Incoming Experiences - Mianda G.

Name: Mianda G.
Home Institution: Aarhus University, Denmark
Home Town: Birlad, Romania
Term Visited: Fall 2012

I have to say that I was never as happy as I was when I decided to study at IZUNA. Since I was coming from Europe, it all seemed far away from all my friends and relatives, but I dared to take the decision and explore a totally different culture.

When I finished my program in Canada and came back to Europe, I was able to reflect on my amazing experience in Vancouver. I can wholeheartedly say that there isn't a single bad thing that I can say about IZUNA. Everything was very well organized and even if sometimes I felt that the system was stricter than the Danish educational system, I enjoyed being there for each and every class. I felt that I got so much out of it when I look back. Everything is so practical and I can mention at least two of my teachers that were truly inspirational: Larry Donen and Rebecca Coleman! I hope you'll meet them!

The campus itself offers a variety of things from tennis pitches to a fully equipped fitness centre. To me, it looked like a "small town" in the heart of Burnaby.

Favourite memory:
One of the great nights that I will never forget was at our International Coordinator's house. Svitlana Kominko offered her house for us and 33 people spent a great night there. She prepared a delicious dinner for us and we played a game called "Secret Santa". Everybody brought a present wrapped in newspaper and one of the business instructors, Ron Kessler moderated this fun game.

Being together with all my friends in one of the teacher's houses and getting so close to some of the teachers who organized all this for us was amazing! These people are so friendly! Now I understand why they say that Canadians are a friendly nation! Who would imagine that teachers plan a Christmas party for you at their place and prepare it from scratch? Moreover, the way they made us feel and interacted with us was something which is rarely found in Europe.

Teachers in Europe really care about the status quo! They will never invite you for a drink after you successfully completed a course, not to mention throw a party for you. This event was truly legendary! Thank you so much for everything Svitlana, Ron, and Denise! You are great!
One tip I would give to students preparing for exchange:
Make the most of it! Vancouver and IZUNA will provide you with so many great experiences both academically and socially. Attend the Orientation program, study during the weekdays, and plan every weekend ahead because there’s so much to do and visit! I promise you that studying at IZUNA will be an experience you'll never forget! I miss it so much!