Adventures Abroad

December 2016

Regan Cross

Schulich Leader at University of Ottawa

 

One of the amazing benefits of being a Schulich Leader is that it has afforded me the opportunity to travel. This past summer, I returned to the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Colorado to work as a Research Assistant. Living in a cabin in the mountains amoungst a community of 160 scientists and students can only bring positive outcomes and much learning!

I was working with the solitary Osmia bees again this summer, spending every day out in the field or the lab. I also had the pleasure of presenting my Honours Thesis 

poster to the community, and received valuable feedback about continuing the work. RMBL is a truly amazing place of intellectual exchange, learning, and respect for and between scientists and students. 

I will do my very best to steer my career toward returning to this beautiful place.

After reconnecting at home for a few weeks, I returned to the airport to board a plane to London, England. As Fall 2016 was my final undergraduate semester, I decided to complete it abroad at the University of Leeds in the UK. It was an amazing experience full of travels, adventure, cultural exchanges, and some studying. Leeds Uni was great at creating opportunities for international students to meet each other, and so I met people from all over the world. From Australia to America, every corner of Europe, China to Kazakhstan, Japan to South Africa, everyone had a unique perspective to offer and a very unique accent. I made many great friends, learned a lot both in and out of school, and tried the foods of many countries.

The chance to take classes in another country was also very enlightening. I was able to take a variety of environmental courses alongside a course in the History of Science Communication. All were slightly outside of my field of Biology, but close enough to be relevant and informative. I particularly enjoyed the History course as it gave me the chance to approach science from an entirely different perspective. I admire the approach to education in the UK, where they seem to place emphasis on truly learning the material and enjoying the process. The professors moved through less material in a slower manner than the instructors back home, but it all seemed to stick better and perhaps I will remember more of it in a year’s time. 


There were far fewer assignments, midterms, essays, and reports throughout the year; instead favouring a couple of major assessments that were aimed at showing your understanding of all of the material. It was an interesting and enlightening experience that I will surely never forget.

I would encourage all other Leaders to take advantage of any travel opportunities that they come across, as it has definitely been the highlight of my time as a Schulich Leader.