Exchange and Study Abroad at Quest

By Leah – 4th year student

Are you interested in Exchange?

Do you like to travel, explore, adventure and learn in a culture you are not familiar with? Do you like meeting new people around the world, taking interesting classes that Quest does not offer, making connections that last forever and exposing yourself to new unique opportunities? Do you like trying new foods, wearing different clothes, situating yourself where you are unfamiliar? Do you like a challenge, to be independent and putting yourself out there?

If you said yes to any or all of these, check out this blog post for more information on Studying Abroad at Quest.

Quest offers an exchange program with 13 different partner schools. You can take an exchange for one semester, or a whole year. During this time, you attend a partner university of your choice and have the opportunity to learn and experience in another country. For each school the experience and process is a little bit different, but there are many aspects that are the same. Student who go on exchange still pay regular Quest tuition, excluding housing and meal plan. The forms to be filled out go through Will Prescot. I cannot speak for everyone who has ever been on exchange at Quest, but I’ll take you through my experience going to Malmo University in Malmo, Sweden.  

There are many pros to going on exchange. A few including:

  • Travelling
  • Meeting people around the world
  • Food
  • New teaching styles
  • Different tradition
  • Pushing yourself outside your comfort zone
  • Being immersed in another culture

 

My Experience in Malmo, Sweden

When I went on exchange it was a wonderful experience. There were many things I got to experience in Sweden that would not have been possible here at Quest, such as learning a new language and being surrounded by the language for 7 months, travelling through all of Europe, and taking classes I would not have otherwise gotten to. In Sweden they have a well-developed exchange program that encompasses approximately 400 exchange students for one semester. This creates an experience for multiple students from around the world to dive into new opportunities with one another. Let me tell you a little about the experience and essential information needed for going on exchange.

 

Classes: The classes that I took in Sweden were Sports Psychology and Physical Education and Sport through a Swedish Perspective. The classes at Malmo University are also on a block program. You do one class at a time for 1 month, 2 months or 4 months, depending on the amount of credits they are. The maximum amount of credits you can get in one semester is 30 (which is a full course load at Quest, and transfers as 4 credits). I took two 15 credit courses to fill the requirement. Another bonus of going abroad was that I was able to fill a prerequisite course for a Master’s program which they do not offer here at Quest.  The teaching style works as you take it. The course load was not heavy and the readings were minimal. Although is varys from class to class, as there were other Quest students on my exchange that had their head in the books the whole four months. PE and Sport through a Swedish perspective was a hands on course. We went hiking for 6 days in Norway, on a canoe trip North of Malmo in Swedish country and regularly did parkour, floor hockey, and Swedish gymnastics as our classes. It was a very different way of taking University classes, but it was fun! Classes were also scheduled about 2-4 times per week, which meant that there was plenty of time to explore and have fun.

 

Travel: Malmo is situated at the furthest most southern tip of Sweden on the coast. Copenhagen is just a trail ride away or a bus so there is easy access to an international airport. When I was on exchange, there were many times where we did not have class for consecutive days which made is easy to do quick trips around Europe. Flights, buses and trains are great ways to travel and relatively cheap if you book early.

 

Transportation: Malmo is a smaller city of about 300,000 which makes it easy to bike, bus or walk almost anywhere. From the residence building it was approximately a 12-minute bike ride to the university and a 10-minute bike ride to the heart of downtown. The beach was a little bit further but everything was always in reach with a bike. The bus stopped right out front the residence building and went to the central station and around town. The best way to do the bus is with a jojo card which is a preloaded card bought from 7/11 (the admissions students help with this during arrival).

 

Living Situation: Most of the exchange students were placed in a building called Ronnen. There are mostly single rooms with a kitchen or two on each floor. There was approximately 25-30 people living on each floor and these people became your family. A fob was needed to get into the building, up the elevator AND on to each floor. Therefore, if you lived on floor 5, you could not visit floor 8 unless someone came to let you in. Everyone got their own individual bathroom with a shower. The building was similar to Red Tusk or Ossa, but the rooms were actually bigger.

 

Weather: The weather in Malmo was very similar to Squamish; rainy, sometimes snow, mostly cloudy because they both are on the coast. A good rain jacket is definitely needed.

