Meghan Thompson
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Continued from It’s all about adjusting - Part 1...

On top of the language barrier, I’ve also been learning to adapt to certain lifestyle changes that are characteristic to France. Rather than focusing on administrative efficiency like in North America, the French have advanced their healthcare and public transportation systems. So, while the metro lines, buses, and trains are fantastic, and will take you almost anywhere you want to go, the university registration process was more difficult than I expected. And while, as a Type One Diabetic I’m jealous that residents of France with chronic medical conditions have all of their prescriptions paid for by the government, I’ve noticed a very different and laid back sort of approach to customer service and administrative tasks. For exam...

Category: Student Blog
Meghan Thompson
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I’ve been abroad for just over two months now, and after a 3-week reading break filled with travelling across Spain and France, I’m finally starting to get into the actual studying aspect of my studies abroad.

Since the education system in France is much different than at Canadian Universities, I had to make some tweaks to my study habits before I could approach my assignments. The commentary is a favorite method of assessment for the French, and each one of my classes has one for the mid-term exam as well as one for the final exam. It’s a relatively new type of assignment for me, and it contradicts many of the major principles of Canadian essay writing— with a particularly long introduction and a conclusion that introduces completely new information—both of which are absolutely f...

Category: Student Blog
Roya Firoozbakhsh
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You know the phrase: ‘be careful what you wish for’? Well, on my study abroad program I definitely learned that it’s one very true statement. Before coming to Berlin when people asked me why I chose Berlin and why I decided to go study abroad, I always answered the same thing: I want to grow, I want to learn, I don’t want to be dependent on my parents, I want to not live somewhere where I am so incredibly comfortable, and most importantly, I want to get out of my comfort zone. On our departure meeting at school in Vancouver, the Study Abroad counselor was telling us that we are going to find ourselves in very uncomfortable situations some times and to ask ourselves why we chose to study abroad. I remember that I looked at another student that was going to Berlin with me and we both laughed as if...

Category: Student Blog
Photo credit: Dave Horn
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Fourteen Grade 10, 11, and 12 students from Fraser Academy in Vancouver recently returned from a fantastic trip to Japan and South Korea. Over the 13 days, students were immersed in a wealth of cultural and social experiences, exposed to global perspectives and contexts, and given the opportunity to explore historical locations and artifacts. Various Japanese Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines were visited, including Sensouji Temple and Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, as well as Sanjusangendo, Kyomizudera Temple, and Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto. Sanjusangendo is famous for multitude of Buddhist statues and large open construction. Kyomizudera offers up water believed to extend life and youth and yields a view out over Kyoto. Finally, Fushimi Inari is famous for its long corridors framed of bright red t...

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On March 12, 11 students, one mom and two teacher chaperones from Ballenas Secondary School in Parksville flew from Nanaimo to Vancouver to Frankfurt to Athens, Greece for a 12 day tour with EF. We visited Athens, Delphi, Olympia, Epidauros, Mycenae, Nafplio, Cape Sunio. We took a day cruise in the Saronic Gulf and visited Hydra ( a beautiful island where there are no cars – if you want to go somewhere, you can go by boat, by foot or by donkey), Poros and Aegina. We also took a cruise to Mykonos, Kusadasi in Turkey (to see Ephesos), Patmos (for the Grotto of the Apocalypse), Crete (for the ruins of Knossos) and Santorini.

Highlights? You ask. Well, the answers varied. Yes, students were astounded by the Acropolis and Ephesos and Mycenae. Yes, they loved riding the donkeys up the cliff of S...

Category: Student Blog
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By Megan Bondurant

In a word, our trip was unbelizable. We were nine Grade 11 and 12 students from Edward Milne Community School (EMCS) traveling with our two Biology teachers to a crazy, wonderful, Central American country on a packed 8 day tour.

We literally got our feet wet on the first day traveling to the majestic ruins of Lamanai. The hour long boat ride to the Mayan ruins motored through dense jungle and unveiled monkeys, crocodiles, lush foliage and a myriad of beautiful birds. Towards the end of the boat ride, the skies darkened and our boat driver quickly threw his shoes in a small cupboard. Seconds later, we were pounded with rain so hard and loud it drowned our cries of surprise and laughter. The shower lasted only a short while but we felt like we had b...

Category: Student Blog
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By Dorothy Barenscott, Ph.D.

When students ask me why I became an art historian or when I knew I wanted to become a professor, I tell a story about education and travel. It happened on the first day of a Grade 12 Western Civilization class when the teacher, Mr. Kennedy, coming in slightly late, out of breath, and with a freshly processed stack of slides from the printing lab, regaled us with stories about his summer trip to Europe from which he had literally returned the day before. Over the next hour, he showed us slide after slide of his adventures, featuring many of the amazing architecture, paintings, and sculptures we would be studying in his class. The passion and enthusiasm with which he spoke was infectious, and the connection between education and travel would bea...

Category: Student Blog
Photo credit: Randall Martin
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By Susan Seto

Yes, you’ve made it! You’ve been accepted to study abroad. You’re dancing around in your kitchen while reading your acceptance letter out loud. It’s an incredible feeling, isn’t it?

Just as the adrenaline rush dies down, you realize this isn’t going to be cheap. However, don’t let this discourage you. With careful planning and preparation, you will be able to pursue your dream to go abroad.

Here are 10 ways to save:

  1. Start saving now. Open a separate savings account and set aside a small amount each week. Even if it is just $5 each week, it will accumulate. Every little bit counts.
  2. Keep a budget. Give yourself a budget each month. Track your spending in an excel sheet or download an...
Category: Student Blog
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In October 2014, several BC students took a break from their studies and flew to Taiwan to represent Canada in The Seminar on Youth Public Participation and International Humanitarianism in the Age of Globalization. This seminar was a hub for students around the globe to come together and share their experiences in international affairs and sustainable volunteerism. Some of the countries represented in the conference were the Dominican Republic, Ireland, New Zealand, Israel, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. A representative from each country presented and held a discussion on various topics from prevailing issues within his or her community to maintaining stability in NGOs.

University of Victoria student and co-C...

Category: Student Blog
Meghan Thompson
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I’ll be embarking on my journey overseas in less than a month now, and things are starting to feel a lot more real. I’ve been planning for this exchange for over six months now, and these plans are all finally coming to fruition.

The process has been long, and there have been a lot of bumps along the way, but it’s all coming together – I’ve been admitted into the University of Toulouse, my French visa has been approved, and I was accepted into residence. In all honesty, though, it really has been time-consuming preparing for this exchange program. Arranging all of the paperwork to submit my French visa application took months; working out the details for my residence in Toulouse with an international coordinator in France who doesn’t speak English was a struggle; taking French courses in...

Category: Student Blog

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