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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

So my past 2 years' dream of landing a PhD with this specific group at the MPI in Tübingen came true last thursday, but the group leader will move to a Uni in Canada (London, ON). I already have an offer of a PhD from the pioneer of multisensory physiology from Wake Forest, NC, but no offence to anyone from the US, going there would be a last, desperate choice. Moreover, this current supervisor does work exactly in my area of interest. And for me, I think it doesn't matter how well-rated the Uni is as long as the supervisor is good, and he is brilliant. He publishes prolifically and very high, is very easy going, acutely sharp, and quite fun.

I've grown very very attached to Germany in my last two years and don't really feel like leaving Europe but I guess I want to do my PhD under this boss, so I will eventually move. Any inputs on life in Canada: public transport, housing, food, healthcare, social life etc would be very appreciated.

Thanks.
 

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Canada is ok. I am from Vancouver which is a lot different than Ontario. They have harsh winters, and humid summers.. And here we have pretty mild winters and summers.. And we are right on the ocean..

Canadians are kind, and welcoming- as this is a very multicultural country. Life is easier here than a lot of countries, but it is kind of boring in my opinion (I'm actually moving to Europe in January to get away from life in Canada) but it is by no means Bad.
 

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I would recommend if possible come to Canada for a couple weeks to the major cities youre interested to get a feel for the city. Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver are the most multicultural cities in Canada and of the 3 I would say Toronto is the most. Toronto has a great social scene with lots to do and always somethng going on. Public transit is great if you live in the city, if you live in the suburbs it can be a challenge, housing is very expensive in the city but cheaper in the suburbs and health care is spot on great. Once again I would recommend, come to the city of your choice, get a feel for the people, city, surrounding and expenses, it wont give you all the answers but youll get a good idea of what its like
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Canada is ok. I am from Vancouver which is a lot different than Ontario. They have harsh winters, and humid summers.. And here we have pretty mild winters and summers.. And we are right on the ocean..

Canadians are kind, and welcoming- as this is a very multicultural country. Life is easier here than a lot of countries, but it is kind of boring in my opinion (I'm actually moving to Europe in January to get away from life in Canada) but it is by no means Bad.
Thanks! Have fun in Europe. It is absolutely superb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would recommend if possible come to Canada for a couple weeks to the major cities youre interested to get a feel for the city. Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver are the most multicultural cities in Canada and of the 3 I would say Toronto is the most. Toronto has a great social scene with lots to do and always somethng going on. Public transit is great if you live in the city, if you live in the suburbs it can be a challenge, housing is very expensive in the city but cheaper in the suburbs and health care is spot on great. Once again I would recommend, come to the city of your choice, get a feel for the people, city, surrounding and expenses, it wont give you all the answers but youll get a good idea of what its like
Hey, thanks. If I move with my supervisor, I will be moving to London, ON as I already wrote in my first message.
 

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Hey, thanks. If I move with my supervisor, I will be moving to London, ON as I already wrote in my first message.
London is a uni town, its not very big and quiet in the summer when the students leave. Ive worked in cities like that and found it much too quiet for me, if youre looking for quiet and restful then perfect, if your looking for excitement then London isnt it.
 

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Canadians are a very special kind of peoples. Forgiving, polite to the point of being taken advantage of, friendly, and outgoing. If anything, we need to stand up more and tell our neighbor to the south.... enough already. We are who we are so just leave us alone and stop with the "buy American" bs.
 

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I am originally british but live in australia now i spent a year in BC and 6 months in alberta, i love the canadian people they are very friendly, welcoming, caring, social, compassionate people, i love their outdoors way of life, snowboarding, skiing, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, mountain biking etc, they have beautiful scenery and wildlife. i can not say much about Lond, ON as i have never been there, but i would move to canada in a second if i was legally allowed. i believe ON to be different to BC but i met many people from ON and many of which i still maintain great distance friendships with.
the majority of canadian seem to have more respect for people and the environment, and have great social and family bonds. I am a very outdoors and active person and love meeting people and networking and for me canada offered all this and more, ultimately every person is different and will have their own views, experiences, cultural differences, likes and dislikes etc so maybe it would be a good idea to take a trip there prior to moving, but you could also see it as a door which has opened to a new adventure and if this is the teacher you truly feel is just perfect then maybe there is a reason this path has opened for you? good luck in your decision
 

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hi abhilash!

i totally agree with you about europe...it is very nice there...but, and this is not a dig at anyone from europe....some places in europe are getting rather too xenophobic for me! there is lots of trouble seething under the surface in italy, spain, germany and poland (these 2 for sure!), also russia, lithuania and fo course france.

