Travel, Work & Study Abroad, Life Overseas.

Author: Marcelle Mazzocato

The Contiki European Discovery Tour Review

The Contiki European Discovery Tour Review

9 countries. 13 days This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase by clicking on my links, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you, that will help keep this website running. Thanks in advance for […]

Dealing with Reverse Culture Shock when returning home

Dealing with Reverse Culture Shock when returning home

This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase by clicking on my links, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you, that will help keep this website running. Thanks in advance for your support! A little […]

What You’ll Experience while Living in Canada

What You’ll Experience while Living in Canada

A little background info…

If you’re new to Why I Post, let me tell you a quick background on me. You can simply skip to the next section if you’re not new here.
I’m Marcelle and I started my website Why I Post so I could share all my travel-related experiences with as many people as possible so that everyone would feel more confident when applying for a visa, a citizenship process, book a trip overseas, go abroad as an international student or work overseas.
I am such a big nerd when it comes to exchange programs, visas and citizenship applications. I find it really enjoyable to search for all the rules and requirements mandatory for those applications. But I know that’s not for everyone. I understand you may not like those boring things like me. So to help you guys out, I try to simplify and summarize them on my blog.
The information I share comes from countries’ official websites and my personal experience in applying for international processes. And having traveled to 16 countries and having lived abroad a couple times, you can imagine how many application and paperwork I had to go through.

Because of my experience, I have written to other travel blogs and have even given an interview.

Above are just a few of the reasons for why I enjoy blogging about travel experiences.
I’d like to show you that you can have better travel experiences and you should not hate planning your next international trip.
You can make changes to your life by traveling and it doesn’t have to be scary.
Yes, an international experience helps you to tick places off your bucket list. But it’s more than that!
I see traveling as an exclusive experience, that’s all about being present, tasting, learning, trying, seeing and doing.
Going abroad is about indulging in unique local experiences: living the moment and making remarkable memories, the best ones!

I want you to have fun & create your own history while having THE time of your life abroad, truly enjoying the life you are living!

Now let’s get back to what you’ll experience while living in Canada.

It had always been a dream of mine to go to Canada and visit its beautiful cities. Last year I had the opportunity of living in Canada for almost 2 months. If you’re interested in going to Canada too, take a look at these posts:

Also, be sure to read till the end for a bonus I made for you!

Since our stay would last almost two months, we decided to stay at an Airbnb apartment, which was a lot cheaper than a hotel and had more of a “home” feeling too (sign up through my link for a $30 discount!).

So we decided to stay the whole time in one place only and we chose the city of Vancouver. It’s safe to say it was a great start. Everything I’ll share here is based on our own experiences in this city.

We’re going to Canada for the third time, the second time this year. Make sure you follow me on Instagram and Twitter so you don’t miss out our travel tips.

Since Canada is huge in size, we haven’t been to other parts of Canada (yet), but I really want to go to the east side too. So keep in mind that other regions might be different or very different from what we’ve experienced in Vancouver.

Living in Canada. Life in Canada

 

THE FOOD

Multicultural food is offered everywhere you go. From all types of Asian food to Arab and Italian cosines as well as the good old North American Fast Food.

Speaking of which…let’s talk Poutine! Poutine is a typical Canadian dish. I really liked it when I tried. It’s made with fries, cheese, and gravy on top. I never know which one to eat, Poutine or regular fries. Life is hard, what can I say. Decisions, decisions, decisions…

If you’re more in the vibe of grabbing something on the go, Downtown Vancouver has plenty of Food Trucks. From hot-dogs and grilled cheese sandwiches to soups and greek food, there are lots of choices, even in the Winter. And I’m sure you can find one that serves Poutine too.

One great thing I also love is how many organic grocery stores we see in Vancity. These places offer an awesome selection of fresh fruits. In my home country, we don’t find berries very easily. When we do, it’s so expensive. Since berries are my favorite, I love making a quick stop to those organic grocery stores to grab some berries (and nuts) for an afternoon snack.

