Drew Moffatt
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By: Drew Moffatt, British Columbia Institute of Technology, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship, member of the Writer and Residence Team

When I moved abroad my biggest priority was to maximize all my free time towards travelling. I was on a strict schedule with balancing 6 classes, so I knew I had to make the most of it. In addition to that, I was on a very limited budget (as the EUR is not so friendly to the CAD). With technology today, it is honestly crazy what you can all accomplish from your fingertips. So I am here to tell you the top 5 apps that I used when studying abroad to help maximize my time and money.

  1. Google Calendar – it will be your best organization friend. It is extremely user-friendl...
Category: Writers In Residence
Julie Han, Simon Fraser University
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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

My high school economics teacher kept a chunk of the Berlin wall in his desk drawer. Of the many non-economics related lessons with which he blessed us, this literal piece of history served as a reminder of the importance of being there. And as someone who had quite honestly lived the majority of her life vicariously through richer strangers on the internet, I easily dismissed this lesson. I always felt the lesson never invest in an African amethyst mine to be much more poignant, and just as relevant.

But now that I was...

Category: Writers In Residence
The Strasbourg Christmas Market (2016)
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By Mariam Ali, Simon Fraser University, winner of the 2017 Stories from Abroad Scholarship and a member of the BC Study Abroad Writer in Residence Team

Study Abroad Destination: France

There are many factors that may influence where a person wants to do their exchange, such as the physical location, travel opportunities, courses offered at a specific school, language learning, etc. As a student in the French Cohort Program, it was obligatory for me to spend at least a semester in a francophone school, either in Quebec or Europe. Before I started the program, I had always wanted to travel to Europe. I also wanted to attend one of the Sciences Pos in France because of their good reputations. I had the choice of going to Sciences Po Reims, Aix-en-Prove...

Category: Writers In Residence
Buildings in Sirmione, a town in Lake Garda.
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By Mariam Ali, Simon Fraser University, winner of the 2017 Stories from Abroad Scholarship and a member of the BC Study Abroad Writer in Residence Team

Study Abroad Destination: France

One of the best parts of my exchange in Europe was travelling around the continent. There’s so many countries, regions and cultures to explore, and they’re all very accessible thanks to the short distances and extensive transportation infrastructure. I recommend travelling by train because you get to enjoy the scenery while arriving at your destination in a timely manner. It can also be quite cheap, especially in Southern Europe, and it’s also possible to get discounts and rail passes. Buses are also quite affordable and convenient for short distances (I often travell...

Category: Writers In Residence
Inside of the Musée alsacien in Strasbourg
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By Mariam Ali, Simon Fraser University, winner of the 2017 Stories from Abroad Scholarship and a member of the BC Study Abroad Writer in Residence Team

Study Abroad Destination: France

The first day of my exchange in France was difficult for me because it was the first time that I was travelling by myself. When I arrived at the airport in Paris, I was confused about directions, lost my baggage and missed my train to Strasbourg, my exchange destination. Thankfully, I could book another train ticket to Strasbourg free of charge, and I later received my lost baggage, but at that moment I felt incredibly anxious. I had to endure a twenty-hour journey without sleep, and when I finally arrived at my new place, I cried because I was so overwhelmed. I actua...

Category: Writers In Residence
Gigi Lin
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By Gigi Lin, Simon Fraser University, winner of the 2017 Stories from Abroad Scholarship and member of the BCSA Writer in Residence Team.

Study Abroad Destination: England, United Kingdom

Wow, time really flies. Life for me on exchange pretty much operated on a standstill. I’d manage to see so much in one day, landing and exploring a city from top-to-bottom in what 14 hours a day provided. As of late, I’ve been thinking of how I’ve been back for almost one year already, and small remnants here and there remind me of my travels:

Plan ahead. I don’t think I would have been able to go on exchange if I had not planned ahead. I know, I know… we are young, and we want to live on the waves of life. But planning takes commitment and...

Category: Writers In Residence
The second-last day of my travel. Venice, Italy.
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By Alice Wang, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, winner of the 2017 Stories from Abroad Scholarship and a member of the BC Study Abroad Writer in Residence Team

As I sign off on my time being a Writer-in-Residence for BC Study Abroad, I am thankful for this opportunity to reflect, so profoundly, about my travel abroad. This prolonged self-reflection has allowed for a soul-searching that yielded more meaning-making than I could have ever anticipated. It was Andrew Solomon who once said to overcome adversity, one must “forge meaning and build identity.”

Of course, on many levels, what I had experienced cannot be construed as adversity. But I would argue that if one is generous about the sheer amount of toll a body must undergo in the experience of exhaustion and loneli...

Category: Writers In Residence
Mariam Ali, Heidelberg, one of the many cities I visited in Europe.
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By Mariam Ali, Simon Fraser University, winner of the 2017 Stories from Abroad Scholarship and a member of the BC Study Abroad Writer in Residence Team

One of my biggest concerns before my exchange in France was earning enough money to pay for it. My uncle recommended that I create a budget and find out in advance how much rent, transportation, food, entertainment and travel would all cost. By talking to other students who had already went on exchange in France, I learned that I would need roughly $15,000 to fund two semesters and live comfortably. Using the advice and the information I received, I set about making a plan to earn enough money for my exchange.

I applied for as many scholarships and bursaries as I could, working hard to boost my GPA above 3.5 out of 4...

Category: Writers In Residence
Adeline Hadijanto, Paris
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By Adeline Hadijanto, International Hotel Management student at Royal Roads University and a member of the BCSA Writer in Residence Team.

Like many student travelers, I wanted to explore Europe as much as I could while I was on exchange in Austria. Surprisingly, with some careful planning I was able to visit more than 35 cities and towns in 13 different countries in one semester without straining my budget too much. Here are a few of my suggestions that will hopefully help you to be more cost efficient:

  • Plan ahead.
    1. Make a list of all the places that you want to visit and prioritize the destinations base on your preferences.
    2. Make sure to check your class schedule before you make your itinerary!
    3. Use the GoEuro App (...
Category: Writers In Residence
Vancouver artist Kenneth Yuan in from of Yves Klein’s IKB (image courtesy of Yuen)
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By Alice Wang, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, winner of the 2017 Stories from Abroad Scholarship and a member of the BC Study Abroad Writer in Residence Team

Image credit: Vancouver artist Kenneth Yuan in front of Yves Klein’s IKB (image courtesy of Yuen)

My piece of advice as a Writer-in-Residence is this: wherever you go, visit the local art institutions and expect to be confused by the works. Art is a piece of history crystalized in an object. It is not supposed to be easily understood. And if it is, it’s probably very bad art.

Good art takes a lot of time to unpack. I used to abhor paintings that are of one color such as Yves Klein’s blue painting IKB 3 (1960). “What was the point of that?! I can do that and call myse...

Category: Writers In Residence

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