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International Students

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Welcome to the International Students stories! These are the stories and resources written by international students, for international students. You'll find stories about co-op experiences, adjusting to a new culture and overcoming adversity. Browse through the blogs, stories, and experiences of your peers, as you may find something that can help, inspire or uplift you!

Illustration of 6 people talking in different languages
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When English Isn’t Your First Language

“Gosh Roop! Are you really an international student? But you do not speak with an accent. Wow, I would have never guessed that.” Through anecdotes and introspection, Roop shares a compelling narrative of the struggles of why International students face challenges due to language barriers and biases.

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Working in the Corporate World as an International Student

Still not sure if co-op is for you? Chetachi explains why co-op was such a valuable experience for her and what it was like to work in the corporate world during her Economics co-op work term.

the author doing yoga against the ocean background
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How to “Buckle up your Elbows” and Thrive at your Co-op: Tips from an Israeli in her First Co-op

"There's a phrase in Israel, "buckle up your elbows" which means that it's time to hustle. This is exactly what brought me to the place where I'm writing to you right now." -- read Kim's story and learn how you can achieve anything with enough courage and motivation.

a neon glowing building
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Cultural Competence and Working Abroad

Have you landed an International Co-op work-term and begun preparing for your semester abroad? Surely, you have done your research and are aware of the cultural differences and nuances between where you are going, and your home country? If you haven’t, have no fear! This article is meant to help you understand the basic tips and tricks to adjust to the cultural differences in your new workplace, making your transition much easier.

A student working alone in a library
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Life as an International Student: The Things We Don't Talk About

There are a lot of things your international student friends have never told you. From depression to pressure to stereotypes -  life isn't always easy when you are studying abroad. Read an international students take on life overseas. 

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Becoming Globally Engaged

Being an international student at SFU is not easy as there aren't many opportunities to meet other students. The Global Student Centre welcomes all, hosting events that bring students together to celebrate diversity and create intercultural awareness. 

A student networking with another student
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My Co-op Experience as an International Student

As an international student Ha Na had the reality of high tuition, no work experience and challenges in finding employment.  She decided co-op was the solution to learn professional work search skills and gain related employment while attending university.  She shares her challenges and successes along the way.

A man sitting by large windows at the airport with a sunset background
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Finding Resilience in my Search for Meaningful Work: One International Student’s Story

Job hunting is never easy. This is especially true when you are an international student with no Canadian experience. Follow Alireza's tips and tricks on how to navigate around this barrier in your search for meaningful work. 

Nancy and the children in their class smiling
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Beyond Comfort: My Co-op in Korea with TaLK

Nancy applied as an English instructor in South Korea with the intention of just adding another bulletpoint to their resume. However, the experiences they have gained from teaching and living abroad has made their co-op so much more meaningful than what can be written on paper.  Read Nancy's story to learn more about Teach and Learn in Korea. 

Ali Najaf posing with BC mountains in background
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British Columbia and International Students

Coming to a new country thousands of miles from where you grew up and from everything you know is no easy journey. In this award-winning story, SFU Business student Ali Najaf reflects on the past four years since arriving in Canada from Pakistan in 2012, sharing both his challenges and truimphs.  

Kendra teaching a class
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How I Stepped Out of my Comfort Zone and Embraced Life Abroad

Looking to maximize your time abroad and integrate with locals, but nervous to take the first few steps? Read on to learn how Kendra broke through their personal barriers, and the advice they have for future travellers to make the most of their work term overseas.

View of Hancheon Elementary School where Corina taught
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TaLK in Korea

Third year Business student, Corina Inigo, shares about her co-op experience with Teach and Learn in Korea (TaLK).  She discusses what TaLK is all about and also shares personal anecdotes from her teaching experience. 

Jacky smiling, with a view of China to the right
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My Co-op in China

Jacky is a fourth year Business Student who spent his co-op in Beijing China.  Read his interview to discover what his co-op abroad was like.  Jacky covers preparing for the work term, work life, and living abroad.

Julia smiling
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Working Abroad: Overcoming a Language Barrier in the Work Place

Learning how to effectively communicate in a new work environment can be difficult enough, but add a language barrier and things get even more complicated. Here are Julia's top tips for overcoming language barriers in the workplace.

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Volunteering To Transition Into A New Culture

A profile on international student and third year psychology major, Rainy Yumeng Jiang, and how community engagement and volunteering has helped her adjust to Canadian culture.
 

The Eiffel Tower
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Travel Your Career

Who doesn’t love travelling? Summer is just around the corner and with that comes the time to make our travel plans a reality. Have you ever thought about travelling as a way to boost your career?

View of Hong Kong
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Pursuing an International Co-op in Hong Kong: HSBC Global Banking and Markets

Mario Fong travelled to Hong Kong to join the HSBC trainee program through International Co-op. Dropping everything to live in a new country provided him with personal and professional experiences he won't soon forget.

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International Students: Break Through The Wall That Blocks You!

Are you an international student that feels like there is a wall that stops you from moving forward? Are you trying to improve your language level, but feel embarrassed communicating in English? You're not the only one. But there are people who are reaching their goals. Find your inspiration and become one of them.

Isabel with many people in front of a building
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Isabel's Bolivia Adventure: An Irreplaceable International Experience | Part One

Since its launch in 2005, the Students for Development (SFD) program has been supporting Canadian university students' participation in internships in developing countries and emerging economies. Isabel went on the SFD program in Summer 2011 where she worked with ICO (Instituto de Capacitacion del Oriente) in Bolivia.

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Me, Myself, and University

Ever wonder how it would feel like being an international student in Vancouver? Talk about a reason to party, well coming from a Punjabi family we hardly need a reason to party but if there was ever a decent one, this was it. Read more to find out about Max Shyngs experience!

Ravi Bansal smiling and standing in front of a brick wall
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Ravi Bansal: Hellenic Studies Field School in Greece

In this article, SFU Psychology graduate Ravi Bansal shares her experiences of participating in the Hellenic Studies Field School in Greece. Ravi’s travels encouraged her to become involved in the SFU community, opening up an opportunity to attend the Education without Borders conference in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

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