Quest students have several opportunities to work off campus and to travel and study abroad from completing language requirements, doing one to four blocks of experiential learning, and also going on exchange for up to one academic year. Students who are in a good academic standing and are active members of our community have the opportunity to apply to study with one of our international exchange partners for one or two academic terms. Quest has partner universities all over the world, such as in USA, Morocco, India, South Korea, United Kingdom, Bhutan, Wales, Mexico, and Germany.
Similarly, the possibility to come on exchange to Quest applies to students that are currently attending one of our partner universities. They can study here for several blocks (if their school is on the block program as well – currently this is the case only for students from Colorado College in USA), one term, or up to one full academic year. During my three years at Quest, I have met many exchange students whom have integrated into our community very well and seem to have had an amazing experience. If you are considering coming to Quest University Canada as an exchange, I suggest that you continue reading this blog post, as I will be highlighting some of our past exchange students’ experiences at Quest.
Prior to contacting some exchange exchange students about their experiences at Quest, I met with our Dean of Students – Melanie Koenderman – to talk about the process of finding new partner institutions, the number of students that come to Quest, and more. Melanie told me that the process of finding a new partner university is the product of a conjoined effort made by our Chief Academic Advisor, Ryan Derby-Talbot, and Melanie herself. In order to find a new partner institution, Melanie and Ryan collect suggestions from the faculty and other universities and also target a desirable area of the world. A potential partner university must be academically rigorous, have a good reputation, potentially have on-campus housing availability, have a small class size, and possibly be a small university.
Melanie elaborated on several programs, resources, and activities that are provided to the students who come to Quest in order to make their stay here more enjoyable and more fun. Will, our International Services and Housing Coordinator, welcomes the exchange students and is available to assist them during their transition to Quest. In addition, each exchange student receives a a faculty advisor who can assist them on course selection and other academic issues. Moreover, exchange students are guaranteed on-campus housing. Finally, exchange students have access to all on-campus facilities including the RecPlex, dance studio, yoga studio, the recording studio, music bay, and the art’s bay. In addition, Quest students have consistently shown interest on meeting the exchange students, showing them around campus, inviting them to different events, and simply getting to know each other better.
When asked about the exchange students experiences, Melanie said, “Some students thought that some of the courses were very demanding; however, they all agreed upon the idea that they were very informative. Many students were very sad to leave, since they integrated into the Quest community so well. Some of them applied to come to Quest for another semester; however, this is often more dependent upon their home university rather than Quest. Some former exchange students flew back to Quest just to visit or attend the end of the year events.” From this conversation with Melanie and from talking to the current exchange students, I have realized that many of them have truly had an amazing time here. However, I was really curious to talk to some of the students that came to Quest and have now returned to their home countries. I contacted two of my friends, Stina and Thomas, whom I asked about their experience to Quest and why they think that students should come here for exchange, here is what they said:
Stina Jansson – from Sweden
My name is Stina Jansson, and I was an exchange student (from Sweden, Malmö University) at Quest University during the Fall term 2013. Before my exchange, I had many schools to choose from, all over the world. However, after seeing the beautiful pictures of Quest and its magical surroundings my choice was easy; I HAD TO GO THERE! And guess what, it was the best decision I’ve ever made in all of my life. At Quest, I met beautiful, energetic and motivated students, and the teachers were some of the most knowledgeable and inspiring I’ve ever met. Some of my best memories are from exploring beautiful British Columbia through different fieldtrips provided by the school, and of course, all the great people I met. If you are looking for adventures, beautiful surroundings, smart and motivating people, then Quest University is for you!
Thomas Duurland – from the Netherlands
My name is Thomas Duurland and I was on exchange at Quest University during the Fall semester of 2015. I’m a student at Amsterdam University College, one of Quest’s exchange partners. My time at Quest University Canada was something I would not have wanted to miss. Not only did I follow really interesting courses, the social experience was indispensable to me. The people that I met have become really good friends and there has not been a moment where I regretted going to Canada.
I first heard about Quest when my cousin went to this university during the Fall semester of 2012. She told me great stories (and showed cool pictures!) and that’s when I first considered going to Quest. I became more enthusiastic about going when I went to AUC myself, but never considered it a realistic option due to Quest’s popularity as an exchange partner. When I heard that I was nominated as an exchange student for Quest University, I was beyond excitement. The things that most appealed to me were the block program, the mountainous area and, of course, the student community.
My most valuable memories at Quest were probably made during the block breaks, whose presence I enjoyed even more after 3,5 weeks of intense classes. Going to Quest is a great opportunity to meet new people, spend time in the woods, go on hikes, visit Vancouver and other surrounding cities, and emerge yourself in interesting courses. It is something that I would recommend to anyone!
As seen from this blog post, including my experience of talking to exchange students, Melanie’s experience, and also two of our exchange students’ stories, Quest University Canada is a magical place and I would definitely recommend it to any student that is considering to come here on exchange. Please look around this blog for other posts of mine and other Ambassadors, which outline our experiences at Quest, academics, travels, experiential learning experiences, and more.
P.s. I would recommend that you also watch this video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Feaarafsf-M&feature=youtu.be – made by one of our former exchange students, Jonathan who studied at University of Wales Trinity Saint Davis.
The cover photo is retrieved from Thomas’ personal Facebook account, in which you see Thomas, Julia, Daphne, Wisse, Jan, Marijn many of whom (apart from Marijn) were exchange students at Quest the previous semester.