Richard Gaudreau, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
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Studying or working abroad isn’t cheap. To help you decide whether you can afford it, the following is an overview of some of the less obvious costs I had poorly accounted for before leaving to work abroad. As well there are some helpful tips for those trying to budget effectively.  

Accommodation

In addition to the cost of accommodation, you should consider what you’ll need to buy for your new place. Will you be given thin sheets, cups, utensils, pots, pans etc.? If you need to buy additional items for your accommodation, you should add these costs to your accommodation budget.

Vaccines, Medical expenses and Health Insurance

If you are travelling to areas where you will need vaccines or other medication, your current...

Category: Writers In Residence
Lisa King
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I am going to provide you with a sample list that will help you pack properly for this amazing adventure.

I studied abroad in Colombia for two weeks and had to plan for two completely different climate zones. Our field school started in the high altitude capital city of Bogota and continued down to the tropical rainforest of the Amazon. Luckily we were able to leave half our gear in Bogota and pick it up upon our return.

The Essentials

Shots: Talk to your travel clinic at least six months prior to your trip and find out what is needed for the zones you will be entering. I needed malaria pills and a yellow fever shot. Some people react negatively to treatment so be aware of the possible side effects.

Identification and Mo...

Category: Writers In Residence
Brendon Dawson
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Adjusting to life in China has been a constant learning experience, like the ebb and flow of the tide, at times the waves of struggle can be endless. I have found that to successfully integrate and succeed here I have had to change the ways that I relax and enjoy myself in this new environment. I grew up on the water in British Columbia and have a deep love of nature, hiking, and exposing myself to the outdoors. This was how I found serenity and peace in my active life.  Some of my biggest struggles in China were due to my inability to find this same peace that I could cultivate at home which forced me to find other avenues.

China is a source of constant stimulation, the amount of activity and goings on can be endless yet the beauty of the city of Shanghai in some ways in unparalleled. I a...

Category: Writers In Residence
Richard Gaudreau, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
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Hello, my name is Richard Gaudreau.

I was born in a very small French Canadian farming community in Saskatchewan, Canada. Since, I then also lived in Montreal, Calgary, and Victoria. I graduated from the University of Victoria with a BA in Political Science.

During my time in University, I had the opportunity to complete three separate work placements: working for the Canadian Navy, the Canadian Federal Government and a Global Online Marketing Company. I have also worked a lot of jobs not listed on my resume including short stints as a lifeguard, waiter, roofer, translator, and pallet production assistant, to name a few.

In the past five years, I also backpacked throughout South America, Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa. Among the many things that I was able to acc...

Category: Writers In Residence
Oana Salcescu, Amsterdam
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To read the previous posts from the Equilibrium: That Perfect Balance Between Work and Play series, click the following links: Part 1 | Part 2

Always remember – you have control.

As an international student, you’ll inevitably run into roadblocks. Whether it’s trying to find a new home to live in, figuring out your visa documents, or just feeling homesick and a bit lonely on another continent.

However, don’t despair!

Whenever I was faced trouble, my dad alway...

Category: Writers In Residence
Lisa King
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STUDENT DEBT. As a student, every time I looked at posters around campus advertising various study abroad programs I thought about my debt. How can a student on a strict budget even think about travelling abroad to study? I did not think it was possible until I was in my last year of studies. Here are some ways you can make your dream come true without dipping hard into your wallet.

1) SCHOLARSHIPS AND BURSARIES. Institutions and external sources such as BC Study Abroad encourage students to head off and gain solid life experience. They offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries for students leaving the country to study. Personally, I heard stories of students paying their entire way through scholarships so I worked hard and applied to everything...

Category: Writers In Residence
Nicolas Zdunich
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You’ve decided to take the plunge and go on an adventure with a travel companion. Most likely someone that knows you well, has seen you at your best and worst, a person that has been there for you more than once, and you to them many times. This describes your best friend, a person that is so close that they are like a sibling to you. You may have been through it all, but travelling is an experience that not only changes you, it changes the friendship dynamic. 

Remember this key thought when you decide to hit the road with your amigo.

Always remember, that you don’t need to do EVERYTHING together. This statement is easier said than done. When travelling, the comfort zone that provided the backbone of your friendship has changed, you are now pioneers set out to discover parts of the...

Category: Writers In Residence
Brendon Dawson, Qibao, Shanghai
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First we will start with a quick update from last month - I successfully obtained my residence permit! I am legally entitled to leave and remain in the People’s Republic of China for the next year. I feel good about that.

The month of October began with the celebration of the Golden Week - the Chinese National Holiday. The entire experience from my perspective was anything from relaxing. The city quickly empties as urbanites flock to their home provinces, this exodus is matched only by the mass inflow of provincial tourists coming to partake in the pleasures and sights of the city! Some of these rich experiences are seeing foreigners - the stares and gawks have been occurring at a larger rate than normal over the week. In addition, there have been fighter jets flying above us all week in c...

Category: Writers In Residence
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

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