Students thinking about studying abroad. Consider something that isn’t Europe or where you would normally first think of when you consider going away. Europe was first on my list of places when I applied to go on my exchange and I was accepted to a European school, but it just wasn’t possible to do. That didn’t mean I couldn’t go. I changed my mindset and I ended up in Trinidad and Tobago. Since being here I have seen 4 Caribbean Countries with flights booked for 3 more, but I have also been to 12 European Countries so, so far in total I have been to 16 Countries. Sure travelling in Europe is easy (and yes it is Cheap) but I have had a diverse experience in Trinidad and I have done things here that you can’t do in Europe. I wanted to put myself on my growing edge, hop out of my shell and develop as an individual. If i went somewhere similar to home, I felt that I would have felt at ease, and I wanted my exchange to challenge me. I didn’t want things to be impossible, but I wanted to have experiences that I had to work for. I’m halfway through my experience and I can certainly say that nothing has come without work. I’ve been pushed and challenged and I have had to grow as a person while away from home.

My experience has been enlightening. I’ve lived in a world where internet services work when they choose to, where everyday access to this isn’t something you wake up having all around you. There are people in this world who live in this society all the time. We’re just fortunate enough at home not to be those people. I’ve adjusted to a completely different school system, learned a different way of grading assignments and completing assignments, and challenged myself to break my routine to do these things. So far I’ve gained the ability to look at different sides of life. When you live in one place your whole life you have blinders on and you never really see what else is out there. At some point it’s important that everyone step out of their comfort zone and challenge them. In the 5 months I’ve been abroad so far that’s exactly what has happened to me.

Got something to say? It's lonely in here. Tell us what you think about mmorrison2's post — leave us a comment!

When I have watched movies or television shows in the past, they always depict university residence as one of the best experiences that you will have in your life. So far, I have lots of great memories of my time on residence and still look forward to making more.

From the beginning of the year, you already know that your floor or housemates become your second family. Orientation week was a great time to get to know everyone, and it is near impossible to not make friends, especially since you share a living space with them. You also always have people to go grab something to eat with and don’t have to worry about getting lonely.

Each week, we have these activities called “crew events” where we go to mini-competitions or bonding activities such as trivia or painting. All of these events rack up points for your floor, hall, or house. Whoever has the most points at the end of the year wins an amazing trophy and gets to leave some type of art display in their common area which will remain as their forever-lasting legacy. I hope the Dufferin Hall G’nomes (my floor in Vallee Residence) can win this year, so we can put our handprints or footprints on the walls of the common room!

I also have met some people that I hope will never leave my life! Next year, I made the decision to live off-campus to get a taste of what it’s like to truly live on my own. All of my roommates currently live on my floor with me and I cannot wait to move in next year! Without residence, I wouldn’t have met these amazing people and shared the fun times that made my first year unforgettable!

For more information on applying for residence, click here

Got something to say? It's lonely in here. Tell us what you think about Ana's post — leave us a comment!

Hi Badgers! I’m sure the semester is in full swing now and everyone is up to their ears in school work :)

Something that I have always enjoyed every semester is my extra curricular involvement. Getting involved in student clubs was one of the best decisions I made in my university career. Right from first year, I got involved in business clubs like the Business Students Association and a Christian group on campus called Power to Change.

During the next couple of years, I had the opportunity to hold executive positions like the Vice President of External Affairs role with the Goodman Human Resources Management club and the International Assistant role with the Goodman Career Development Office. Now, in my fourth year, I am leading a weekly group meeting with Power to Change, involved in the Brock Conversation Partners program, and representing Brock as an International Student Ambassador. I also enjoy participating in case competitions and have had the chance to win medals at different competitions. All these experiences have taught me so much and have helped develop many skills!

Roles like the International Ambassador and VP of External Affairs helped me develop communication and interpersonal skills. The phrase “practice makes perfect” is quite accurate when it comes to public speaking. Through all the opportunities I have received to present in front of large and small audiences, I have improved my presentation skills. Participating in case competitions and representing the Goodman School of Business at competitions such as DECA U Provincials has helped as well. This past January, our university received 17 medals, and my partner and I placed second in the B2B Marketing category at the provincial DECA competition.

Coming in as a new student to Brock straight out of university, I did not have many experiences that I could showcase on my resume or in a job interview. These extra curricular involvements gave me valuable experiences that I can use in interview conversations to display the different skills that I have developed so far. During my interviews for my co-op terms, I was able to share different work situations that I had faced and described how I solved problems that arose during the course of a business club event, for example.

