Regina, winter wonderland

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A photo of the Riddell Centre bus stop, with people lined up to board their buses
First rule is to not let the sunny skies deceive you, it is probably -273 C there right now. lee lim

This cold, small city has much to win your heart over with

Welcome to the prairies; the land of living skies, vibrant communities, and yes, challenges that might catch you off guard. From understanding the customs here to adapting to a new lifestyle, there’s much to take in. Bundle up, as this article aims to set new international and exchange students up for the academic and social journeys that await them.  

Like any other city, Regina has its own culture, climate, and way of life. Being prepared reduces the stress and anxiety associated with moving into a new place and allows one to make the most of what the city has to offer to brace for the culture shocks. 

It’s already the ideal time to start stocking your wardrobe with winter gear. Lately, the temperature in YQR dropped to a bone-chilling -38 C, feeling like -50 C with the wind chill.  

Under such harsh conditions, with blizzards and fog not uncommon, your mobile phone can freeze and become inoperable, leaving you without essential communication just when you need it. The dry air can lead to flakiness and other dry skin-related issues.  

So, be sure to have your moisturizers, lotions, and lip balms as well as boots, gloves, and winter jackets with proper insulation handy to keep yourself warm. It’s a must for anyone who wants to go about their daily activities without risking their health. 

To make the most of your time here, engage in cultural exchange programs and networking events. Building connections with both local and international students will broaden your perspectives and enrich your overall experience. Attend workshops and seminars to gain insights into the local job market as well as community initiatives.  

The University of Regina and its Federated Colleges offer plenty of resources to familiarize yourself with the university. From Student Ambassadors helping you navigate your way to your classes on your first day, to joining like-minded individuals who share your passions in the different student clubs! Connecting with UR International is a must as it offers orientation programs, immigration advising, and social events among others. All these and more are at your disposal to help create a new home away from home! 

Embracing a new culture can be challenging, but engaging in the different experiences and sceneries that the city has to offer will help enrich your journey throughout. One place that should be on your must-visit list is Wascana Lake, which offers a scenic backdrop that’s perfect for all kinds of outdoor activities.  

If you’re a history buff or just curious about the region’s natural history, the Royal Saskatchewan Museum is the place to be. From life-sized dinosaur replicas to history through an Indigenous lens, this museum offers a fascinating glimpse into Saskatchewan’s past.  

Next is the Saskatchewan Science Centre. With interactive exhibits and an IMAX theatre, the science centre is both educational and fun.  

Amidst all these, don’t forget to explore the local food scene. From farm-to-table restaurants to cozy cafés, Regina offers a variety of culinary experiences that reflect its diverse community.  

A special shoutout to one of my personal favorites: the Excalipurr Cat Café. Located at 2156 Albert Street, Regina, this unique café combines coffee and cats. It’s a cozy and welcoming space where you can enjoy delicious snacks all while mingling with adorable cats waiting for adoption. 

As you embark on this new chapter of your life, remember that Regina’s challenges are opportunities in disguise. With a proactive approach, and a willingness to explore, your time in Regina can transform into an invaluable journey of personal and academic growth.  

Culture shock, while initially daunting, can be reframed as a pathway to self-discovery and growth. As you navigate the highs and lows of adapting to a new culture, remember that each moment of discomfort is an opportunity for personal transformation! 

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