Melinda Ng, South Korea
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You regret something you didn’t do more than you regret something you have done. I could not agree more with this statement as it is exactly how I feel about many of my experiences in the amazing city of Seoul.

I am so blessed to live within Metropolitan Vancouver - beautiful lakes, beaches, and mountains are literally at my doorstep. There are lots of friendly people, great food, and fun things to do all year round. I couldn’t be happier that my hometown is regarded as one of the best places to live in the world.

Even so, don’t be afraid to find yourself comparing your cities - embrace it! Because no two cities are alike, that is what makes it wonderful to travel. Try to do everything you find different and avoid what you can get at home. For example, I tried not shop at H&M or...

Category: Writers In Residence
Oana Salcescu at Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands
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Click here to read Part 1 of Equilibrium: That Perfect Balance Between Work and Play 

But back to the topic at hand – what does this have to do with balancing my life?

Well, I was reading a lot about problems we face due to being overworked or overtired. When I started realizing my life balancing skills were lacking, I took a step back to assess what was going on and came to some important conclusions.

So, let’s dive into the first important thing I learned:

Stop taking yourself so seriously.

This became more and more pertinent as I spent time subjecting myself to the evaluation of others – for example, through applicatio...

Category: Writers In Residence
Oana Salcescu, Rotterdam, Netherlands
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Hi there! My name is Oana and I was recently approached to be a Writer in Residence for the BC Study Abroad Blog. Initially I was more than excited to take up the offer, but I realized I had a problem: I felt as though I was already in the depths of school-related responsibilities and had little time to do anything for fun, let alone take on another one more commitment.

As I mulled this over, I remembered one important lesson I’ve learned: if you don’t manage your time, your time will manage you – and it will probably end poorly.

I’m sure everyone can relate to this: you are doing X amount of coursework per week, have friends/a family/a significant other, maybe have a part-time job or are involved in clubs and sports. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed.

If this sounds like you,...

Category: Writers In Residence
Brendon Dawson, Yuyuan Gardens in central Shanghai
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As a citizen of your own country, immigration procedures are something that you rarely have to think about; they exist for those who decide to come to your country, not those who already live in it. Studying abroad changes that assumption and introduces you to a completely foreign bureaucracy that you are often left to navigate alone. My arrival in China a month ago has certainly been a myriad of different challenges and new experiences but all have revolved around my quest to attain a residence permit.

The bureaucracy was a seemingly endless succession of forms, stamps, photos, and signatures all attained, received, and submitted to different offices, approval centres, and registration desks. This experience was certainly frustrating at first but then became comical as you realize you are...

Category: Writers In Residence
Lisa King, Colombia
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It is your first day back to school and you are getting acquainted with your new classes. Maybe it’s your first year, maybe you have been doing this for a while. The excitement, nervousness and anticipation of what the semester has in store for you pulses though your veins. You mingle with new classmates and reconnect with the old ones, grab your syllabus and head towards the bookstore. Along the way you notice posters plastered to the walls in the halls. Need a tutor?, Great deal on a suite! and various varsity sport tryouts. You pass by them with mild interest, one by one, and join the long queue at the bookstore entrance. The wait is painfully long, you check your phone, shove it back in your bag, check it again and realize it’s only been moments. You are given a moment of st...

Category: Writers In Residence
Nicolas Zdunich
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1. Music
Layovers, gatherings, beach days, lazy Sundays, train trips, white water rafting excursions, and so many other outings are all about to take place. This is your moment, people make movies about the adventures that you are about to embark on, so load up whatever device you have with all the songs you can. These songs will undoubtedly become the soundtrack to your vacation and remain in a special place in your heart for years to come. They become the soundtrack to your life. 

2. eReader
I love my eReader, people always give me grief about reading on “real pages”, however, if you haven’t already experienced it, luggage restrictions are tight and if you are carrying your life on your back, downsizing is the way to go (trust me on this). T...

Category: Writers In Residence
Anna Kosa
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Everything about Kathmandu is colourful. The stupas are gilded in gold, the temples are bordered with red and yellow, and the Himalayas are a stark white against the soft blue sky. But it was the people more than anything else that made me love Nepal.

In January, I travelled to Nepal as a Junior Professional Consultant through the United Nations Association in Canada’s (UNA-Canada) International Development & Diplomacy Internship Programme (IDDIP) to work with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), specifically with the Democratic Transition Unit (DTU). The DTU assists with Nepal’s democratic transition following the ten-year armed civil conflict between the Maoist rebels and government forces that ended in 2006. My placement was set for six...

Category: Writers In Residence
Melinda Ng, South Korea
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If I could give one piece of advice to students studying abroad, it would be this - get to know the apps in your city! I was fortunate enough to get to study in South Korea, one of the most technologically-advanced countries in the world. While abroad I took advantage of local apps to help me adjust into my new life. Not all countries have this luxury, but it is a great idea to know what your country excels in. I recommend taking some time to look into whether you can use technology to your advantage to overcome culture shock, or to help you get around the city. Technology comes in all shapes and sizes, but for starters, I’m going to go on the assumption that most university kids will have a smartphone. If you do, research your apps! Apps are absolutely amazing, and can help you out in many situa...

Category: Writers In Residence
Nicolas Zdunich
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MILAN – Fashion Capital of the world, DaVInci’s City, and the #1 place the New York Times said you had to visit in 2015 was all mine. It was my new stomping ground, a huge city with daring looks, delectable cuisine, and a language that makes you weak in the knees every time someone smiles and says ciao. Italian culture is based on the idea of romance; years of romance that has created one of the most recognizable cultures through food, fashion and a mesmerizing history. Every person wants to get that authentic feeling. To do this, my advice is to simply…get lost…literally.

Armed with only my iPod and a comfy pair of shoes I would start the trek around the city with no destination or route in mind. Once you are out of the way of famous monuments and stumble upon streets with names...

Category: Writers In Residence

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