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Have you heard that the majority of people fear public speaking more than they fear death? Personally, I get it. I have always dreaded the seemingly constant public speaking associated with higher education. We have all been there. From introductions on the first day of classes, to the instructor calling on you unexpectedly, or worse: class presentations.

Category: Writers In Residence
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It was 9 am and my clothes were already sticking to my skin as we strolled down the cracked streets towards the riverbank. I needed to make one quick stop at the little money exchange kiosk at the end of the block. A man in a white t-shirt and jean shorts sat on a wooden chair with a crate propped up beside him. I needed more pesos, so I plopped down a crisp fifty-dollar American bill and a used looking twenty. He pushed the twenty back and pointed at the folded corner; damaged bills were not accepted. I was told this was a common request among rural exchanges.

Category: Writers In Residence
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So my study abroad trip to China is over! When I boarded my flight leaving Vancouver back in May, it felt like such a long period of time stretched out before me. By the time the last week rolled around, the days just flipped past. And finally, all I had left to do was say my tearful goodbyes and hop on my 10-hour flight home to Vancouver! I don’t know about you, but this is my least favourite part of any trip. On the way there, you’re filled with excitement and anticipation, and you spend the flight daydreaming and reading about your destination.

Category: Student Blog
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After 51 days through 2 different countries, 6 beautiful cities across 2 different time zones by trains, planes, automobiles and boats- it is true to say; there’s no place like home. It feels like everything at home is exactly how I left it- except for me. To say that my time in Asia was “life changing” is an understatement but I suppose that phrase will have to do. 

Category: Student Blog
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The Food: during our month in San Pancho we dined at nearly every restaurant. I was surprised and delighted by the variety of food we found here. We even had a special dinner prepared for us in a local home as well as a private cooking class where we learned to make huevos rancheros and tortilla soup.

Category: Student Blog
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I still can't believe it, but here I am - China. Today officially marks one month that I've been away from home participating in a field school opportunity offered through my nursing program and traveling around China. To put into words what this time has been so far is seeming to be an impossible task. It's been a month of time change, language barriers and culture shock. A month of new smells, new food and new people.

Category: Student Blog
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If you are an introvert—like me—you can probably imagine that being in a group setting in a foreign country 24/7 for thirty days will pose some challenges. Introverts need quiet time to recharge, so being in a group all day can be draining. Before departing for my field school I pondered how I would navigate the upcoming reality of very little quiet time in addition to the regular ups and downs of a field school experience. I have now spent the past three weeks in a group of mostly extroverted individuals, and it has been a great experience.

Category: Student Blog
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Why are you doing this? I recently attended a pre-departure workshop on building cultural competence and was asked this question. Each of the twenty-five or so attendees shared with the group their reason for participating in their respective field schools. Feeling a bit on the spot, I answered the first thing that came to mind: "I have always wanted to go to another country and volunteer, especially with children, and thought it was a great opportunity to do so through my program of study (dental hygiene)". After the workshop, I started to think more about that question.

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It’s April 30th, the day before my trip to Costa Rica. In this Natural Resource Field School and Cultural Exchange class I will be experiencing and learning about how Costa Rica manages its natural resources and how this country balances the different land uses. Being that this is my first time leaving Canada, I am extremely excited about this opportunity. Preparing for this trip has been a new experience as well. Little things like applying for a passport, getting travel insurance, and taking a day-long Spanish class have been both interesting and overwhelming.

Category: Student Blog

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