The week of September 10th was an exciting time for over 120 new international students at Royal Roads University. It was Orientation Week and students were ready to explore. Saturday, September 15th, was a typical rainy day around this area, but that did not stop students from getting out and having a good time. New international students got to know more about their new city, Victoria, while exploring it on a bus tour.
Staff from the Student Engagement Office and the International Study Centre took the lead for the 44 students going on the trip. Students were from India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Vietnam, Germany, Switzerland and Australia. Everyone got the chance to get to know each other, chat about their new journey, and take a lot of fun pictures. The bus driver, Cam, who has over 20 years of bus driving experience in Victoria, told great stories at every stop.
The first stop was at the top of Mount Tolmie, which is the second highest mountain in Victoria. The view up there is gorgeous, even on a rainy day. Students could see the whole city, including the University of Victoria, the downtown area, Mount Douglas, and even the state of Washington in the USA. After that, the bus took the group through the University of Victoria, Cadboro Park, and all way down to the Oak Bay.
The second stop was called Cattle Point, a place where people usually go for sport fishing. Some students expressed an interest in sea fishing because there were no such opportunities back in their home countries. Although the weather was not good in the morning, we all had a great time at the spot.
After that, the tour continued on the coast, where the bus driver told many interesting stories and even showed us some locations from the local ghost tour. Students got the chance to see the Beacon Hill Park, the Mile Zero Monument, Ogden Point, the Sundial, and the famous Fisherman’s Wharf. It was a short visit to the Wharf, but it was a beautiful place and the students said they would return there another time.
Towards the early afternoon, the group arrived in the center of Victoria, known as the Inner Harbor. Students stopped by the B.C. Royal Museum, which had some great food trucks. During lunch many students said how excited they were to be here, and also said that they came to Canada because it is a beautiful country with diverse natural resources. They also said they were swayed by Canada’s high education standards.
Although the Victoria bus tour for newly arrived international students took place on a rainy day, they really enjoyed it and made great memories that they won’t soon forget.