And a message for all my vegan friends out there. Vancouver is packed with vegan restaurants! In most countries of South America, you don’t find a vegan places or menus that easily. I’ve tried becoming vegetarian once, but due to lack of alternatives, I couldn’t keep up. Nowadays I do find options to replace animal products, but unfortunately, here where I live, vegan products cost double or triple the price of a regular food product. But that my friend, is not going to be a problem if you are in Vancouver. There you find many vegan places with fair pricing.

Food in Canada Canadian Food

 

THE PEOPLE

Canada has two official languages, so I expected to listen and read both English and French. I mean, I knew that Vancouverites speak primarily English, but still. Anyways. To my huge surprise, when I arrived at the Vancouver Airport, I saw English and CHINESE signage. And NO French AT ALL. I know French is more widely spoken in Canada on the East coast, but still, I don’t remember listening to anyone on the streets speaking French. And in my mind, I guess I wouldn’t find it strange if everything were in English only. But English and a non-official language? That blew my mind! I remember seeing all those signs in Mandarin and thinking to myself, “Where am I? Is this really Canada? Did we land in the right country?”  LOL Don’t judge me, but I had NO IDEA that Chinese emigration was that huge in Canada. It got me so curious about it when I landed, that I wanted to do a little research and look it up online. Seriously. Many countries I’ve been to have a Chinatown/Little Korea/Greektown area. So I’m used to seeing a large number of immigrants from the same country, in specific neighborhoods. But in Vancouver it was different. It was so diverse and it was soooo interesting seeing that most of the population there looked foreign or was an immigrant. But after reading a couple of things online, I learned that actually, the current Asian population in Canada is the second or third generation of the first Asian immigrants, mostly Chinese. Meaning, the Asian Canadian or Chinese Canadian you meet today was born in Canada, but their parents or grandparents were born in Asia.

To illustrate that, I follow 5 Canadian bloggers. 3 of them are Asian Canadians. I just love how internet has bringing peoples and countries closer together.

Sidenote #2: seeing that much of Asia in Vancouver made me want to go to Asia so badly, that I ended up going to Shanghai that same year (lucky me!) and of course, it was incredible! I love it.

A major quality I see in Canadians is how polite they are. They’re always being so nice to everyone, trying to help, they all look like they’re in a great (not good!) mood. I guess that’s what living in a great country makes to you, LOL. I just love love love Canada and Canadians.

 

THE CLIMATE

I went to Vancouver in the Winter, both times. Yes, it was cold. But not snowy-cold. Not Winterpeg cold, LOL. Sorry, my friends from Winnipeg.

Winter 2015/2016 we didn’t see any snow in the city. Well, actually in February 2016 we had a few flurries, nothing big. Same as February 2017. Let’s see how it’s going to be this Holiday season.

Vancouver has milder winter temperatures when comparing to other Canadian cities such as Montreal and Toronto. Both times we went to Vancouver we faced temperatures that ranged from – 5 to 5 C (23 to 41 F). Have in mind though, that sunny winter days can be quite rare in Vancouver, where it rains a lot this time of the year.

 

THE CULTURE

Gyms on every corner. Yoga studios everywhere. Vegan food. Organic food. Nice and happy people. Canadians are so polite and sweet! Gorgeous beaches and seawall for outdoor workouts. Kayaking. Stand Up Paddleboarding. Bike sharing and bike rentals for fun city bike rides. Stunning hikes even in the Winter.

Sidenote #3: How not to love the Vancouverite lifestyle? It’s all about spreading love and having healthy habits. I love Canada with all my heart!

A great experience too is to visit local events. We watched the Canucks, Vancouver hockey team, play at Rogers Arena. And we also went to the Vancouver International Boat Show at BC Place. Nothing tourism-related, but definitely the kind of activity a local would do to enjoy this beautiful city.

Canucks playing in the Rogers Arena in Vancouver

 

This year we want to go up to the Grouse Mountain. But we don’t have any snowshoes though. I looked up online and it seems that they have rentals there, so I guess that should work.  And again, if you’re not following me yet, head over to my Twitter and Instagram so you don’t miss out my next travel tips.

