Monday, 12 March 2012

The Calgary Stampede - Why Do So Many Students Rush to Calgary For Their English Course in Canada?

When destinations are being tossed about for the best place to do an English course in Canada, the same old names keep cropping up, with Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal tending to top the list.

But anyone who's spent a period of study in Calgary can testify to the fact that it's more than the match of those other slightly better known Canadian cities.

Perfect Size

For starters. Calgary is a good size. Neither too big nor too small, it's on just about the perfect scale for a student living and studying in the city to really get to know it, without ever feeling like they're constantly retreading their steps over and over again.

What's more, downtown Calgary is a mass of different districts and neighborhoods, each seemingly more fascinating than the last. The real heart of the city - which should probably be sought out first - is the area to be found on and around Stephen Avenue.

Fantastic Shopping

Here there are not one, but three malls, packed with shops, and all manner of fantastic shopping. Not far away, meanwhile, the Eau Clair and the Festival districts are similarly vibrant neighborhoods that offer a compelling mix of boutique-style shops and striking riverside walks.

Perhaps most interesting of all from the point of view from the student on an English course in Canada, is Inglewood. Just over the Elbow River, it's Calgary's oldest neighborhood, and it has an alternative vibe to its shops, caf├ęs and bars that makes it one of its most engagingly mixed.

Urban Spectacle

The city also has a fairly extensive Chinatown (around Centre Street S) which, aside from being a great place for students studying English in Calgary to pick up a cheap meal, is an intriguing urban spectacle in its own right.

In the winter, when the temperatures - although relatively high for Canada - begin to drop, there's even a convenient system of covered walkways and bridges (called the '+15') to shepherd the pedestrian around town. The largest network of its kind to be found anywhere in the world, it really opens the city up for exploring.

As you'd expect from a city of its size, Calgary has plenty of attractions with which the visitor to the city can fill their time. Of these, a couple of museums - the Art Gallery of Calgary and, especially, the enormous Glenbow Museum - really stand out (although the Telus World of Science, Calgary, runs them pretty close).

Swept Away by the Calgary Stampede

Then, of course there's the (actual!) Calgary Stampede, that rumbles into town every July. A week of rodeos, partying and unapologetic embracing of all things 'cowboy', few events anywhere in the world can match it for sheer exuberance.

And if there was any doubt left in their minds, one thing's for certain: any student lucky enough to be in the city when the Stampede comes to town will certainly be congratulating themselves at having chosen Calgary for their English course in Canada!

Calgary is one of travel writer Paul Collins' favorite Canadian cities. As a former English teacher with friends in the city, he's always held it to be one of the best places to do an English course in Canada.

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