When I discuss my field placement with individuals, I have always placed international within quotation marks. When reflecting on the meaning for those quotations I have two reasoning’s; I feel like Canadian and American cultures are very similar and as a dual citizen to Canada and the States I do not feel that this is a true international experience for me. However, I have realized that though I visit Ottawa frequently, I have not gained a significant amount of knowledge, immersed myself, or have experienced the differences between these cultures due to normalizing my own life experiences within these two countries. Also, though the cultures are similar I feel that there are still differences especially in regards to their social policies. I have realized that my international field placement is an opportunity to explore and gain insight into a city that I have always taken for granted.
Ottawa is a very diverse city culturally, which can be attributed to the individuals who have immigrated to Canada from various countries. The shelter through Cornerstone Housing for Women provides services to many of these individuals with their commitment to assisting in addressing the homeless population concerns.
I am completing my placement in one of the supportive housing environments through Cornerstone Housing for Women and have spent the past month getting acquainted with the residents and the agency’s expectations of me for the school year. I have been running a weekly group for three weeks, which is a cooking group to help develop skills and independence. I have been linked to four residents within the house, meaning I am the go to person that they can connect with on a one to one basis, and have been working on establishing rapport with these individuals.
On a personal note moving back to Canada entails moving in with my father, stepmother, and two half-siblings. I appreciate the opportunity to complete my placement in Canada because it means that I also get to be more involved in the daily lives of my siblings, who are in their teens.
Currently, I am splitting my time between Ottawa and Northern New York (my hometown). The travel time between places is about an hour and half, this allows me to stay connected and be supported by my loved in both locations.
Within the upcoming week, I will be headed further north in Ontario to my family’s cottage to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving. This is one of my favorite holidays and I look forward to connecting with family members that I only get to visit with about twice a year.
For my upcoming blog posts, I hope to share the similarities and differences that I experience professionally and personally between Canada and the U.S.
Thank you for joining me for my first post!