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Re: [webdesign-552] Advices for a future exchange student

From: Igor S.
Sent on: Sunday, April 29, 2012 2:44 PM
Thank you so much for your complete explanation about the city.
Very, very very useful.

I'm really starting to think about Ottawa instead of Halifax - that has a less hard weather for me.
I have nothing to say about your email, besides thank you so much (:

Ottawa looks like a wonderful city.
Also, I've heard that the tech community in Ottawa is the biggest (or almost that) in the country.
The only problem is that, first, I need to be selected; second, the consortium would choose where I'll be placed - it's not my decision =(

Thanks again!

Igor Santos
Programador PHP / Ruby

On Sun, Apr 29, 2012 at 14:14, Richard Tomkins <[address removed]> wrote:
First, I have lived in Ottawa most of my life.

Ottawa is the Capitol city of Canada. There are almost 1 million people that live here. The biggest employer is our federal government. Our biggest High Tech. employer, ortel is now gone. In it's wake there are hundreds of small start-ups, and a number of firms have set up shop here for research purposes, such as RIM, the BlackBerry SmartPhone maker.

We get snow, this year winter was mild, in comparison to previous years, and as I sit here in front of my system the sun shines brightly and spring is arriving. The squirrels are running around, the cats are chasing them and my neighbors are doing things to their homes.

The predominant feature in Ottawa is the Rideau Canal, built by Colonel John By, a British engineer. The canal is a World Heritage site. It runs from the Ottawa River, beside Parliament Hill to Lake Ontario near Kingston. The canal is about 123 miles long. It is navigable, kayak, canoe, boat, what ever you prefer.

Many roads in Ottawa are being repaired, the water and sewer pipes are also being replaced, this being a planned process.

There are numerous biking paths, walking paths, jogging paths and other places to go, parks and beaches. The Central Experimental Farm is a large farm within the city, itself a federal government department. They have walkways, parks and a museum.

There is a lot of green in Ottawa, trees, grass, parks and the like, some forest. This is because a Federal government department, the NCC (National Capitol Commission) has a mandate to keep the capitol city beautiful, they do so by owning and controlling a large amount of land in and around the city.

We have a public transportation system based on buses. Depending on where one lives, it can be very effective for getting one to work.

There are three Universities in Ottawa, University of Ottawa, Carleton University and St. Paul University. The first two have student residences on campus.

The embassies of various countries are scattered throughout the expensive neighborhoods of Ottawa and the ambassador residences are as well.

There are various museums in Ottawa and a couple of theater companies. There are numerous performaces of all kinds at the NAC (National Arts Centre).

There is crime, all kinds I am sure, but generally, I have not seen or experienced crime in my lifetime, 54 years, mostly I read about it in the news paper.

We have an extensive public library system, residents can use for free, and they have excellent internet resources as well. There is a cross-loan programs between the Universities and the library which has many branches around the city.

Numerous restaurants of all kinds with food from around the world, lots of places to purchase foods from around the world, and lots of communities from around the world. The Brazilian embassy in Ottawa would be able to connect citizens with local Brazilian communities so that one can associate with people that have the same culture and speak the same language.

In Ottawa, French and English are used by the majority of residents, and almost universally in all commercial establishments and in all government departments.

Our political system is a municipal government (City of Ottawa), Provincial Government (Province of Ontario) and Federal Government (Government of Canada).

The people that are members of the police, and emergency, such as fire and ambulance are all professional. Corruption is not an issue. If a cop stops you for turning left on a red traffic light, you're going to get a ticket, a traffic offense payable to the provincial government. If you park your car where the signs say you cannot, you are  going to get a ticket, payable to the city of Ottawa. If you collapse in the middle of the sidewalk, the emergency services will be called by one of the many people that run to help you and you'll enjoy a ride in the ambulance to one of the hospitals to get medical assistance. If you do come, make sure that you have medical insurance and residents in Ontario must live here a specific amount of time before they are entitled to free medical coverage. Go to getting started here on this page.

Medical coverage is unique for each province in Canada, so if Ottawa is not your destination, look up there rules for that province.

Using Google maps you can see the Brazilian embassy. In the street view there is a big thick white line down Wilbrod street, that is marking the bicycle pane.

So, that's some of my Ottawa, it a great place.

Parliament Hill Web Cam

Sincerely, Richard Tomkins

On 29/04/[masked]:18 PM, Igor Santos wrote:

I'm a PHP/Ruby developer from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and I'm applying for a one-year exchange program for undergraduate studies. I have to opt between Canada and Australia.
I'm currently in the second half of my Information Systems course, and I'm looking to improve my abilities with interfaces, web technologies, performance and, secondly, project management.

I'm a little bit inclined to choose Canada, but I'm collecting some opinions at this time. If I choose Canada and get approved, I'll be sent to one of these four institutions: Laval (that's unlikely, since I'm applying for english classes) Alberta, Dalhousie and Ottawa.
The program chooses the university based on my current course and needs; I've read a little bit about them, and I think I would be sent to Dalhousie (Halifax) or Ottawa.

What do you think/know about those cities and universities? And how about their courses?
Any, ANY information would be sooo appreciated (:

Thanks in advance for your attention!

Igor Santos
PHP / Ruby Developer

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