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

By the time we reach the great temple with Mao's portrait, the poncho has come off and I am now welcoming the rain upon my clothes.

As we enter one, then two security checkpoints, and make our way through the square towards the forbidden city, I develop a goal. I notice numerous locals wearing rainbow umbrella hats, about half the size of a regular umbrella and worn with a band around the forehead. I want one.

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

Sleep deprivation is something most teenagers experience at some point in their years, usually during the school year when procrastination is common and getting homework done early is not. We stay up late on our phones with no regard to how we're going to feel the next day, because we know we have the weekend to sleep in and stock up on sleep.

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

After we are nourished and briefly rested on the bus ride, it’s time to walk around a massive shopping centre for 4 hours! I was prepared to go shopping, and am very glad to hear we were aloud to go off independently if we met back for dinner.

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

Category: Student Blog
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By: Sean Paul Veltmeyer, Langara College, winner of the 2017 Stories from Abroad Scholarship.

Sunday morning I wake up to vibrations and the sound of jackhammers. Several minutes of shaking pass and I lose any hope of reprieve from the cacophony. Down a floor I turn a corner to find that the hallway to the gym, functional just yesterday, has overnight turned into an impassible rubbish heap; full of smashed tiles and debris. It appears I have discovered the source of the jackhammering. It’s sunny outside and there is much to see so I settle for a walk in the city.

Category: Student Blog
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By: Lenelle Jordan Kutzner, University of Victoria, winner of the 2017 Stories from Abroad Scholarship.

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

Each classroom holds a new set of students, and a whole new set of people to meet from multiple different countries. Throughout the day I learn numerous traditional Chinese Art and technical skills while laughing and getting to know the people in my class. Trying new things together is a great way to make friends.

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By Cheryl Olvera, Simon Fraser University, winner of the 2017 Stories from Abroad Scholarship.

Ah, Vancouver. What can I say? I love you and I’ve missed you, but I’m so so sad to be back in Canada. My apartment I sublet whilst gone is extremely dirty, my lamps are broken… I just feel lost. Turns out I really settled down in Brighton. I made some great friends, found a community in the local CrossFit gym, and even had a boyfriend.

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

Category: Student Blog

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