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By: Brianna Condilenios, Simon Fraser University, winner of the spring 2020 BC Study Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Netherlands

Openness: the quality of being receptive to new ideas, opinions, or arguments; open-mindedness. This calls for active listeners who do not wish to have their expectations confirmed, but who bring with them a certain curiosity and openness to the world.

[dictionary.com]

The sheer amount of diversity on this planet inspires me. The world is bursting with brilliant cultures, people, languages, places, food, music, and countless other marvellous wonders. There is simply so much to learn, experience, and love. For me this sort of magnitude translates into a...

Category: Student Blog
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By: Theresa Doan, Simon Fraser University, winner of the spring 2020 BC Study Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Singapore

Religion has never been a large part of who I am, but in recent years, I have made more of an effort to understand the religion my mother used to heavily practice. My mom, being the only person in my family who is religious, taught us some of the larger Buddhist practices growing up. Throughout the years, we practiced less and less, and my little connection to the culture and religion was diminishing. The past three years, on Lunar New Year, I have gone to the temple my family and I used to go to growing up, and have prayed for success and happiness for my family for the new year. I would go by myself...

Category: Student Blog
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By: Theresa Doan, Simon Fraser University, winner of the spring 2020 BC Study Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Singapore

It was Lunar New Year weekend and news was spreading about this infectious flu that was coming from the Wuhan province in China. Knowing that people were travelling in and out of China and all around Asia meant that if the virus were to spread, this would be the weekend it started. After that weekend, things had really blown up in Asia causing people all over the continent to stir and panic.

My friends and I went through the same frenzy process everyone did in the early stages of COVID, we just did it two months earlier than our friends in the West. Individuals were bulk buying from the grocery...

Category: Student Blog
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Theresa Doan, Simon Fraser University, winner of the spring 2020 BC Study Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Singapore

When I packed for Singapore, I wasn’t planning on coming back to Canada until mid-June. The original plan was to finish my exchange semester in Singapore and explore Southeast Asia with one of my friends from home, but of course that’s not how this story played out. Instead my exchange ended up being three short, but very sweet months.

If I had any advice for other students going on exchange, I would tell them to go to as many host university exchange events as possible. If host universities are anything like NUS, there will be 3-5 different kinds of events made for exchangers to meet each other. I...

Category: Student Blog
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Brianna Condilenios, Simon Fraser University, winner of the spring 2020 BC Study Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: the Netherlands

I arrived in Maastricht with three neatly packed black pieces of luggage and a folder holding my precious city maps, confirmations, and to-do lists. I meticulously prepared every thinkable element of this trip, from making a double copy of my birth certificate to handwriting the exact train transfers I needed to get from Paris to Maastricht. I have always found delicious comfort in planning. So for my first time in Europe, I wanted to ensure my safety and success through careful precision.

I cautiously wandered down cobblestone streets and ventured into curious-looking stores. I did not know where I wou...

Category: Student Blog
Mingguang (明光), China - Welcome in to Kevin's family for Chinese New Year
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By: Harris Green, a member of the Studies in China Alumni Society of British Columbia (SCAS-BC).

My first study abroad experience was almost 7 years ago when I took a leap to study in Lund, Sweden for 6 months. The desire to continue living overseas began to build after returning home to Vancouver. Those feelings are what inspired me to work in Shanghai for the last 2 years. The effects from these study/work abroad experiences on how I value the interconnectedness of cultures and the importance of cross-cultural experiences has only compounded in the face of the current COVID-19 situation.

Despite the current closing of borders and fear of the unknow...

Category: Student Blog
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By: Porsche Campbell, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, winner of the spring 2019 BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: India

After months of travelling, it feels amazing to be back home in Vancouver, BC. My time abroad in Kerala, India was nothing short of amazing. Most importantly, my outlook on life, my career as a nurse and my appreciation for my country were positively heightened. As I settle back into my reality and day-to-day life I have begun to reflect on my experiences as a student nurse in India, incorporating the lessons I’ve learnt into my work as a nurse in Canada. The biggest lesson I took away from my travels abroad was the importa...

Category: Student Blog
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By: Brian Lau, Simon Fraser University, winner of the fall 2019 BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Singapore

I can’t believe 5 months just FLEW by like that. Before I begin, I want to extend my thanks to everyone back home to provide me with this opportunity as well as thank the friends I’ve met during my exchange. Without them, my exchange would not have been so fulfilling. This ties into what I have learned and can appreciate. You can say that it’s not just the things you know but the people you know. Google is only a search engine where tourists usually post stuff so the local gems are not known to...

Category: Student Blog
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By: Brian Lau, Simon Fraser University, winner of the fall 2019 BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Singapore

I applied to exchange by myself with no friends from home. I thought this would be a way to push myself out from my current circle of friends, so I go out and meet others. This decision contributed to a significant part of my exchange and growth.

In the beginning, it was difficult to approach people I didn’t know, but one friend after another, my curiosity for people’s background grew and it became more natural to say hi. I now have so many friends around the world where it gives me an ex...

Category: Student Blog
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By: Brian Lau, Simon Fraser University, winner of the fall 2019 BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Singapore

I always thought that a detailed itinerary is the way to travel. I will know exactly what I am doing and have an expectation of what I will see. I want to control and the knowledge of what I will be doing before I do it. But recently, I caught myself losing control over what I want to do, rather I felt that the itinerary was in control. This made the places I visit of low value and insignificant. After some reflection, I concluded that I focus on the future more than I live in the present. I can...

Category: Student Blog

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