 

The People: It is easy to meet people. Living in a building of all exchange students makes for easy communication and people who are keen to experience many things. The relationships that I build are some that will last forever and there are people who I will visit around the world, without a doubt.

 

Favourite trips I took: My favourite trips that I took were to Iceland, Norway, and St. Petersburg, Russia. In Iceland I went with three friends I had made and we slept all four of us in a Volkswagen Passat for 7 days. It was tight, and stinky, but the views and the experience was amazing. When I went to Norway, I went with my class. We spent 6 days going on a trek through the Fjords. We got to fish, hike, summit, and get really close with our classmates. The landscape was similar to Canada, but the experience was nothing like I’ve ever had here. The university offered a trip to Russia with no Visa required, and this trip was amazing. St. Petersburg is a beautiful city and again, meeting people from all over the world from different university who were also on exchange was amazing. The tour company had trip planned for us where we got to see St. Catherine’s Palace, take a river boat down the river, and visit the Hermitage Museum. 10/ 10 would recommend all of these trips, and going on exchange.

 

Photos from Exchange:

Hanyang University- South Korea

 

These are some photos from a semester in Hanyang University.

– Siobhan (3rd year exchange)

 

Amsterdam University College- The Netherlands

The top photo is of the buildings on a canal in Amsterdam on a hot summer night, this was one of my favourite places to take strolls in the evening. The middle photo is of myself and another Quest student on exchange in Amsterdam on a cold spring evening after we spent the day at a huge flee market that happens once per month in Amsterdam Noord. The bottom photo is at the woman’s march in Amsterdam that a few of my friends and I participated in.

– Marena (3rd year exchange)

 

Malmo University- Sweden

Wine and Cheese in the park in Malmo. Hosted by the University as an exchange student gathering before the beginning of the semester started. In this photo there are students form, Spain, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and Italy.

The photo on the on the top iis of some friends swimming in the Baltic Sea, which is half salt water from the Ocean and half fresh water, with the famous Turning Torso building behind them. The photo on the bottom is of hiking in Norway with my class.

– Leah (3rd year exchange)

 

University of Wales Trinity Saint David- Wales

This view is from the peak of Mt.Snowden which is the second tallest mountain in the UK. After spending most of the semester rehearsing and performing a play, I was able to escape and see some of the natural beauty of Wales. Would never have been able to find it without the friends I made over there. It was an incredible hike that I doubt I’ll ever forget.

This shot was taken during a performance of “The Shoot Dogs” which was a play I was in while at University of Wales Trinity Saint David. It explored the treatment or lack thereof of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and the seeming impossibility of readjusting to normal life without the help of the government.

– Ross (3rd year exchange)

 

Ecole de Gouvernance et d’Economie de Rabat, Morocco

This is a photo on the highway between Tissnt and Tata, in the Southeast of Morocco. Following three and a half months of studying at EGE in Rabat, an Italian friend and I decided to see the south via hitchhiking. We’d both learned much about the cultural differences between the North and South within classes and from our Moroccan peers, so we decided to find out for ourselves. While our French was good, the Darija (the Moroccan dialect of Arabic) we learned at EGE proved to be essential in communicating with anyone outside of the cities.

Hitchhiking was an amazing way to see the south: meeting new people, accepting rides from children on their parent’s trike, to even breaking  down on the edge of the Sahara Desert (in picture). Hitchhiking offered unique opportunities to experience people’s hospitality, from exchanging oranges for dates in the back of pick-ups to being introduced to someone’s entire extended family.

– Jordan (3rd year exchange)

 

American University of Central America- Kyrgyzstan

Elly Grant went to a university that is not a partner school. With the help of the American University of Central Asia and Quest, she was able to attend an arts program overseas. This shows that with the right curriculum and justification, Quest students can attend almost any university.

One of my workmates at my internship with B’Art Contemporary, Alina, made these modern takes on Traditional Kyrgyz hunting attire. I got to dress up in her pieces on my last day of work!

Kyrgyz men sell fish at the market—Kyrgyzstan is landlocked so this is freshwater fish.

– Elly (3rd year exchange)

 

The 13 different schools to choose from can be found at

https://questu.ca/academics/study-abroad/

 

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