Eric Bongelli

Honours Bachelor of Environmental Science in Geography
Guelph, ON

Originally I choose Lakehead because of the Outdoor Recreation program offered here. I still love being outdoors and experiencing all sorts of outdoor activities, but after my first year I realized Outdoor Rec was not the program for me and switched into Environmental Studies. Even though I originally came to Lakehead for Outdoor Rec I really enjoy everything outside of Academics that Lakehead has to offer. The university is the perfect balance between a good student life, and small class sizes. Not mention being at the Thunder Bay campus you have great summers for boating and fishing, and awesome winters for skiing or snowmobiling!  

I had a professor that had such a broad knowledge base, which was extremely interesting. Not only was he well educated within the geography field, but also knew so much more in every other academic field, and in life. This was a turning point in my educational career where I really discovered how little I know in the grand scheme of things. This opened my eyes on how to become not only a well-rounded student, but also a well-rounded person. The area you major in is important but this professor helped me realize that learning other new skills is equally as important as learning everything in your academic field. I was inspired both academically and within my own personal life once I realized how little I really know. Just the thought of knowing how much knowledge is out there and available inspires me to keep learning new things on a daily basis. Whether they are related to my academic field or not, I am always trying to learn something new. The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know, and I think that feeling inspires both my academic and student life.

In high school I was lucky enough to participate in two Canada Youth Exchange trips, one to Dawson City, Yukon, and one to Clyde River, Nunavut. These experiences were the seed of the travel bug I now have. I found travelling, and especially an exchange for my 3rd Year to Sweden, is really the best way to learn for myself. Being able to experience schooling in a new place, within a new culture was an extremely eye opening experience. I gained a tremendous amount of independence, but also feel like a much more experienced student and individual after participating in the exchange. The exchange was important for me because it puts not only my education in a global perspective, but my life as well. I think it is important once an awhile to take a step back and appreciate what we have here at Lakehead in Thunder Bay and in Canada, but also realize that are ways to improve upon certain aspects here.

Lakehead offers opportunities that you may not get the chance to experience at other universities. I think it prepares you for the future in the aspect that you are exposed to such a variety of new experiences. If you are open to try new things, Lakehead really does offer such a wide range of learning experiences, not only academic, but personal as well. All of these experiences have helped me to build life skills that I feel I would have not otherwise have gained from another university. As of right now I am entering my final year ta Lakehead, and I hope in the future to continue to travel to other parts of Canada, as well as the world.