Julie Han, Simon Fraser University
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By: Julie Han, Simon Fraser University, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Two weeks before my return, I sent my parents a list of foods I expect waiting for me either at home or in the car as soon as my feet touch Canadian soil. Demanding? Yes. Necessary? Yes. Of course, I missed my parents, my friends, and my dog. And of course, I miss my friends in Amsterdam, as well as the cheap beverages. But, in the past 72 hours, I’ve managed to eat myself into a pretty impressive food coma while staring at big beautiful mountains and breathing in fresh West Coast air. As soon as that panicking feeling every couple of minutes that I don’t remember where I parked my bike, I think...

Category: Student Blog
Julie Han, Simon Fraser University
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By: Julie Han, Simon Fraser University, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

I was genuinely surprised how quickly my life fell into the rhythm here in Amsterdam. Although, it took a significant amount of effort to start falling in the right direction. Outside of classes, I began fencing again and joined the student club, which luckily happened to be just down the road. I used to be a competitive fencer, but I quit after secondary school for some very long and complicated reasons. Another essential element of my life here in Amsterdam was Louise, a German exchange student who lived at the other end of the hall. Louise became my favourite person in Amsterdam.

Louise...

Category: Student Blog
Photo credit: Sarah Spencer
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By: Charlotte Telfer-Wan, Simon Fraser University, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Auckland, New Zealand

In the beginning, I, Charlotte Telfer-Wan, had a plan. I wanted to know everything about contemporary dance. I wanted to figure out what dance is like around the world. I still do, but now, after my wonderful semester studying abroad in New Zealand, my outlook on dance and post-secondary study has changed.

Students study subjects that they are interested in enough to continue learning about for potentially, the rest of their careers. These subjects seem enclosed in the walls of the university, however even in an undergrad degree the mind is continuously searching for knowledge of the...

Category: Student Blog
Julie Han, Simon Fraser University
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By: Julie Han, Simon Fraser University, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

In secondary school, I got the opportunity to attend a program at the University of Calgary for four weeks. The first weekend, I got 56 mosquito bites in 24 hours. The next morning, my legs swelled up like balloon animals by a drunk birthday clown. Two weeks later, from maybe 100 meters above, a seagull dropped a gnarly bomb right on my phone screen – bullseye. One week later, I ripped my big toenail off with a door frame. And those four weeks were eerily reminiscent of my first four weeks here at the University of Amsterdam. My dumb luck.

As soon as I landed, I was struck with the thick m...

Category: Student Blog
Trisha Bhamra
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By: Trisha Bhamra, Camosun College, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Mexico

It has been a couple weeks since my return to Canada from Mexico. Needless to say, this trip was one of the best things I could have done to not only grow as an individual but also grow as a dental professional. In my last blog post (Part I and Part II), I had mentioned the epic four days of the clinic we had at San Pancho and all the amazing cultural education we experienced regarding the town of San Pancho.  After the...

Category: Student Blog
Cheyenne Rode, Vancouver Island University
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By Cheyenne Rode, Vancouver Island University, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Melbourne, Australia

The amazing thing about studying abroad is that your days can be vastly different. For example, one day you’re just like a regular student. You wake up at 8 am, go to class, get a much-needed coffee, study, hang out with your friends, then go to bed.

Although, of course, there are slight differences between this day and the same one back home. The classes you go to are filled with people from another culture. These people have different accents, views on life, and socials norms. Also, the coffee you drink is tremendously better than the ones back home as you’re living in...

Category: Student Blog
Charlotte Telfer-Wan, Roy’s Peak Wanaka, New Zealand
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By: Charlotte Telfer-Wan, Simon Fraser University, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Auckland, New Zealand

The study abroad experience is like a big juicy sandwich. At one end, you have the studying; receiving a quality education at a different university. At the other end, you have the abroad portion; living and travelling through a different country. In my case, I chose to come to The University of Auckland in New Zealand for 4 months.

At my new university, I am in courses related to my major that were not offered at my home University (Simon Fraser University). Studying here is different, not only do the courses cover new topics but the teachers have a different approach to teaching. I...

Category: Student Blog
Trisha Bhamra, Camosun College
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By: Trisha Bhamra, Camosun College, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Mexico

My next favourite place was Circo de la Ninos. This place was actually started by one of the producers of Cirque du Soleil. If you know me at all….you know how much I love Cirque du Soleil. This place is special because it empowers young children and youth to take part in something outside of school and it inspires them to work towards to things that may seem impossible at first. Glades, who works closely with Circo de la Ninos, tells us that the main goal of this place is to make all kids feel they are all on the same playing field. Whether their parents are rich or poor, white or Mexican. The Circus makes this program...

Category: Student Blog
Entre Amigos, San Pancho
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By: Trisha Bhamra, Camosun College, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Mexico

Well, after all the chaos of last-minute packing, trying to gather our things on time and catching the god awful 6 am flight to Mexico…WE FINALLY MADE IT!!!! As soon as we exited the aircraft in Mexico there was a huge wave of heat and mugginess. It was mere 30 degrees with 96% humidity. No big deal! The heat wasn’t the problem… I was worried about what the humidity was going to do to my already voluminous hair. Well, let's just say my hair had its own zip code in Mexico.

We took a 1.5-hour taxi ride to San Pancho from Puerto Vallarta and on the way, we stopped at a supermarket called MEGA for some grocery, shopp...

Category: Student Blog
Michelle Davies, Poschiavo, Switzerland
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By: Michelle Davies, Thompson Rivers University, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship

Study Abroad Destination: Germany​

Before leaving from Canada for Belgium in 2013, as an exchange student, I was offered the sage advice that nothing is “better or worse, just different.” I was encouraged to approach every situation with an open mind. Though I strived to do just that, I found myself comparing my host and home country. From the transportation to the food, Canada, in my mind had it all backwards. Upon returning to Canada after 11 months, I experienced reverse culture shock questioning and comparing everything between the two countries.

When I travelled to Switzerland for my second study abroad experience in 2015, I fe...

Category: Student Blog

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