Apart from the benefits that involvement on campus can do for your professional growth, It does wonders for your personal and relational development too! Getting involved in clubs like Brock Power to Change right from my first year opened doors to a very supportive, loving, fun community of university students. Being new to Canada and not knowing anyone at Brock, I was thrilled to meet like-minded people that I grew very fond of, through the weekly club events and different social activities during the week. Now being in my fourth year, it’s great to see that most of my closest friends are people I met at a Power to Change event in first year.

I would encourage every Brock student, whether you are in your first year or almost ready to graduate, to get involved in events on campus. Ten or twenty years down the line, it is these experiences that you will remember and cherish, so why not make some more of them? :)

Got something to say? It's lonely in here. Tell us what you think about Shanen's post — leave us a comment!

University life can be very different from high school, so it is important to know how to stay organized. Below I have listed my best and most used tips for staying organized at Brock:

  1. Get a planner, use the Outlook app, and buy a wall calendar
  2. The thing that keeps me most organized is that I am constantly reminded of all that I have to do. I write down all of my assignments and events I have to go to in my planner, on my wall calendar (I suggest you get a four month one) and on my phone with the outlook app. This makes it nearly impossible for me to forget to do an assignment. What is great is that at Brock both the wall calendar and the planner you can get for free at the vendor fair during the first week. The Outlook app is also free and can be downloaded from the App Store.

  3. Write down all of your due dates as soon as you know them
  4. The planner, wall calendar and Outlook app are very useful, but only if you actually use them effectively. As soon as you have your course outlines spend some time inputting all of your due dates and test dates into your calendar. Adding in mock due dates for when you want your assignments to be done are also helpful. Make sure to also add in any extracurricular commitments or events you know you will have.

  5. Plan out your week on Sunday Nights
    When I first came to Brock I struggled a little bit with my time management until I started planning out my weeks on Sunday nights. Here is the best way to do that:

    1. Start by writing out what is due during the week
    2. Next write down when your classes are and any other commitments you have that week. Use this to figure out how much time you have to do work each day.
    3. Once you know how much time you have, assign a day to do every assignment that you have due that week. Make sure to be realistic about how long each assignment will take and plan to do what is due first before you complete other assignments. A good tip is to break down larger assignments into smaller ones and spread them across multiple days, so you do not feel too overwhelmed.
    4. Add in any readings you have to do for the week. Some readings (like seminar readings) are more important to do that others, so keep that in mind.
    5. Take a look at what you have due next week and add in that work where you have time gaps. Pay special attention to the assignments due at the beginning of the next week
    6. Make sure you still have some time for leisure every day!
  6. Follow your plan
  7. The most important thing you need to do to stay organized is to stick to your plan. What is the point of making it if you are not going to follow it?

Got something to say? It's lonely in here. Tell us what you think about Ana's post — leave us a comment!

This reading week, I participated in the Brock Abroad: Florida program, which was a fantastic and unforgettable experience.

We went to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, the biggest amusement park in the world. Disney World consists of four theme parks including Magic kingdom, Animal kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood studios, as well as many resorts. We lived at an all star sports resort, which has different sports themes like surfing, basketball and football.

We spent three days in Disney World, but there were more places to explore. Disney did a fantastic job on the details from the mountains to the lakes, trails and even restrooms.

This program was not just about having fun, but also about learning. We had three workshops held by casts of Disney where we learned about leadership, teamwork and culture. We visited the costume room and the cast tunnel where thousands of costumes are organized. We also walked through the underground tunnel of Magic Kingdom to understand the history and operations behind Disney World.

Additionally, we visited the University of Florida. The environment of the campus is amazing, and their football stadium is unbelievably large. We met students and staff from different faculties of the university, so it is a great opportunity to make friends.

Plan your next great adventure and connect with Brock University’s Exchange and Study Abroad office.

Got something to say? It's lonely in here. Tell us what you think about Ze's post — leave us a comment!

Hi badgers!

Are you knee- deep in snow yet? We just can’t help it; it’s that time of the year again – where temperatures drop, there is slush everywhere and the sun is blinding but you don’t seem to feel any of its warmth. The good thing is that there are so many fun things to do in the winter! There are several outdoor activities that Canadians long for throughout the year that they can only enjoy in the snow.

