Seattle will forever hold an incredibly special place in my heart. The city and the people were key players in my personal development and ultimately, my career path. Where do I begin? For me, it was a place to grow both academically and personally, while creating more cross-border understanding through talking and meeting different people.
Today, I continue to go back to the discussions, readings, and topics from the courses I took at UW in 2016. Politics of Excess, Hawaiian Literature, and the food studies courses all helped me to develop important critical thinking skills while learning to see things with a new lens.
While I lived in Seattle, I was also lucky enough to shoot arrows with the Seattle Kyudo club. I practice Kyudo (Japanese archery) in Vancouver so practicing with a different group helped me gain a fresh perspective towards my practice, shooting technique, and dojo. The welcoming and friendly nature of the club also made me feel at ease early on.
Seattle was also where I met so many interesting people from different walks of life who were from the Greater Seattle area and beyond. It was these interactions, and seeing international folks bringing their skills to the city, that later influenced me to go back to school for software development.
My time in Seattle was unforgettable. I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to live there, even if for only half a year. It would not have been feasible without the cross-border exchange program and, for that, I sincerely thank Gary and Consuelo Corbett and the rest of the UW team. And thank you, Seattle, for being such a welcoming, fun, and fascinating city to this curious Canadian. Having made some great connections and gotten a small understanding of what life in Seattle is like, I feel better prepared if I ever decide to jump back in to try the American life again.
Saki Serizawa now lives and works in Vancouver as a programmer analyst at UBC.
The Corbett British Columbia-Washington International Exchange Program, housed at the Canadian Studies Center, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, provides an opportunity for undergraduate students at the University of Washington to spend two semesters at the University of British Columbia or University of Victoria; and for students from the University of British Columbia and University of Victoria to spend three quarters at the University of Washington. More information about the program and how to apply is available here.