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By: Reede Lowery, Northern Lights College, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Japan

Sometimes as foreign students we can get caught up in a cycle of continuous comparisons between our home country with the country we are studying in. Of course this isn’t always negative (especially as it can help increase understanding of two different cultures) but if you concentrate solely on comparing everything you see or experience you risk losing focus of the present. I have met plenty of other foreign students who seemingly do nothing but compare their lives in their home countries to their current lives in Japan. When I chat with them I almost always hear phrases like “The food in Japan is so much better!...

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By: Aaron Siebenga, Simon Fraser University, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: South Korea

After midterms, I went to Gwangju for a day to tour a lab. I also tried Korean poutine (with shredded cheese instead of curds) and visited the May 18th National Cemetery.

I then went to Busan to see the Busan Fireworks Festival, which was the best fireworks show I've ever seen. They had three blast barges and a bridge loaded up with lights, sparklers and fireworks. I also visited a seaside Buddhist temple, relaxed in hot springs and met more Pokemon Go friends.

Next was Taiwan, where I went with Dan and Erik. This was probably one of my favourite parts of the trip; we went to a huge Pokemon G...

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By: Aaron Siebenga, Simon Fraser University, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: South Korea

In Gyeongju, I got a taste of Korean history by visiting the 9th-century Silla Tombs, the restored Woljeong Bridge and Donggung Palace Complex, and the Gyeongju National Museum. I also met friendly locals through Pokemon Go, who treated me to a nice traditional dinner and showed me Bulguska Temple and Seokguram Grotto.

Muju's a village in the Korean mountains known for their Firefly Festival each September. I went there to experience small-town life in Korea, and although almost no one I met spoke English everyone was very friendly and welcoming. I saw traditional dances, lit sky lanterns, and went...

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By Julie Han, Simon Fraser University, winner of the 2018 (Spring) Stories from Abroad Scholarship, member of the BC Study Abroad Writer in Residence Team

Study Abroad Destination: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The truth is everybody wants a piece of you, or rather where you are. As soon as you announce your plans to study abroad, you’ll find yourself drowning in endless requests for souvenirs eating away at your already slim budget. But, after months of actually being there, riding past kiosks of silly wooden shoes, sloppily painted ceramic, and tins of stale stroopwafel, I found myself increasingly resentful of these requests. In addition to my sad budget and suitcase space, none of these small tokens represented Amsterdam lived.

And...

Category: Student Blog
Venice, Italy
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By: Rachel Abma, Langara College, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Italy and London​

I have been fortunate enough to fit a bit of travel into my twenties, around work and school schedules, and although I have had a variety of trips with family and friends I was not as prepared as I anticipated for the experience I would have on a field study. For one thing, I was travelling with a group of 18 people I had never met, and for another I had no control over my itinerary; I love spontaneity as much as the next traveller but having little to no say in your destination, activity, and accommodation selection can be a stretch for even the most flexible person. Initially, the idea of being in Italy, a pl...

Category: Student Blog
Garden of Cavaliere
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By: Rachel Abma, Langara College, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Italy and London

While my trip so far has been amazing, it's no secret that travel can be exhausting. I visited Florence on the third week of my European Field Study, and living out of a backpack in close shared quarters and walking for hours each day was starting to wear me out. I am not one to feel homesick, but the constant moving and lack of familiar comforts was making me miss my beautiful Vancouver spots that I frequent when I need a little time to recharge.

The weather had not been quite what we expected from Italy in May as a huge storm front seemed to be chasing us to each destination, and our previous week in Ro...

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By: Brooke MacNab, University of Victoria.

Eleven days seems like a long time, right? That’s what I thought too, but as the saying goes it’s amazing how time flies when you’re having fun, or in my case, learning, exploring, and having fun in Guangzhou, China.

When I think back to the eleven days that flew by so fast, what jumps to the forefront of my mind are memories of the gracious and kind people who I had the pleasure of meeting along the way. My laundry list of names and faces could go on forever: from the program’s coordinators who provided this opportunity to experience Guangzhou; the student volunteers from South China University who made sure that us students were taken care of for the duration of our trip; the professors from South China Universit...

Category: Student Blog
Daejeon, Korea
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By: Aaron Siebenga, Simon Fraser University, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: South Korea

This entire trip can really be divided into two parallel trips, which I'll write one blog post each on. I'm studying at KAIST Monday to Thursday, and travelling around Thursday through Sunday. I've been having a lot of fun learning at KAIST, as there's several classes here that don't exist at my home university (as well as a few graduate-level courses that the professors were kind enough to let me sit in on).

Since I'm taking 7 classes and have Fridays off, my weekdays have been pretty busy. That said, I have gotten up to a few adventures with the friends I've made here. One time back in August, my...

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By: Brooke MacNab, University of Victoria

Over the last year and a half, I have been studying Chinese language and culture at The University of Victoria (UVic). This winter break, I had the opportunity to be a guest of South China University of Technology for eleven exciting and wonderful days on an educational scholarship program between the provinces of British Columbia, Canada and Guangdong, China.

As the plane descended towards the airport after 12 hours in the air, the cityscape of Guangzhou appeared and seemed to occupy the landscape as far as one could see, bathed in the evening sunset. Buildings of all sizes and shapes stretched out for what seemed like forever, and although I regrettably don’t have any photos, I will remember the awe and wonder I felt in th...

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

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

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