Here is a list of some of the fun things you can do this winter (in the Niagara Region or any place with lots of snow really :)

Go ice-skating
When I first decided to come to Canada, one of the first few things I considered doing was learning how to skate. For an international student that grew up in a desert, I had only gone ice skating once in an indoor ice rink when I was 16. So unfortunately, I still don’t know how to skate but I hope to learn soon. I’ve been skating twice in Canada, but I still have the fear of falling over and cracking a tooth or two. There are several spots around the Niagara Region like Wayne Gretzky’s Estate Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines and Thorold Community Centre to go skating. Nathan Philip Square in Toronto is also a popular destination for skaters. If you’re ever in the city, be sure to check it out.

This one is a lot of fun! I’ve only got to do a modified version of this once, but seeing videos of people tobogganing makes me want to go again. I was able to go tobogganing at a friend’s farm in first year. We attached the toboggan to a snowmobile which made lots of fun even on a flat terrain. As the snowmobile turned, it was a challenge to stay on the toboggan. But in all honesty, falling over into the snow was the best part! I would definitely recommend this to everyone, since this doesn’t really require any skill and is safe even for kids!

This is something that I haven’t tried yet, but this winter sport gets a lot of attention! Locals that I have met love going skiing and most of my friends go skiing with their families at least once every year. A popular destination for skiing is Blue Mountain, about 3 hours away from the Falls. I actually visited Blue Mountain in the summer last year for Canada day – an odd time to visit that area but it was very beautiful and picturesque during Canada’s 150th celebration.

Have a snowball fight
I’m sure almost everyone has thrown a snowball at someone in their life! There is just so much joy that comes from hurling a snowball at someone and waiting to see their shocked reaction.  My dad actually threw a snowball at me the first time he came to visit Canada in the winter (I was definitely not expecting that). I also remember seeing international students during the first snow last semester as they played in the snow and took several pictures. It reminded me of the first time I saw snow – three years ago when I first came to Canada! Snowball fights are lots of fun and once you and your friends are tired, you can even build a snowman together!

Go on a winter hike:
I love the outdoors and thoroughly enjoy hiking in the summer. But I know many people like going on hikes during the winter as well! This is not something that I have personally tried, but would like to this winter. The woods near Brock are beautiful when they are covered with snow (and sometimes ice). I find it hard to convince myself to leave the comfort and warmth of my house or the university and go adventuring out in the snow. But nonetheless I would like to that this winter. Decew Falls near Brock surprisingly gets quite a few hikers during this time of year!

Got something to say? It's lonely in here. Tell us what you think about Shanen's post — leave us a comment!

Reading week is coming! Do you have any plans? After stressful midterm exams we could all use the break for adjustment.

For me, Chinese New Year celebrations fall during the same time as the reading week. While I’m unable to spend this time with my family, I’m planning a party with all my friends. We will cook together, play board games and exchange gifts with each other.

I’m also going on the Broad Abroad: Florida trip through Brock International’s Exchange & Study Abroad office. It’s a five-day program that combines a unique blend of academic, business and cultural experiences. We’ll visit the University of Florida and have several seminars at Walt Disney World Resort. I think I’ll learn a lot from this experience!

If you’re not sure what you’re going to do during Reading Week, here are some suggestions:

Experience Canada
Reading week is a great time to explore Canada. If you like history and architecture, you can go to the Montreal and Quebec City. If you like to be active and experience the outdoors, then head to Blue Mountain in Collingwood where you can experience snowboarding, skiing and other fun activities.

Apply for Brock program
Brock always provide students with opportunities to make their break more interesting. For example, Brock Student Life and Community Engagement will provide many volunteer opportunities to get involved in local and international hands-on community projects.

Prepare for upcoming exams
After reading week, some of us will still have midterm exams, so while on reading week, it is important to set aside time to review and create a study plan.

Hope everyone enjoys reading week!

Got something to say? It's lonely in here. Tell us what you think about Ze's post — leave us a comment!

Coming from the Caribbean, playing in the snow is not exactly my forte.

However, after a few weeks of being in Canada for winter I have figured out my favourite ways to enjoy the snow. For those of you who are snow amateurs like me, here’s a list of the five best ways to enjoy Niagara’s winter wonderland.

1. Be a child: trudge through the snow

Maybe I am the only one, but I love just walking in snow, especially if there is a lot of it. There is something so satisfying about hearing the snow crunch underneath you. To me, there is nothing more beautiful than trees covered in snow, which is why I love to go for short walks with my favourite companion, hot chocolate. One thing to keep in mind: make sure your boots (no shoes) are waterproof!

2. Build a snowman

Building a snowman is something that I am still working on myself. My first attempt at a snowman was more like a snow pile with buttons and a carrot stuck into it. The key to a good snowman is to wait until the snow is a bit wet. Fresh snow is usually very powdery and so it is very hard to compact it enough to make snowballs for your snowman. I suggest trying to build your snowman after it snows and then is a bit warmer or after some wetter precipitation falls.

