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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We are pleased to announce our 2016 Stories from Abroad: British Columbia Study Abroad Scholarship Winners!. Congratulations to:
- Camille James, Vancouver Island University
- Garrett Lakey, College of New Caledonia
- Kira Daley, Langara College
- Kyla Oshanek, Camosun College
- Malavika Santhosh, Simon Fraser University
- Shelby Anderton, Douglas College
Be sure to check out our student blog section regularly as our winners will be posting about their experiences abroad!
Today I finished the last exam of my study abroad semester. I have three more weeks in the lovely city of Berlin and I can’t help but have all types of strong emotions. In Berlin, I found out who I really am, what I’m looking for, what I can’t stand, and what I wish to have. In Berlin, I found out what true happiness is. Most importantly, in Berlin, I found out how amazing it is to have a simple life.