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.

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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!

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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!

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Money can be tight, sometimes. Even if you work, tuition certainly consumes most of that income and, when it comes to have fun, little or no money is left. Worry not! Today, I am here to tell you the Top 5 things to do in the Niagara region for free!

Brock University is fortunate enough to be within the UNESCO Biosphere reserve. Niagara’s residents and visitors have the opportunity to enjoy nature and outdoor recreational activities, at nearly no cost or even for free!

Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls is a must! The irreplaceable view of one of the biggest falls in the world is totally given to you. As a Brock student, you don’t have to pay for the bus and you get to enjoy such an amazing view! Besides, every night, the Falls are transformed into an incredible, multi-coloured water and light masterpiece. This month, from 5pm to midnight, the Falls will be illuminated. Make sure you don’t miss out this amazing opportunity!

Decew Falls
If you have seen Niagara Falls but all the noise surrounding it wasn’t your favourite part, you should try Decew Falls. It is a five minute drive from Brock University, or a twenty minutes walk using the trail from campus. It is an amazing view as well and you get to connect closely with nature.

The town was significantly important during the War of 1812 and even earlier, when it was the first capital of Upper Canada (now known as Ontario). Take a beautiful drive or cycle along the scenic Niagara Parkway from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Fort Erie and enjoy all points in between. If you can, stop for a picnic lunch along the way!

Welland Canal
The canal was built because of Niagara Falls, as it represented an obstacle for boats to pass between lakes Ontario and Erie. The canal, from Port Colborne to Port Weller East, can accommodate large cargo ships and there are several activities promoted there, such as Viewing Platforms at both Lock 3 in St. Catharines and Lock 7 in Thorold.

Events On and Off Campus
There are plenty of events happening on and off campus everyday. Make sure you check ExperienceBU regularly so that you don’t miss out on anything! These events are not only free, but you can also earn credit from them! Besides, some have free food and other free things, such as T-shirts, notebooks, pens, etc.. Experience Brock and make the most out of your time here!

Ana Sofia Caldeira Rua

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Happy New Year Badgers!

Welcome back from the Winter break. I hope each of you had a fun, relaxing time off. I had the opportunity to travel to Cuba for Christmas and spend a week in Varadero. I can safely say, I would much rather have the sun and the beach over the wind and the snow any day! However, coming back to Canada did make me appreciate how beautiful it gets in winter. I always feel like I live in a snow globe!

As this semester rolls around, I am looking forward to a new beginning with new courses and extra—curricula’s. Here are some of the things I plan to achieve this semester:

1. Stop procrastinating!

This is a hard one, but also the first on my list every semester. As things get busy, it becomes easier to say yes to more breaks and the mindset “I will have time for this tomorrow.” Through a weekly schedule and having a plan for every day, I hope to be more proactive this semester. I have always met my deadlines in time, but I would also like to get things done much earlier this semester. I am also the kind of person that likes to be busy all the time, so this semester I am going to try to not take up too much and manage my time wisely.

2. Have more school spirit!

Last semester I was able to go to a couple of the basketball games at Brock and Meridian Centre. It was great cheering for the Badgers (especially when they won) and seeing everyone so hyped up! I was disappointed that I had never attended any of the varsity games previously. This semester, I would like to go to more games and support our athletes, especially since some of our Brock International Ambassadors are on the Basketball, Wrestling and Volleyball teams.

3. Spend wisely!

This is another hard one, but using the tips I highlighted in my Living on a Student Budget blog last semester, I want to stick to my budget and save up for my next trip. Visiting Cuba has been my first trip to Latin America and I enjoyed every bit of it. As I was leaving the resort, I was already thinking of my next travel destination and how much I have to save up. As of now, the plan is to go to California and San Francisco in the summer. I will definitely have to stick to my budget if I want to afford that trip!

Apart from these, I would like to continue my volunteer and extra-curricular involvement with the Brock International Office, Power to Change, DECA U and Brock Conversation Partners. I wish you all the best for this upcoming semester – I’m sure it’s going to be great!

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As 2017 comes to a close and the new school year rolls in, I have a number of goals that I wish to achieve and experiences I want to enjoy. Here is my list of goals!

1. Be more organized

During my first semester of university, it took me a long time to get settled. As such, I was far less organized than I usually am. As this new term starts, I aspire to use my planner more and get my school work done earlier than usual. I hope this will help me not only maintain my grades but increase them as well.

2. Participate in Brock’s intramurals

Since the first day, I had every intention of joining in on Brock’s amazing intramural program, however, I never got around to it in the first term. This term I have join the underwater intramural team so that I can have the experience of playing intramurals at Brock.

3. Volunteer more

Besides the amazing opportunities I have had as an ambassador, I have yet to volunteer since becoming a Badger. This semester, I intend on changing that! I am currently deciding between joining the Special Needs Activity Program (S.N.A.P) or volunteering with an Athletic Therapist. The S.N.A.P program is a Brock-run program that works with special needs children and encourages them in physical activity that meets their personal needs.

