What was once a poutine-inspired pipedream is now a reality for two Bond University students packing their bags for Canada this week.
Hayden Bygott and James Frizelle are amongst the first students to take part in Bond’s exchange program since 2019.
The Bachelor of Laws / Commerce duo spent most of their degrees navigating lockdowns, networking via Zoom, and dreaming of adventures overseas together.
“Our degrees started two months before the pandemic, so most of our university experience has been quite unconventional,” laughs Mr Bygott.
“We met in our first semester when we were put together for a group assignment and we just stuck together from then on.
“As soon as the exchange program resumed, we jumped at the chance to apply.”
In 2020, exchange programs around the world were thrown into turmoil due to COVID-19 and related travel bans.
This September, 16 Bond University students will take part in the outbound exchange program, travelling to countries including Denmark, the United Kingdom, and America.
“We are thrilled to be welcoming exchange students from Bond University to Canada and Western’s campus again this year. We hope they have an incredible experience,” says Eunjung Riauka, Director of International Learning at Western University.
“We know students are seeking opportunities to collaborate, make connections and to grow their global networks.
“Now that international travel has become less challenging, we hope to see even more students taking part in international learning experiences.
“Western University has a longstanding relationship with Bond, and we look forward to hosting many more students in the future.”
James Frizelle said he hopes the program will expand his educational horizons and allow him to sharpen up his snowboarding skills.
“The prospect of studying abroad has been a huge goal of mine since my schooling days,” says Mr Frizelle.
“I’m so excited to learn in a completely different environment and meet people from all different walks of life. I think the experience will push me outside of my comfort zone.
“Hayden and I are keen snowboarders, so we’re looking forward to hitting the slopes and going backpacking once the semester is complete.”
James and Hayden will be joined by a third Bond University student, Efa Mullin, for a semester abroad at Western University on The Cowin Scholarship Program.
The Cowin Scholarship is made possible thanks to the generous donation of Western Alumnus and former Chancellor, Jack Cowin. The Cowin Scholarship Program paves the way for life-changing exchange experiences between Bond and Western students and academics, fostering an international network amongst the two institutions.