How I have traveled for free
I am wanderlust. I always wanted to be rich to be able to afford traveling around the world. I thought this was the only way I could, but, man was I wrong!
While on my semester abroad, yes I lived in Germany, but every day through my interactions with other students I was able to feel as if I was in other places. Whether it was going to a Latin bar with the Spanish students, making crepes on Sundays with my French friends, or having a pizza/ board game nights with the Italians, every day I lived in a different culture.
If you think about it, without people, going to India or China, would practically be the same thing. Through their cultures, their architectural skills, cuisines, art, among many other things, it is the people that live there who make these places particularly unique.
This is why I decided to take the opportunities that the Education Abroad Department at VIU gives, and travel the world for free, right here on campus through the Global Citizens Network & Stipend Program. I completed most of my 15 hours in the semester after my Exchange to Germany, and it was the perfect way to reflect on my experience, connect with other global citizens on campus and ignite my wanderlust spirit again, even once I was back on Vancouver Island.
I am hoping to continue my global experience by traveling to Peru to teach English for a year or so, after I graduate from VIU. I've also already booked a trip to go visit Europe again. Really, it was my exchange semester that has inspired me and given me the courage to make these sort of plans. Thankfully, the funding provided by VIU Education Abroad, including the $2,200 Exchange Award and $500 Global Citizens Network Stipend have allowed me to travel the world, at home and abroad, and I plan to continue on this path throughout my wanderlust life.
• Stephanie Aldana Jaled
VIU Bachelor of Business Administration Student & Exchange Program Alumni