Malavika Santhosh, Simon Fraser University
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It is nearing the end of what has been a dream of a semester abroad at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Having travelled to over 30 cities in the past four months, I must admit that although studying abroad is everything it is glorified to be and more, there are a lot of moments of utter chaos and confusion that lead to those picture perfect moments. Instances of homesickness, fitting in, and balancing school work with travelling, along with maintaining a social life in fear of missing out. The truth is that, sometimes you find yourself in situations where you have no idea what you’re doing and miss the comforts of familiarity at home. 

However, despite not understanding the language, you find comfort amidst the smiling faces of strangers. Through the wrong turns taken down narrow windi...

Category: Student Blog
Andrea de Bruyns
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My last couple months on exchange were jam packed with traveling to different cities, meeting new people, and cramming for final exams. I had a few weeks off after the semester was over before I had to return back to Canada and was able to travel to some of the major tourist hot spots. My first stop was Paris where I visited the famous Notre Dame Cathedral, saw the Tour de Eiffel for the first time (it’s a lot bigger than I thought it would be), and generally just ate a lot of sugar crepes. My next stop was in Amsterdam, where I ate the most delicious food I’ve had in Europe. The Dutch are notoriously known for making the best desserts and they definitely didn’t disappoint. Amsterdam had a very lively and welcoming atmosphere as well as a rich cultural heritage that was interesting to learn about. No...

Category: Student Blog
Malavika Santhosh, Simon Fraser University
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Time: 8:20 PM

Location: Vancouver

Setting: An array of black hangers cover the floor, surrounding a beat down suitcase - spread open and decorated from scratches to stickers, representing its lifetime of travels.  In the corner stands a bed with a layer of garments messily thrown into piles of “Maybe”, and “Definitely Not”.  Amidst the chaos sits a twenty-something girl, in awe of her ability to fit her entire life into one luggage which she then has to live out of for the next four months. A hint of nervousness and a whole lot of excitement fills the air.

Tomorrow is the long-awaited day. The day she steps on a flight leaving behind all things familiar to a land of unknown, some 5,000 miles away; destination - Milano, Italy....

Category: Student Blog
Kira Daley, Shanghai, China
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So my study abroad trip to China is over! When I boarded my flight leaving Vancouver back in May, it felt like such a long period of time stretched out before me. By the time the last week rolled around, the days just flipped past. And finally, all I had left to do was say my tearful goodbyes and hop on my 10-hour flight home to Vancouver! I don’t know about you, but this is my least favourite part of any trip. On the way there, you’re filled with excitement and anticipation, and you spend the flight daydreaming and reading about your destination. On the way home, it just feels like a long cramped trip in a steel tube in the sky, hurtling back toward reality. This time though, I planned carefully in an effort to make the flight back as comfortable and enjoyable for myself.

Here are my tips...

Category: Student Blog
Shelby Anderton, Shanghai, China
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After 51 days through 2 different countries, 6 beautiful cities across 2 different time zones by trains, planes, automobiles and boats- it is true to say; there’s no place like home. It feels like everything at home is exactly how I left it- except for me. To say that my time in Asia was “life changing” is an understatement but I suppose that phrase will have to do. 

If you had told me six months ago that I would travel through China I would not have believed you. I had never considered China as somewhere I would ever have the chance to visit and furthermore, I am in the middle of my Nursing Degree- there’s no way I could do a trip like that! Or so I thought, but participating in a study abroad experience through my school, Douglas College, provided an opportunity for me that I would have...

Category: Student Blog
Camille James,Famous sunset in Santorini, Greece
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After spending the past few months living abroad, I have learned a lot about the world in ways I never could have within a classroom. Foreign exchange rates, politics, food and cultural holidays are all examples of concepts that are better understood once experienced in a different culture. Furthermore, having had a myriad of travel opportunities, I can officially call myself an expert in booking travel and flying, as well as sleeping on overnight buses and trains; my passport is evidence of this.

A huge part of studying abroad is these travel opportunities, and being able to experience different parts of the world with other students. Upon arrival, I made an “English bucket list” with one of my Australian friends, and over the course of the semester we worked to achieve everything on the...

Category: Student Blog
Kyla Oshanek, Mexico
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The Food: during our month in San Pancho we dined at nearly every restaurant. I was surprised and delighted by the variety of food we found here. We even had a special dinner prepared for us in a local home as well as a private cooking class where we learned to make huevos rancheros and tortilla soup.

The Beaches and Sunsets: really do not require any words. There is nothing quite like sitting on the beach listening to the waves crash against the shore. The sunsets here are simply remarkable. Watching the sun set was one of my favourite ways to connect with nature and reflect on my experiences throughout the field school.

...

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Garrett Lakey, Costa Rica
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After spending 2.5 weeks in Costa Rica and landing in Prince George, I can safely say I’m already missing it. During this last week we have done some pretty amazing things. This includes ziplining, river rafting and swimming in the ocean. The zipline course included 12 lines with the longest line being over 800 meters long. Riding through the canopy is very beautiful. It allows you to view from the top of the canopy instead of viewing everything from below. Rafting was also very cool, we spent all day rafting down the Pacuare river. As you float down this river you see hanging carriages strung across the river. These are used by the indigenous people to cross the river into town. Swimming in the ocean was also a new experience for me. The water tastes like salt and it burns when it gets in the ey...

Category: Student Blog
Kira Daley, China
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I can honestly say that I have started and stopped writing this post a few times already. The magnitude and variety of new things I experience each day is sometimes overwhelming. How can I write just a brief post about a sliver of this adventure when I want to go on and on?

I chose to write about the top 3 things I am fascinated about in China so far.

Food (of course!)

I was excited about discovering a little more about the vast array of food in China before I left home, so it’s no wonder that I am even more excited now that I’m here. Where to start? For one thing, I love the street food in China. No matter where you are, you can wander down any side-street and find little storefronts and carts selling everything from fried chicken, flattened skewered fried s...

Category: Student Blog
Visiting Oxford with friends from Australia, Georgia, England and Canada.
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While adjusting to life in England, there were definitely some cultural differences to get used to, even as a Canadian student. Now, having lived in the UK for a few months, I am finally beginning to adjust to living in a ‘flat’, going up ‘lifts’, wearing ‘jumpers’, and eating ‘chips’ instead of fries. However, I was pretty confused when my English friends discussed going to the ‘chemists’ (apparently a pharmacy).

A huge part of living abroad is experiencing the local culture. Luckily, my host institution provides many opportunities for international students to travel and see the area surrounding London. They had trips planned to visit Cambridge, Oxford, Manchester, Bath, Stonehenge, and the Queen’s weekend home: Windsor Castle. Having attended the majority of these trips, I was able to o...

Category: Student Blog

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