3. Have a snowball fight

This should be on your Canadian winter bucket list. Layer up, grab some friends, and prepare to have the time of your life.

4. Make a snow angel

This is one of my favourite things to do. It is so relaxing to lie in snow and play around in it. Just make sure you’re dressed appropriately.

5. Watch a snowfall

Snowfall is breathtaking. Sometimes I just like to sit inside and look out the window while it snows. It has a very calming effect on me and I love it.

As I have only been here a few months now, I have barely scratched the surface when it comes to winter activities. I still have not tried tobogganing and skiing. Regardless of my novice status, I hope this list can provide you with some inspiration.

Got something to say? It's lonely in here. Tell us what you think about Ana's post — leave us a comment!

Brock University is well known for many things, such as the great experience it provides to its students, its location on the beautiful Niagara Escarpment, high-quality academic programs that are offered here and especially for having the best fans in Canada. Whether you are a sports person or not, watching one of Brock teams playing is very exciting and makes you even prouder for being at this university – and it is part of Brock’s culture.

Let’s start by talking about the Home Openers, right at the beginning of the school year and even before classes start, for some of the outdoors sports, when students and other community members are able to watch the team playing for the first time in the season. Bob Davis Gymnasium is typically packed, great music is played, and cheerleaders fire the crowd up with the aid of drums that are always there, and of course the Boomer, our beloved mascot. Fans cheer and push the team by chanting “Go Badgers, Go!” or “Let’s Go Brock, Let’s Go!”.

As the season goes on, there are at least two very special games, which need to be part of your upcoming Brock Experience: the Basketball and Hockey games that are held at the Meridian Centre, in St. Catharines at there world-class sports arena. Every year, Brock students and the heavily-present community “paint the Meridian red”, packing the venue with thousands of fans supporting our school. As an international student, I could truly sense how passionate people here are for basketball – huge in North America – and ice hockey, which is a must if you are in Canada! You have to watch Canada’s most popular sport at least once to experience how exciting – and cold – it can be.

And if you not only enjoy watching sports but also love playing them – like me! -, Brock offers many options. Playing intramural, a tournament among Brock students, is a great idea if you want to gather with some friends or make new ones and have lots of fun. Volleyball, indoor and outdoor soccer, badminton, ice hockey and ice football, water polo, dodgeball and many other sports are available. If you feel like going for something more competitive and able to commit more time to sports, trying out for a varsity team is a great option. Brock offers not only the best fans in the country, but also various sports, great facilities including high-standard courts, fields, swimming pools and a high performance centre that is one of the best I have had the privilege to use. Also, the OUA and National Championships we play are nothing but high level and VERY competitive.

At this point I might have given enough clues for you to think “this guy plays for Brock”. And I am extremely proud to say I am fortunate enough to do so. Whenever I put my volleyball jersey on and our team lines up to sing the National Anthem before every game, an astonishing pride feeling fills my heart, goosebumps are all over my body as I feel very honoured and happy to be a Badger and represent my university in front of our great community and friends. This is the Brock Spirit!

Got something to say? It's lonely in here. Tell us what you think about Marcelo's post — leave us a comment!

This is probably the most important thing to do while you’re here: get involved!

I’m in my second year and I wish I had started earlier. There are so many opportunities and activities at Brock. The more workshops you go to and the more activities you participate in, the more friends you’ll make and the more experiences you’ll have.

I am a member of the Women’s Basketball team and that made my transition to Brock much easier. Knowing that I was going to school with at least eleven friends (my teammates) shortened this big step in my life considerably.

If you like sports you can try-out for a varsity team or you can always join intramural. While some leagues can get pretty competitive, it does not require as much commitment as a varsity team. Brock University’s intramural sport leagues and one-day tournaments are open to all Brock students with a valid Brock ID card.

If you don’t like sports, there are other ways to get involved as well. You can join a club or even create a new one. Something that I came to realize since I’ve been here is that everyone can have a platform to share their passions. Here, diversity is not only accepted but also celebrated.

Besides sports and clubs, you can always attend free workshops that will increase your opportunities to make friends as well as prepare you for your academic and professional lives. There are only advantages when it comes to attend these activities! Check out your ExperienceBU portal to see what’s happening on and off campus!

Make the most out of the best years of your life here and Experience Brock!

Got something to say? It's lonely in here. Tell us what you think about Ana's post — leave us a comment!