Last First Day Of School

Events
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Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, British Columbia (September 2016)

“Don’t let your anchor hold you down forever. Eventually, you will have to sail to a new adventure.”
– Unknown

The Grand Finale

Study Abroad
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ITMC Graduation @ NHTV Breda University Of Applied Sciences (July 2016)

My year of studying abroad at NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences has been one filled with many firsts. Along with making new friends, exploring new campuses, and cycling to university as a daily routine, I learned so many new concepts and valuable lessons. My academic focus was mostly on international marketing, customer relationship management, travel photography, arts based tourism, and different perspectives of the tourism industry.

I am excited to announce that I received the best grades of my academic career while studying here, with a 3.9 of 4.0 GPA and a weighted average of 8.8. In addition, my independent undergraduate research about mapping the street art culture of Amsterdam has received a lot of attention. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, focused on International Tourism Management and Consultancy on July 1st, 2016. As my family couldn’t be present, some of my great friends came to support me which made me very happy. I have been lucky to be surrounded by some pretty amazing people this year.

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ITMC Graduation @ NHTV Breda University Of Applied Sciences (July 2016)

I am very grateful and honoured to have been the first student from Thompson Rivers University to take place in the new double degree program with this internationally acclaimed Dutch university. I have nothing but great things to say about my experiences here, and I am looking forward to meeting the Dutch exchange students in the coming years, as well as following future TRU students’ journeys exploring this beautiful city.

In the future, I will be spending my summer here in Breda and travelling through the Netherlands and Belgium. After my return to Canada, I will be travelling throughout Vancouver Island with my parents before finishing my last year of my Bachelor of Tourism Management degree at Thompson Rivers University.

Lastly, I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me throughout this academic journey. You are truly the best!

Growth Happens In The Valleys

Inspiration, Study Abroad, Travel
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Eygelshoven, The Netherlands (June 2016)

“Change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous at the end.” 
– Robin Sharma

Change is a beautiful thing. Really, it was a scary thing for me when I boarded a plane and moved to a country that I’ve never been to by myself last August. As my time is slowly winding down here, I can see such dramatic changes in who I am right now compared to who I was. It is a beautiful transformation to reflect upon. Now, not only am I totally content to not bathe for three days and go camping with people I’ve only just met… (see the post camping/music festival selfie from above), but I have learned how to love myself, make healthy choices in my lifestyle, find balance, look at everything from different points of view, and thrive in saying yes to new experiences. I’ve travelled, mostly alone, to ten different countries in the past ten months. I’ve seen beautiful works of art, both in museums and in the natural world, experienced many other cultures through food, language, art, landscapes, and mostly importantly, by meeting new people. When I first arrived in Amsterdam, I had never stayed in a hostel before. Looking back, I had no expectations on what was to come, but I am grateful for every moment and I wouldn’t change a single thing. Change, it’s a crazy, beautiful thing.

Christmas Is Finally Here!

Study Abroad, Travel
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Cologne, Germany (December 2015)

…And you know how I can tell? Everywhere has a Christmas market! After celebrating Sinterklaas and a friend’s birthday this past week, I was excited to go on a study trip with NHTV’s International Student Club, Compass. We went to Germany for the day to visit six different Christmas Markets!

We traveled by bus (only two hours from Breda) to Cologne, and spent the entire day exploring the city centre. I made some new friends from Venezuela, Greece, and Germany. We found three different markets and each one was very different. The first one was set next to the stunning Cologne Cathedral, which was recently cleaned since its Neo-Gothic origins have left it looking dated. There was so much to smell, see, taste, touch, and experience. The smell of cooked fish, cinnamon, and gingerbread filled the air. Many different vendors had art, local foods and drinks, and the iconic German gift, tiny wooden sculptures, for sale.

The second market we found was my favourite, as it was themed very much like an elf village. Gnomes sculptures could be found playing and doing mischievous activities throughout the market. There was an ice skating rink as well, where people could skate around a beautiful monument. I will be dreaming of the delicious gluhwein (mulled wine) and bratwurst on a bun (German pork sausage) for ages to come! So good!

Set along the Rhine river and near the Chocolate museum, the third market was also quite nice. There was a tall ship that also doubled as a concession stand in the harbour. The Rhine is the second largest river in Western/Central Europe and it also empties into the North Sea through the Netherlands. We also walked along the promenade and saw many buskers and cruise ships. Christmas Markets are the ‘thing to do’ at this time of year. I hope wherever you are in the world, you are well, happy, and spending time with your loved ones. Happy Holidays!

Two Degrees? Yes, Please!

Study Abroad
NHTV (2)

Attendees to the NHTV Double Degree Presentation on November 19th 2015

As you may know, I am studying in Breda for one year to obtain a double degree in International Tourism Management and Consultancy from NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences  (Netherlands) AND a Bachelor of Tourism Management degree from Thompson Rivers University (Canada). This is such an incredible opportunity to become a globally minded, academic professional with access to one of the largest tourism libraries on the world, internationally focused classrooms, and wide range of topics to study.

Last week, Dr. Scherf gave a presentation to seventeen interested leisure students from NHTV and I stopped by to help out. It was so great to visit with her and promote two places that I am very passionate about.

I am the first student representative from Kamloops, British Columbia to attend NHTV and I am what has been dubbed as the “guinea pig” of this new collaboration. If you attend NHTV or TRU and may be interested in this great opportunity to study abroad, please feel free to ask me any questions!  There is so much to do when preparing for this adventure, from visas and residency permits to financial planning and medical preparations. I am more than happy to share my personal experiences with you. Definitely check back here as well, as this blog is meant to be a way of sharing what I have been up to throughout my time in the Netherlands.

 If you would like to learn more about earning a double degree, see here.