Notes from Down Under

The Runners’s new exchange blogger introduces us to life as an exchange student down under.

By Michael Finch

Our blogger's arrival in Australia. (Photo courtesy Vince Moody)

I’ve travelled a fair amount relative to my tender 20 years of age. Currently I have visited Disneyland (age 9), Mexico (age 15), China and India (age 16), Ottawa (age 17) and to Edmonton more times than I’m willing to divulge. Travelling provides the opportunity to expand your knowledge and experience things that aren’t possible in our current locale. B.C. is amazing, and we can pretty much do almost any activity here on any given day. I can be skiing on the slopes of Whistler in the morning and then go scuba diving that evening at Deep Cove – provided I’ve got decent scuba gear (no one enjoys shrinkage).

I will admit, begrudgingly, that even I have grown weary of suburbia. Hence the reason I signed up for Kwantlen’s exchange program, and I highly recommend it ( The program allows you to study abroad, allowing you to pay only Kwantlen tuition and avoiding those terrible international fees (which can easily be as high as ten grand, not including tuition or books). Currently Kwantlen provides you with the opportunity to study in 23 different countries. Andrea Reynolds is Kwantlen’s international mobility coordinator, and has been my guide, and yours, in the process to study abroad.

Australia was added to that list just this year, and I will be the first student to partake in the exchange program with an Australian university. The program does offer an extensive list of exchange schools, ranging from close to home in the U.S., to places like Finland or South Korea. Your area of study can limit some of your choices, for example if you’re a business student or accounting student and the university is mostly focused on liberal arts, you’d be better off attending a different university. A list of schools and what they offer can be seen here at

So now that I have your attention I will explain in my next post how to go through the arduous process of studying abroad.