Megan Graham, Thompson Rivers University, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship
We would like to thank everyone who entered the 2017 BC Study Abroad Contest. We received some AMAZING photos this year from a wide cross-section of students and alumni.
Thank you again, Study and Go Abroad, for sponsoring our grand prize of a GoPro Camera!
By: Matthew Hoogwoud, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, winner of the 2017 Stories from Abroad Scholarship.
“I’m terrified. I have never done something like this before!”
These were the thoughts that were rolling around in my mind during the twelve-hour flight to my exchange destination, Kyoto, Japan. It felt like the longest twelve hours that I have experienced in recent years as I sat nervously in my seat watching the on-screen map move incrementally towards Japan. I don’t even know how to cook properly, I thought.
For the majority of students I have spoken with wishing to participate in a study abroad program, funding is a major barrier. Many students pass up the opportunity of their dreams because they are already swimming in student loans and cannot think of adding to this burden. Beyond dipping into your savings, adding to your debt load, or working yourself to the bone, there are a number of ways to acquire the funds you need.
Do your homework. This goes both literally and figuratively. Many study abroad programs take academic achievement into account when selecting applicants, so hit those books. Additionally, researching the country you are applying to visit will not only help get you excited to study abroad, it will improve your understanding of the country’s culture, history and politics, as well as enhance your experience during your time abroad.
Some topics I researched before my trip to Japan:
Humans are dynamic. We are always changing, learning and growing. The person you are after your study abroad experience will likely be different from who you are now. Here are three attributes that you can cultivate to help you during your study abroad, and beyond.
I recently returned from a study abroad exchange in Japan—my second experience, the first being a field school in Mexico. My experience in Japan was culturally more fulfilling, which I credit to, this time, staying with a host family. Here are a few perks of living with a host family:
Fourteen Grade 10, 11, and 12 students from Fraser Academy in Vancouver recently returned from a fantastic trip to Japan and South Korea. Over the 13 days, students were immersed in a wealth of cultural and social experiences, exposed to global perspectives and contexts, and given the opportunity to explore historical locations and artifacts. Various Japanese Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines were visited, including Sensouji Temple and Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, as well as Sanjusangendo, Kyomizudera Temple, and Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto.