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7 Struggles of Being an American Citizen at a Canadian University

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Queen's U chapter.

In case you can’t tell from the title, I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. For my whole life, I have been told by Canadians that I am not Canadian because I was born in the United States, and that I am not American by Americans because my whole family was born in Canada. By attending a Canadian university, I have heard just about every stereotype about America that can possibly be said. Over the past three years, I have racked up a list of things that make going to school in Canada as an American citizen different.

1. The very first question every single person asks you is: “So what are your thoughts on Trump?”

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good question. However, my entire identity seems to exist around the fact that somehow that man Donald Trump is in charge of where I live in the summer. I promise you that, without fail, when people find out I am from the United States, this is almost always one of the first things they reply with. It is fair to ask ,but I just wish I wasn’t reminded of it so often.


2. Not getting to go home for Thanksgiving

In addition to this, not having the same breaks as your friends from home. Now, this is not life threatening in any way, but it is definitely a downfall!

3. The second common question you are asked is: “Where is your accent?”

I am from a small town outside of Boston, MA, and people cannot understand how I do not have a Boston accent. Hollywood has really hit it home in showing that everyone from Boston has this ‘no R’ way of speaking. The classic “Pahk ya cah in Hahvahd yahd” has been recited to me more times than I can count. ALSO, Canadians and Americans have very different ways of saying ‘aunt’ and ‘pasta’ – ask any American friend or random classmate to say those words and you’ll laugh.


4. Hearing all the same stereotypes over and over again

I could write an entire article on the hundreds of stereotypes I’ve heard about Americans. Some aren’t wrong; we are passionate about our sports teams – TB12 for example. I obviously don’t take these stereotypes personally because there are stereotypes for about every single country in the world. However, the U.S. does get a lot of critical ones. For example, we only eat McDonalds, live in Walmart, love guns, and go around shouting “America is the best!” everywhere we go.  

5. No tailgating for football games

Very small issue, but I definitely wish I could have the excuse to eat an excessive number of hot dogs and drink beer on Saturday mornings.

6. Not being able to have your friends visit for Homecoming or a random weekend

I have to be honest, I’m very jealous of the GTA and having your friends be within a 3-hour max distance. I just really want all my friends to be able to see the beauty of Stages on a Thursday night.

7. Not having Greek life

I’ve always struggled with this one because I don’t know if I would join one if I did go to a school with sororities. It would be nice to have the option though, especially after watching movies like Animal House and Legally Blonde. Other Canadian schools do have sororities, but not quite like the ones in America.

All this being said, I love going to school in Canada. The drinking age is ideal and I get to eat all the butter tarts, Coffee Crisp and ketchup chips that America doesn’t have. I will continue to reply to questions about Trump and hide all my American flag shirts until July 4th. I hope my fellow American citizens can relate to this short list of the ways in how it’s different going to school in Canada from America.

Greer is a Campus Correspondent for Her Campus Queen's U and a News x Social intern for Her Campus. She is a fourth year Political Science major with a Sociology minor. She is from the US of A but still has maple syrup running through her blood. Her most acknowledged skills include eating an entire jar of Nutella in one day and watching Buzzfeed videos for up to 8 hours straight.