By Keotta House
Saint Mary’s University is like a quilt with many different patches binding the university together. If a person on the outside were looking, they would see a section on the quilt with many different flags representing the different nationalities of the international students. When many people think of the term “international student” they often look to other continents, but SMU houses international students from our northerly neighbors in Canada.
Many people who have never been to the “true north” may believe that the two countries are very different. However, according to Calgary, Alberta, native sophomore Greg Gardiner, there is not that much of a difference.
“The difference between Canada and America is minimal, especially in Minnesota. Minnesota nice and Canadian nice are pretty close to one another,” Gardiner said. “Except Canada might win by a slight amount. Minnesota should really just think about joining onto Canada as another province.”
Every culture has its own customs and traditions, and Gardiner said some of the most noticeable differences are holidays.
“Our Thanksgiving days are somewhat different,” he said. “Americans celebrate Thanksgiving in November. We, Canadians, celebrate it in October. Also we celebrate Boxing Day, which is basically the Black Friday of Canada, on Dec. 26.”
The hard transition has been nearly non-existent for Gardiner because, according to him, there really was no language barrier and SMU has been a very welcoming community.
“Having a hockey team really helped me to feel welcome,” said Gardiner. “Coming into the school without knowing anybody was kind of scary, but when I was introduced to all the other international students, as well as having an entire hockey team, I managed to fit in pretty quickly.”