"My name is Bailey Giroux, and I attended the north2north program at Stockholm University in Sweden. When I was first introduced to the North2North program through Lakehead's international office, I was immediately interested and excited by the opportunity to further my studies in an international Northern country. I was born and raised in the North and love my Northern community, so I was interested in seeing how other Northern countries operated and potentially bringing new knowledge and innovative solutions to problems back home in Canada. Through my exchange to Sweden with North2North I have gained confidence, a sense of independence, and a passion for travel. I believe that so much can be learned when you immerse yourself in a new culture and language, and the knowledge I have gained through my experience has proven itself useful both professionally and academically as it has broadened my perspective of the world and cultures different from my own.
For me, the highlight of my trip was being able to meet some truly wonderful people and having them introduce me to new things, while developing a special bond through our adventures together. I now have wonderful friends around the globe who I hope to visit throughout my life. Through the North2North program I became passionate about student travel, which spurred me to participate in Lakehead's international department events once I had returned to Canada. My involvement in these events led to a peer mentorship opportunity and later a job in the International Office assisting other international and exchange students in their journey abroad. After participating in the North2North program it became clear to me that I should pursue a career in international recruitment, as I thoroughly enjoyed meeting people from other countries and cultures and encouraging them to visit my own country so they could experience my culture for themselves. My advice to students considering participating in a North2North exchange would be this: be open and receptive to new opportunities, say "yes" more than you say "no" and remember that some of the most important lessons in life are taught outside of the classroom, so always keep your heart and mind open to others!"