Michelle Davies
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By: Michelle Davies, Thompson Rivers University, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Switzerland

Traveling abroad to study is both exciting and terrifying. It is a whirlwind of emotions. From my two experiences studying abroad, and working with numerous outbound students at my university, most imagine their time away through rose coloured glasses. Few prepare for the reality that struggles and mental health challenges may very well present themselves on our "trip of a lifetime."

I remember during my time abroad in Switzerland, sitting on a bus heading for school looking out at the beautiful snow dusted alps asking to myself: “I am exactly where I want to be, I worked so hard to get here, so...

Category: Student Blog
Michelle Davies
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By: Michelle Davies, Thompson Rivers University, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Switzerland

At the feisty age of 4 years old, I promptly told my older brother: “you are not the boss of me, I know more than you do,” as I scaled the fridge in search of the candy cupboard. This offered insight towards the independent person I would become. There was little I didn’t want to do on my own and rare that I asked for help.

How does this connect with study abroad? Going to Switzerland, I had to learn to let go of control. Not knowing German, nevermind Swiss German, forced me to accept that I wouldn’t and couldn’t always understand what was going on. Plus, I didn’t always understand how life oper...

Category: Student Blog
Sarah Ganton, Capilano University
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By: Sarah Ganton, Capilano University, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Innsbruck, Austria

I have been at home in Vancouver for about two weeks now. My study abroad was about one month but I travelled for another two months before coming home. I am looking back at pictures and I can’t believe everything I experienced and I am so grateful for all of the people that I met. Studying abroad is really everything people tell you it is. I learned a lot about other people and cultures, as well as a lot about myself. I will touch on a few things I have learned about myself but I think there is a lot I still don’t realize.

A big takeaway from this experience was for me to be open to experiences, t...

Category: Student Blog
Charlotte Telfer-Wan, Juan de Fuca trail
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By: Charlotte Telfer-Wan, Simon Fraser University, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Auckland, New Zealand

Since my return to Canada from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, I have been humbled by the expansive beauty and vastness that the world has to offer. A semester abroad has not only benefited me by seeing the world and experiencing diverse culture but has also encouraged me to change the way I live the rest of my life. I recognize that continuous stories about being abroad can get old, this is why I want to keep living in stories and experiences.

In the 40 days since my return flight from New Zealand to Vancouver I have gone on a road trip across BC from Vancouver to Nelson,...

Category: Student Blog
Sarah Ganton, Capilano University
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By: Sarah Ganton, Capilano University, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Innsbruck, Austria

I have been living in Innsbruck, Austria for about three weeks now. It is such a beautiful town surrounded by huge mountains. I live directly at the base of the Nordkette Mountain, which they call, The Jewel of the Alps. I love the landscape because it gives me a taste of home (Vancouver). The view from my dorm room is beautiful, it looks out over the city. Although, having this beautiful view means walking up quite the hill and stairs every day after school. The walk to the campus is only about 15 to 20 mins, every day I cross the Inn River, stroll through the Innsbrucker Hofgarten and end up at the main...

Category: Student Blog
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By: Carol Chen, British Columbia Institute of Technology, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Italy and Austria

People always say that travelling changes your life and that it opens up your eyes. As cliche as it sounds, I really found this to be true during the European field school in Austria and Italy.

The biggest impact the field school had on me, was the opportunity it provided me to show independence. As funny as it sounds, I am a 26-year-old who is still afraid of moving out and being alone. Going on this three week trip to Europe helped to lighten that fear. It was not only my first trip in Europe, but also my first time travelling without any friends or family. This helped me challenge...

Category: Student Blog
Liam Grigg, University of Victoria
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Liam Grigg, University of Victoria, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Sophia Antipolis, France

Having travelled alone for over a year, there are so many things that I have experienced that none of my friends were there to experience. When coming home, it is easy for anyone to immediately want to go into a lengthy, expansive storytelling; however, I have discovered that many people don’t actually want to sit and listen to all of the adventures. Although friends and family are interested, it can be difficult to relate to these stories, causing people to only being able to listen to so much. Life for everyone continues without me. Which sounds like a very normal and obvious idea, but yet there’s a...

Category: Student Blog
Cheyenne Rode
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By Cheyenne Rode, Vancouver Island University, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Melbourne, Australia

Now that I am back from my exchange, looking back it’s almost like it was a dream. Although this is my second exchange, I still can’t believe how lucky I am to have been able to go on a trip like this. After being back, I was stumped about what I should write about as there are so many stories I would love to share to give insight/help those lucky people who have a trip like this in front of them. What I came up with are budgeting tips. Budgeting was one of the hardest aspects of my exchange, especially being in Australia where everything is practically double. Spoiler alert, I...

Category: Student Blog
Drew Moffatt
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By: Drew Moffatt, British Columbia Institute of Technology, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Barcelona, Spain

When coming home I knew it would be a big change yet again to adjust back to. It wasn’t until the end of my semester abroad did Barcelona start to feel like my second home; the food and the late eating hours, the laidback lifestyle of the city, and livelihood of its people. However, I did miss Vancouver a lot. My time away really showed me what I love so much about my country and what I shouldn’t take for granted. There are some things that I love a lot about Barcelona and even Europe; the food, the people, the siestas (best thing ever), and just little places that I won’t be able to fi...

Category: Student Blog
Drew Moffatt
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By: Drew Moffatt, British Columbia Institute of Technology, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Barcelona, Spain

One of the biggest changes when doing a semester abroad is you don’t usually have a group of friends or family already living in the country you will be residing in. And finding a good group of friends to hang out with or travel around with is really key in making your time abroad a memorable one. I personally love meeting new people, especially when they come from all different walks of life. For some people, it’s not that easy to find friends. Here is a little guide to help you find places to meet new people!

  1. Choose a residence that is either a student dorm or shar...
Category: Student Blog

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