Mariam Ali, Mahurangi Regional Park in New Zealand
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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

When I came back to Vancouver from my time in Europe, I had trouble readjusting to my new life. I disliked being stuck in the suburbs and not being able to explore other cities and countries like I could during my exchange. It was for that reason that I bought a ticket for New Zealand three weeks after I returned and flew there mid-December. My exchange had given me a desire to get out of my comfort zone to explore the world and I now had the confidence to do so.

Going to New Zealand was a comparatively less intimidating experience because I already had family there who would welcome and take care of me. Since this w...

Category: Writers In Residence
Lucy Dabbs, Beijing Capital Museum
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By: Lucy Dabbs, Georges P. Vanier Secondary School, participant of the 2017 Beijing International Education Exchange (BIEE) Summer Camp.

After lunch we spent three hours at the Beijing Capital Museum. The building was massive, seven stories high with flights of escalators for each floor. There was a huge circular wall up one end of the building, containing spiral hallways leading to different circular rooms within. Two sides of the building were all glass windows looking out into the city. There were many different rooms with historical artifacts and information on old China.

Many elementary schoolers were there on school field trips, and we're very interested in taking selfies with us. Despite all the interesting exhibits on every floor, by the end of touring aroun...

Category: Student Blog
Lucy Dabbs
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By: Lucy Dabbs, Georges P. Vanier Secondary School, participant of the 2017 Beijing International Education Exchange (BIEE) Summer Camp.

6:15 AM. I open my eyes, making out the ceiling through the dim room. I lie flat on my back, spine uncomfortably straight on the wooden board. The snores of three others gently rise and fall under thin blankets. I swivel into sitting position, thin blanket slipping off my shoulders. My bare-feet touch cold white stone floor tiles. I stand, gently move a few steps, and assume a crouching position at the charging station. A voltage converting power bar plugged into an unusual Chinese outlet, with the cords of my dorm’s devices coming off like the tentacles of a jellyfish. My right hand picks up my iPod, while I push my bangs out of my face...

Category: Student Blog
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 crazy! I just said “BYEEEEEEEE!!” to one of my good friends, who is going on exchange to Monash University in Australia. I think it’s safe to say that ever since I’ve been back, I have become a very active exchange advocate. The memories and lessons of exchange have, and never will – entirely leave me. I’m glad to know of a few whom are most likely starting to pack their bags (or have), filling their last week or so with meet-ups and farewells, and double/triple/quadruple-checking that they’re got everything (visa, funds, etc.).  For those of you out there who are scouring last minute blogs/websites/forums for tips – just...

Category: Writers In Residence

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