Hallstatt, Austria
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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.

It has been over three months since I returned from exchange, and I still feel that part of my soul was left in Austria. Let me tell you why Austria is one of the best places you could go for your study experience!

Canadians are known to be some of the friendliest people in the world, but in my opinion, Austrians are just as easygoing and approachable.  Most of the people I met were very well versed and curious to learn more about me and my background in an authentic way. We had fun conversations and exchanged our cultural knowledge. My host-campus, IMC University of Applied Science Krems, and the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) als...

Category: Writers In Residence
Janna Wale
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By Janna Wale, Thompson Rivers University, winner of the 2017 Stories from Abroad Scholarship and a member of the BC Study Abroad Writer in Residence Team.

Even though January 2018 will mark one year since I boarded a plane to begin my big adventure of living in Scotland, things that I learned while living overseas are still fresh in my mind. Having these past months to reflect on my experiences of spending four months living within another culture, I have come to the conclusion that it was an opportunity worth taking. I would not trade experiences for the dollars I had to spend to be in that moment. 

One of the biggest takeaways from my exchange would be the independence I gained, and the confidence I found while living away from my friends and family. In my opinio...

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.

It’s a pretty chilly winter this year. But with festivities and bright light exhibitions in each major city, this cold weather is made more bearable – especially with friends! In the beginning I thought of all the time in the world to curl up at home with a good book and some delicious hot chocolate. In hearing about friends and classmates’ travel plans - it makes my mind wander back to when I would have weekends of itinerary set up, and excitement in planning them.

This winter break was perfect for some good moments of relaxation, but also the time for me to start applying for grad school. It has been awesome with exchange so fre...

Category: Writers In Residence
Adeline, Moraine Lake, AB-Canada
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By Adeline Hadijanto, International Hotel Management student at Royal Roads University

Being a full-time student limits my time to travel around the world, so I decided to make the most out of it whenever I get the chance. It has been three years since I left Indonesia for British Columbia, Canada to pursue my study, and it has been one dynamic journey. I experienced several challenges, from having cultural shock to feeling lost in this diverse community. However, this all turned into a fulfilling adventure over the years. I gained more skills and become adaptable, mindful and respectful as I live in this multicultural environment.

A year ago, I received an email from my university about an exchange opportunity, and after scanning through the list of countries I fel...

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.

Can’t believe it’ll be 2018 in a few weeks! Where did all the time go…

If we rewind back and rehash November: it was a pretty sweet month. I’ll glad to say I really enjoyed the presentation component of the BCSA scholarship in where I had the opportunity to co-present at a Study Abroad 101 Session. I even met a student whom is thinking of attending my host Uni (Uni of Bath) next year! When she set up a meeting with me – wanting to know all about how exchange was, what preparations I had done before departing, how I felt after coming back, etc. – it reminded me of when I sat down with a fellow student, about a month before...

Category: Writers In Residence
Alice Wang, Tuileries Garden, Paris.
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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

I have reflected long and hard about what sort of advice/suggestions/recommendations I could give to someone going to study-abroad whom I have never met and never will. So far, I have deftly averted that task tacitly imposed onto me as a Writer-in-Residence by focusing on anecdotal stories from my personal experience that I would not dare extrapolate as “life-lessons” to impart on anyone. A whole constellation of events would have to fall into place for me to insist that my idiosyncratic history should bear any weight on how you should create yours. In short, I have never felt qualified to give advice.

Until...

Category: Writers In Residence
Taipei 101, Taiwan
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By: Peter Mate, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Vancouver Campus, winner of the 2017 Stories from Abroad Scholarship and a member of the BC Study Abroad Writer in Residence Team.

Plane tires touch down on worn tarmac. The jolt of the wheels shocks you into consciousness. Wiping the cake surrounding your eyes, you realize it’s noon. You’re under slept and underfed. Perhaps it wasn’t a good idea to pack last minute – perhaps it was unwise to spend all night studying. It doesn’t matter anymore – you’ve come for a conference already underway. Eventually, the plane taxis into the terminal, and you’ve managed to pass customs. Apprehension builds as you realize that you’ll have to carry conversation after being awake for 24 hours. Situations similar to my predicament in Taiwan ar...

Category: Writers In Residence
Group picture after a sunset bike tour in Paris, France
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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

It probably goes without saying that people are what makes experiences special. One can even argue that they are what make the experience in the first place. We are social creatures and traveling is taxing. Hence why I am so grateful that I have crossed path with such an array of people who, even if at the time they did not strike a chord with me, have all become memorable characters of my journey. For those who have entered transiently into my life, I appreciate their passing influence; they have each held an unique role and played it spectacularly well. For those with whom I have managed to stay in touch...

Category: Writers In Residence
Janna Wale, Sagrada Família
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By Janna Wale, Thompson Rivers University, winner of the 2017 Stories from Abroad Scholarship and a member of the BC Study Abroad Writer in Residence Team.

If you are anything like me (poor university student), budgeting is your best friend. This becomes especially important when travelling. The more places you want to see, the more things you want to experience, the better you have to be about keeping track of your money. Luckily, I picked up a few tips about travelling on a budget, even in a more expensive country like Spain.

The first thing I would recommend is to learn the conversion factor from your currency to the currency of the country that you are thinking of travelling in. Spain functions on the euro, and having a conversion app on my phone helped me to de...

Category: Writers In Residence
Gigi Lin, Cornerstone at Simon Fraser University
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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.

A lot has happened in October. As I sit here typing away, I reminiscence back to this time last year, when I had attended the pre-departure orientation. It was the last info session before exchange, but also the first time I had connected with other students attending the same exchange institution. To prospective exchange students: I would really encourage you to take advantage of all the resources available from your home institution. The fairs and/or info sessions that take place are really helpful, and you’ll realize that for a lot of your worries and questions – other students have them too (and you’ll make...

Category: Writers In Residence

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