We are Yuqing and Linda, two PhD students from Bremerhaven and Bremen. Here we give some insights into our experience abroad. We spent three months (February – May) at the McGill University in Montreal, Canada. We joined the sea ice group of Bruno Tremblay. We are very thankful for his support throughout our stay and the many discussion about our current analysis. If you want to know more about our work during the research stay, you can soon find our reports here.
Besides the work, there was of course also the possibility to discover Montreal and the rest of Canada. We also had the possibility to have some adventures together with Franziska.
Linda’s experiences in Montreal
We came in winter (-15°C) and left in summer (+30°C) (Spring does not exist in Montreal). The first weeks we had a lot of snow which was a lot of fun. After work or during the weekend, there was a possibility to go to the park or on Mont-Royal to do cross country skiing. There are many spots to visit and while the Covid restrictions were lifted gradually, more things became possible, e.g., enjoying Montreal’s food specialties like bagels and poutine! Towards the end of my stay, I took the opportunity to discover the country because I don’t expect to be back soon. I visited Quebec City, Toronto, Vancouver, and parts of Vancouver Island. This was very cool, especially to see the differences in nature between the East (still in winter mode) and West (very green and flowering, and with eagles and black bears). My overall favorite activity was very Quebecois: collecting maple water and producing maple syrup in a small private sugar shack – and enjoying maple candy after a day in the woods! For some more insights into my experiences you can have a look at my Twitter thread.
Yuqing’s experiences in Montreal
We experienced the real winter and summer in Montreal, which allowed me to do my first-time winter sports. We three ArcTrain students had lots of fun exploring Montreal after the work (e.g., the old port and the Mont-Royal). Life started to revive after the long-time lockdown during the pandemic, which also happened in the university. I made much progress in my Ph.D. project and developed contacts with Canadian students in polar science. Besides working, I also had some exciting moments during my travel in Canada. My first time walking in such heavy snow, standing on the over 500 m high CN tower in Toronto, and facing the mighty Niagara Falls should be precious memory in my life. Overall, I enjoyed my research stay a lot in Canada. The passion and generosity of the sea ice group people helped me getting used to the local life quickly, and support from supervisors helped me overcome obstacles in research.