By Cheyenne Rode, Vancouver Island University, winner of the BC Study Abroad: Stories from Abroad Scholarship, member of the Writer and Residence Team
Study Abroad Destination: The Netherlands
Before going on my first exchange, I had a very strong desire to travel. I had actually started university and completed my first year before deciding to move to Calgary, AB to work and save money so I could go abroad. In my mind at the time this was the fastest way for me to be able to travel. Unfortunately, this did not go as planned as while I was there an oil crisis happened and the economy in Calgary wasn’t prosperous. So, after a year of making enough to live but not enough to accumulate a large savings I moved back home to Vancouver Island to go back to school. I felt it was necessary to go back to school at this point but was sadden by the fact that I did not get a chance to explore the world yet.
After my first month back in school I was already talking about dropping out again to try to save for a trip. My mother was the one to mention to me to look into if my school offered an exchange program. I searched online and found an email for a contact at the Education Abroad program at my university. They got back to me and let me know that the cut off for applying for the next semester was in just three days! I quickly applied and hoped. This was one of the best decisions I ever made. The following week they got back to me and let me know that I was accepted. The next few months passed in a blur of planning and excitement. The next thing I knew I was hopping on a plane heading to Utrecht, The Netherlands.