Peter Mate, Matthias Church
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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.

You’re bags are stowed – your plane is cruising through the sky. Thoughts swirl in your mind about travel and adventure. Most importantly, you’re looking forward to escapades in new cities, and excitement in untraveled streets. Perhaps these thoughts are padded with vivid images and written accounts from travelers online. Their exploits – whether cultural or spiritual – create an expectation of your destination. However, upon landing, you discover that your dreams don’t match reality. Perhaps the buildings weren’t as ornate, the people less polite, and the food less gastromic. These small disappoi...

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 been exactly 8 months since I had departed YVR for LHR. Half of that time was spent rediscovering myself traversing streets, alleyways, restaurants, stalls, courtyards, gardens … and for the other half, it was a beautiful summer in which the sunny days outweighed the rainy ones, and I made my place at an awesome company with remarkable co-workers. It was definitely a great post-withdrawal period spent as I slowly transitioned into “regular” life again.

...

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.

You might be abroad right now feeling like you have just made the biggest mistake of your life. Why did you ever think exchange was a good idea? You clearly did not understand how hard this experience was going to be.

If you are feeling this way and are miles away from everything you love and know, I can promise you, you are not alone in feeling this way. Society today has become very fearful of the uncomfortable and the unknown.

In particular, North American society has set up residence within the familiar and the secure. To go anywhere the least bit different from the culture most of us have lived in our...

Category: Writers In Residence
Alice Wang, Galerie Lafayette
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By Alice Wang, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, winner of the 2017 Stories from Abroad Scholarship and member of the BC Study Abroad Writer in Residence Team

My Chinese heritage became very salient to me during my study-abroad. At every city I went, I had someone, often a man, shout out greetings to me in Mandarin on the street. Why they would even think that to be an appropriate behavior is beyond me. And yet these borderline discriminatory remarks enticed me to reflect on what it felt like to wear my ethnicity so visibly around me.

Born and raised in China, my family immigrated to Canada sixteen years ago. Since then, I have acquired Canadian citizenship and accustomed myself with the label “Chinese-Canadian.” I retained the first qualifier—“Chinese”—even though I...

Category: Writers In Residence
Peter Mate
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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.

Traveling on a budget requires sacrificing privacy, in exchange for economical transport and housing. This sacrifice is necessary to ensure harmony and good sentiment between you – the traveller and your peers during your experience abroad. Accordingly, finding the optimal balance between privacy and your finances is essential in maximizing satisfaction abroad.

Sacrificing privacy in exchange for optimizing travel experience is a delicate balance between finances and personal desire. Hence, privacy during travel is relative to the resources spent to ensure an enjoyable trip. In order to str...

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.

When I used to think about all the places I would see while I was abroad, my mind automatically jumped to the famous and historic places. I thought about Paris, Rome and London, envisioning coffee at the Eiffel tower or lunch near Big Ben. What I quickly discovered surprised me and completely made my change my thinking about travelling.

While there is something to be said about these famous and historic places, I found a lot of the popular tourist attractions to be overpriced and overcrowded. Don’t get me wrong I am happy I went and experienced all of these amazing places, but when I reminisce about my time livin...

Category: Writers In Residence
Peter Mate
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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.

Awareness of surroundings is critical in maximizing satisfaction when studying abroad. This maximizing effect derives from the detection of appropriate actions relative to ones environment. Hence, determining the correct action, relative to ones environment determines the level of satisfaction when travelling. This awareness evidenced itself while I lived in Raday Utca (street) in Budapest’s IX district. This region of the city borders the cities District V (Downtown), District VII (area frequented by tourists), and District VIII (a notoriously seedy portion of the city). Hence, District IX absorb...

Category: Writers In Residence
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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.

As some of you may know, not many things actually go as smoothly as they were planned. As you start to become an expert traveller, you learn to expect some bumps along the road. Things become more relaxed because, hey, it all works out in the end right?

Rewind a little bit, and we are flying over to Amsterdam (and to Europe!) for the first time in either of our lives. We hop off the plane at 10:30 pm local time and are ready to find our Air Bnb. As rookie travellers (this being the first country of many) we failed to board the right bus in our excitement. The bus is taking us in the exact opposite direction of wh...

Category: Writers In Residence
Peter Mate
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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.

I advise my fellow travelers to take time to reflect in order to review their growth during their time away from home. Reviewing their growth will enable new ideas to take shape by providing time to reflect on their life’s journey. When I was living in New York and Budapest, I lived off the energy of my surroundings: Protests, exploring and achievement became a regular occurrence. However, my time abroad elicited contempt: I finished my studies confused about my career and overall intentions. 

When reviewing my time abroad, I realized that I pursued many endeavours simply for their achievem...

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.

Okay, so I don’t know how many of you guys packed your own lunches growing up, but my mother made sure I was self-sufficient. We would go to the grocery store every week and my older sister and I were allowed to each pick a few items to include in our lunches for the school week to come.

As we got older, we pumped the brakes on some of the things we knew were a definite ‘no’ (chocolate, candy, chips, cakes) and actually began to pick out fruits. As we progressed from grade to grade we had a better understanding of what was going to get squished in our backpacks and what wasn’t. 

To this day, every time I s...

Category: Writers In Residence

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