thats not to say theyre no good to live in, but if you are not, lets say, causcasian, then i found you get a raw deal sometimes from some of the people in those countries!

anyways, back to canada....as many people here have said, its best to come over on a recce mission and then you will truly find out what canada is like.
everybody will give their own opinion...only when you see it yourself, will u be able to make your decision.

london, ON is VERY quiet when there are no students there...you wont like it unless you are after peace and quiet!

toronto is fab! especially downtown im talking about here! everything close by...you dont even need a car! and the fierce cold winter is somewhat negated due to the proximity of the buildings etc, so its generally warmer than the suburbs.

vancouver, or BC...now we're talking! this is the bees-knees, as they say!
cut a long story short, i wanna be buried there...its that good, period!

you seem to be a well-educated dude, abhilash (and i assume you are indian...i guess from your name..i had a friend once who had the same name!), so im sure wherever you go, Ontario or BC, youll be fine, man!

just take the decision...thats the difficult bit!
 

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London, ON from a local

Pros

-comfortable but borderline smug

-convinient but commercial, whatever you need is there 24/7 thanks to places like Walmart and RCSS.

- lots of trees, known as the forest city

-people are polite and helpful mostly

-UWO is baisically a good school, largely undergraduate

-safe, out in the country at least we never lock our doors.

-small town attitudes, can be charming but boring in equal measure

Cons

- Long Cold Snowy Winters. Nice around christmas but it lasts until April, sometimes longer. If you suffer from SAD then stay away

- Diet America, south western ontario might as well be another american state

- the people are nice and polite, aka they are polite to your face, no authenticity or honesty of emotion.

- hot humid summers, I personally hate the humidity, I find it suffocating

-Horrible coffee. Where are my beautiful espressos and independent cafes? Hello Starbucks and Tim Hortons on every corner.

- surrounded by hick towns, there is a bar in London called Cow Boys ranch, they wear cow boy boots, line dance and debate tractor makes. Cute for a diversion but don't expect interesting conversation

- students at UWO are generally spoiled Toronto kids, dyed blonde, say 'like' every few words and worship brand name clothes. So stock up on Lacoste, TNA, Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton, Coach etc.

- no verve, culture or creative energy

-EVERYTHING is built around cars NOT pedestrians! Lots of concrete slabs, strip malls, no sidewalk culture, hard to get from a to b on foot. Everything is spread out and not very creative. The architecture is dull, especially all the suburb type houses built in the 70's with hideous panneling.

- the bread, yoghurt, chocolate and cheese is also a joke, you get more for your money in some cases (actually yoghurt and cheese is quite expensive here) but the quality is no the same. No local bakeries :(

-alcohol is VERY expensive, want a decent wine for dinner? Be prepared to fork over at least 18 dollars.


So if it is only for a year or two I think it may be worth it. However if your thinking long term then I'm not so sure.

I am biased, I have spent a lot of time in Europe and was living in Paris on a gap year so coming back was depressing for me. I am counting down the days until I can leave again. I would give Montreal a chance but I hear it is colder then London and I detest the cold.

I find alot of things comes down to quantity vs. quality. In Canada you have everything provided to you in great quantity but the quality is not necessarily there. It isn't a horrible place to live. Good standards of living, lots of security, decent opportunities but I believe different people are suited to different places and if you find Canada fits then by all means come and give it a try! I am proud to be Canadian and we have a solid reputation but I don't want to live the Canadian lifestyle.
 

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Ohh I forgot to mention the horrible mobile phone situation, expensive compared to europe and very unreliable reception!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the review. I'm right now considering a dual PhD with Zürich and UWO or Göttingen or UWO. I am really so much goddamn in love with Germany I don't want to leave it. The German speaking part of Switzerland isn't so much different except for xenophobia but then Zürich is different.

But really, thanks for all the inputs. It helps towards making my decision :)
 

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Canada like any country is what you make of it

Canada is too big to say Canada is........ The difference from East coast to West coast ,,,between rural and urban and from Province to Province is huge. Like anywhere in the world each has something to offer and it is for the newcomer to explore what they may like and keep an open mind as to the possibilities and this will be different for each individual.

I find Canada easy to live in, less stressful than UK, less population so more space to spread and I love the winter with all the many recreational opportunities. It is certainly cheaper to live in Ontario than here in southern England so I used to have more free cash to travel. I came to Europe and Asia for vacations more often than in the three years I have been here because I could afford it. My wife, an architectural designer cannot find work here in the UK so we are moving back home after Christmas as she has been offered a good job at home.

My short answer to your question is go with a sense of adventure and inquisitiveness and enjoy yourself and your studies.
 
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