4. Explore more in Niagara

I have been living in the city for four months now, but I could barely show my aunt and uncle around – HOW SAD! In 2018, I want to explore more of St Catharines and the Niagara, from trying new restaurants to bowling and new experiences unique to the city!

5. Make more friends

You can never have too many friends, right? In 2018, I want to continue to expand my horizons by meeting new people and learning about new cultures!

6. Enjoy the snow

There is going to be plenty of it (for a Caribbean girl at least) so I might as well. As it is my first winter I want to try and enjoy it as much as possible. Ice skating, snowmen, snowball fights, and snowboarding galore! YES PLEASE!

That concludes my list and I hope all my fellow Badgers have a fantastic 2018 and a great semester!

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Hi Future Badgers!

Winter Term has just begun, and while many of us Badgers would like to think we are ready to take on another term with new classes full force… most of us are still stuck in Christmas break mode.

After writing final exams in December and having a nice break to reboot over the holidays, sometimes it can be hard to keep up those great study habits, organization, and especially TIME MANAGEMENT.

This is where I come in. Over my (almost) 4 years here at Brock as a student, I have learned many strategies that help me manage my time and be the most productive I can be during the school year. In this post I will share some of these tips with you!

1. Get an agenda. Not just any boring agenda, a cool agenda that you enjoy using! There are so many new agendas out there that have cool pictures, stickers, activities and more that will motivate you to use them effectively and organize your schedule!

2. Use a calendar. Whether you get a whiteboard calendar for your wall in your room, a desk calendar, or even just the calendar on your laptop, make sure it is easy for you to access so that whenever something comes up that you need to add, you can do it before you forget.

3. Find a system to use like highlighting or colour coding. I like to colour code my activities and events. I usually use a different colour for each of my courses so that when I have an assignment or test it will stand out to me. I also use a different colour for my job and my volunteering. It’s not just helpful, it’s also fun and looks good as well!

4. Set specific times for things you need to get done, and try your best to stick to these time frames. For example, I usually try to do my homework during the week, so that for the most part I can have my weekends to relax and do fun things with my friends! Giving myself a schedule to follow day by day has really helped me balance out my commitments with my needed breaks and free time.

These are just a few of my time management tips, and I hope you find these helpful! Good luck finishing off school this year, Future Badgers!

– Emily

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FUNDING EDUCATION!!!This was probably one of the scariest things about coming to university – wondering how I could afford it! But I want to let you know it is possible as there is always help you can get. Personally, finances have always been troubling for my family as I am a triplet and when I first started at Brock, all three of us went away to post-secondary institutions. However, I found there were ways to overcome worrying about finances. One thing that was extremely important to me was my entrance scholarship based on my Gr.12 admittance average marks. This was an easy way for me to fund my tuition as I had achieved a high average in high school which resulted in the scholarship being directly applied to my account. Also, throughout my years at Brock, I maintained over an 80% which renewed the scholarship each year. Additionally, at Brock, there is something called the ONE APP. This is one application to fill out which the, once you submit, will consider you for all awards, scholarships, and bursaries you are eligible for!

In one of my previous blogs, I talked about having an on-campus job. These jobs that I had the privilege to hold on campus helped me survive my four years. After tuition and fees are paid, you still must pay for residence or living off-campus and ultimately pay to live! This is where I used all the money I saved up from on-campus jobs. Therefore, it is possible, do not be scared about funding your education just ensure you consider every option and apply for any help you can receive!



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Bus pass

Hey Badgers! One thing that’s amazing when you are a Brock student is that a bus pass is included in our tuition and fees we pay each year. It is provided to us thanks to our students’ union we call BUSU (Brock University Students’ Union). I was worried heading off to university because I did not have a car to get around. But I am writing this blog to tell you that it is possible to go to school without a car!

In my first year, I did not leave campus much thus I did not become very familiar with the bus system. However, in my second year when I decided to live off-campus, I had to learn very quickly. There is an app you can download called “St. Catharines Transit” which I recommend ALL Brock students get!! It makes it so easy to see which bus to take to get to the Pen Centre for example to go shopping. Or which bus to take to get to campus if you live off-campus.

Having survived 4 years as a student with no car, I am here to tell you it is possible! Like you all could imagine, having a car would be nice, but I survived just fine

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I want to share with all of you future Badgers one of my favourite spots on campus – General Brock. When I was in my first year I did not do much exploring around campus except for where my classrooms were and where to eat and I don’t want you all to make the same mistake!! There are so many hidden gems around campus and you need to find one of your favourite spots.

For me, this is General Brock. Not only do they have my favourite coffee, they also have so many affordable snacks and meals for students. So, if you get hungry and need a little pick me up to get through the day, I recommend GB (this is what people tend to call General Brock on campus). Also, GB has study spots available so if you like a little background noise while you study, this could be the ideal place for you. Finally, GB is Student Powered which means that they only employ students. Again, if you want to get involved on campus, meet new friends and add to your Brock experience, GB could be the perfect job fit for you.

Regardless of where your favorite spot is on campus, find it sooner than later because you never know when you’ll need it as an escape or need it to help brighten your day!



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