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Rogier Deluster in Quebec City

Find out how Rogier Deluster is spending his time writing his MSc thesis at Université Laval in Canada, his photos are breathtaking!

In this little story I will tell you something about my experience of studying abroad in Quebec City, Canada. As I am writing my thesis here, I am not a regular exchange student who is spending more time sorting out which parties to attend and which not rather than studying and attending university. Although, I am still a student, who still likes to chill around and who still did not figure out how not to procrastinate. So don’t be frightened, the technical aspect of the thesis will not be discussed here! 

Originally I come from Belgium and so in Groningen I was studying ‘abroad’.

Originally I come from Belgium and so in Groningen I was studying ‘abroad’. That’s why I probably never felt the urge to do a semester abroad during the Bachelors program. This means however that, when beginning the second year of the IEM Masters degree, I had been living in Groningen for over five years. After living in the same place for a certain period of time, you get bored and feel an urge for a new environment with new people. Therefore, I was really happy that I got the opportunity to write my thesis in Quebec. As soon as the news arrived, I could not wait to get in the plane and leave Groningen. 

The reason that Quebec was an opportunity is because there is a research group located here at Université Laval that focuses on logistics. The official name is Centre Interuniversitaire de Recherche sur les Réseaux d’Entreprise, la Logistique et le Transport, in short CIRRELT. As you notice, both names are in French since Quebec City (Ville de Quebec) is located in the French part of Canada. As for the thesis, it is very helpful to be part of this research group; colleagues can explain me certain problems in five minutes, which would take me hours to figure out myself. This gives the thesis much more depth and value. 

I arrived in Quebec in November, a small month before the first packs of snow started falling down from the sky. Quebec is said to be the most European city in North America as it is the only one with ramparts, the typical medieval, defensive walls of a city. However, this is only true for the city center, which is really, really tiny. Cities are shaped in a different way in North America. Streets are as long as your average jogging distance and the houses will make you feel like a true Center Parcs visitor. The distances are looooonngg; walking up to the closest super market takes half an hour and the university campus is as big as Groningen’s city center. The average temperature during winter is -19°C, so as people hate the cold here, they connected the campus by a network of tunnels in order to avoid having to dress up like if you are leaving for a polar mission. 

Snow is everywhere and it is a terrific problem for the whole city. Walking becomes twice as fatiguing, leaving your house can become impossible and snow balls in your face is a daily routine. The winter wonderland invites you to leisure activities such as day and night skiing at one of the 4 nearby mountains, ice skating and ice hockey at one of the +50 outside skating rinks and hiking at one of the so many national parks. It feels really good and rewarding when a workday is done and you leave for night skiing and a beer. As nice as winter is, I have seen it for now and am looking forward to temperatures above zero! As you have probably concluded from all the photos - there is a lot of upside to take your thesis work abroad! Feel free to send me a Facebook message if you have any questions!

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