Diana Novikovaite went to Nova Scotia College of Art & Design (NSCAD) University during her third year of study on the a Jewellery and Silversmithing - BA (Hons) programme at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA).

What were some of your first impressions when you started your time studying abroad?

Students at Nova Scotia College of Art & Design (NSCAD) University have a chance to choose their own classes. For example, I did an introduction to holloware, an introduction to enamelling, and advanced techniques in stone setting. If I had wanted I could also have taken classes from different disciplines such as painting or sculpture.

What activities outside of your studies did you get involved in?

I spent at least 6 days per week in the university, so I didn’t have that many activities outside the university. However, I went to the gym a lot, and after finishing the semester my classmates and I travelled around the Eastern part of Canada.

What places nearby did you visit during your time there?

I visited Peggy’s Cove - one of the best known places near Halifax. We also went to the Annapolis Valley and hiked to a split cape in the Bay of Fundy. We also had a weekend trip to Prince Edward Island, known for its red sand beaches.

Once classes finished and the weather started improving I began exploring Nova Scotia more. I’m also going to British Columbia and Alberta this June.

I’ve found that train and flight tickets are quite expensive in Canada. So I would say that a car is the best mean of transport to explore the country.

How did your experience of studying abroad change from your first impressions as time went on?

At the beginning it was really hard. Tutors were expecting a high quality of work. It took me a while to get used to a new studio and tools. However, everyone was really helpful and my exchange passed really fast.

Tell us about some of the people you met during your studies

People in Canada, especially in Halifax, have been very helpful. And I think I’ve made some lifelong friends here. We’ve already started planning our ‘meeting points’ in the world. I would love to come back to Canada at least once in my life.

What advice would you give someone who wants to study abroad?

Just do it and be open for all opportunities while you are abroad.