Hi readers!

I think there is always a moment in every student’s learning career when we look at ourselves and think: I need to get away. We look at our rooms that we have grown tired of, our parents who we fight with, or thistle hallway where our least favourite class is, and think that we want to study outside a BrockU classroom, and sometimes outside Canada in general. I know I have! This is the exact reason why I have started looking into Brock’s exchange programs. The first thought of exchange programs (for my at least), is that I can barely pay for school, let alone travelling across the world to go to school. After many exchange information sessions, I have realized that finance is the least of my worries.

Brittany Holyome- Personal 2

Brittany Holyome (in the exchange shirt) takes a personal photo on her exchange as she admires Rome! Thanks Brittany.

Exchange programs at Brock University are not dramatically more expensive than attending Brock as a local student. International learning programmers and exchange executives hold information sessions on exchange programs throughout this October month to accommodate for the increasing number of students interested in travel. With these sessions, I realized that the stigma that exchanges are ridiculously expensive is being broken down. However, what is expensive is the factors such as air fare, food, nights out on the town, as well as the events and travel that take place once the student is on the exchange — the skydiving, the bungee jumping, the weekend trips! A great thing about the exchange programs are that they give students the chance to explore other countries, nearby cities, and try new things at their own expense and excitement.

Jordan Koroll, skydiving in Cairns, Australia! This photo was a winner of Brock's Returned Exchanged Students Photo Contest 2013 for personal photo, 1st place winner.

Jordan Koroll, skydiving in Cairns, Australia! This photo was a winner of Brock’s Returned Exchanged Students Photo Contest 2013 for personal photo, 1st place winner.

Current exchange students at Brock might take off out west to places like British Columbia for a weekend or so, because their time here is their only time to really admire Canada. Sometimes travel is cheaper here, and planes may not be as expensive, so they take advantage of it. It is not unheard of if you travel to Australia for studies to pop on a plane to Fiji and soak up the sun for a weekend… like whaaaat?!

Landscape - 1st Place - Alex Mohr, Castle in Chillon, Switzerland

1st Place Landscape photo – Alex Mohr, Castle in Chillon, Switzerland.

Anyway, other than personal expenses, the exchange itself is not much more expensive than it is to live at Brock. Brock’s residence costs are used to calculate estimates of how much an exchange would be in total. Students on exchanges are still regular Brock students with their spot at their original school, but swapping the spot of a student at the desired university. So, they are always paying Brock’s tuition, and never paying international rates. Studying internationally is incredibly expensive, but exchanges are not. Exchanges programs offer students cheap means of travel, enhanced resumes, and make students more cultured. There is also a program called ISEP that is available, offering students to pay exact Brock costs, tuition, food plans, and residence, yet letting them travel to every continent minus Antarctica.

Deadlines for the exchange applications are Friday, January 9th, 2015. This application includes two academic references, picking three schools of choice in order of preference, as well a written statement of purpose as to why the student would like to attend this program. It is important to educate early prior to the deadline for exchanges so that student visas, air fare, living accommodations, and picking universities are of no rush.

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After an hour long information session, I found myself eager to get up out of my chair and run to get the fliers on the table beside me. I took some home and now I am left to decide what could be their most life changing — and not so expensive — decision of my life! And you should too.

If you need to know anything else about exchanges, visit http://www.brocku.ca/international-services/exchanges-study-abroad or drop into the International Centre, room 210, and ask away.

Till next time!

Jam.