therapist’s perspective, was awesome! I even managed to sneak into the dugout for a photo, which Loriann said was the furthest anyone has got! I got to chat to two of the therapists and they were really nice and even gave me a ball. We stayed for the game and even though Blue Jays lost it was still a really good experience'.
Editor’s Note: Delighted that Laura is enjoying her experience in Canada. We will be hearing a more detailed account from Laura when she returns to the UK.