 

Are you planning a trip to Canada? To what destination?

If you have been to Vancouver, let me know what your thoughts are.

How to get your Italian Citizenship – the basics & my experience

How to get your Italian Citizenship – the basics & my experience

A little background info… If you’re new to Why I Post, let me tell you a quick background on me. You can simply skip to the next section if you’re not new here. I’m Marcelle and I started my website Why I Post so I […]

How to legally Work & Travel in Canada with the International Experience Canada – IEC

How to legally Work & Travel in Canada with the International Experience Canada – IEC

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase by clicking on my links, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you, that will help keep this website running. Thanks in advance for your support! A little background […]

Where I’ve been

Where I’ve been

 

 

countries I have been

 

If someone had told me years ago that I would be traveling this much and visiting many different countries, I’d never have believed it. If you follow me on Twitter & Instagram you know how excited I get when I look back and see how many places I’ve been to. It is such a great feeling to have been to all those countries and continents.

I’m proud to say I have traveled to 16 countries so far. YAY! I have been to England, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Vatican City, Switzerland, France, Argentina, Canada, China, Brazil, Uruguay, Portugal & the United States of America, where I lived for over a year as an international student.

And yes, my goal is to keep ticking many more countries off my (endless) bucket list.

I feel like traveling makes me a better person. Whenever I go to a new country I try to understand its people lifestyle so I can experience more of the local feels. This makes me understand their culture, accept the differences and respect their people.

I learn so much from my travels that it makes me even more excited to travel more and more often.

Each place has a story that photos alone just won’t do justice to it. You have to really be there to feel it while writing your own story as well.

 

Countries I've been to

 

 Life is made of simple things. Every moment matters.

How to move to Portugal as a legal resident

How to move to Portugal as a legal resident

A little background info… If you’re new to Why I Post, let me tell you a quick background on me. You can simply skip to the next section if you’re not new here. I’m Marcelle and I started my website Why I Post so I […]

Flying to Brazil with an ​Electronic Visa

Flying to Brazil with an ​Electronic Visa

Many Australians and Chineses will soon be able to fly to Brazil with an Electronic visa. The visa should be expected to be issued within 72 hours of the request. Australian tourists wishing to visit Brazil should be able to apply for an Entry Visa […]

How to Structure an IELTS Essay

How to Structure an IELTS Essay

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This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase by clicking on my links, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you, that will help keep this website running. Thanks in advance for your support!

 

Hello, everyone!

I’m here today because I want to share some tips on how to improve your writing for your IELTS essay.

Are you writing essays how examiners want to? Properly structure your IELTS essay so you can get a higher score on your writing exam to help with your Immigration program and foreign University applications. Discover what to write and how to write it in each section of your essay: the Introduction, Body Paragraphs and in the Conclusion, for a better band score on your test!

First things first. If you’re new to Why I Post, let me tell you a quick background on me before we jump into the Tips for an Amazing IELTS Writing test. You can simply skip to the next section if you’re not new here. 😇

A little background info…

I’m Marcelle and I started my website Why I Post so I could share all my travel-related experiences with as many people as possible so that everyone would feel more confident when applying for a visa, a citizenship process, book a trip overseas, go abroad as an international student or work overseas.

I am such a big nerd when it comes to exchange programs, visas and citizenship applications. I find it really enjoyable to search for all the rules and requirements mandatory for those applications.But I know that’s not for everyone. I understand you may not like those boring things like me.
So to help you guys out, I try to simplify and summarize them on my blog.

The information I share comes from countries’ official websites and my personal experience in applying for international processes. And having traveled to 16 countries and having lived abroad a couple times, you can imagine how many application and paperwork I had to go through.
Because of my experience, I have written to other travel blogs and have even given an interview.

Above are just a few of the reasons for why I enjoy blogging about travel experiences.

I’d like to show you that you can have better travel experiences and you should not hate planning your next international trip.
You can make changes to your life by traveling and it doesn’t have to be scary.
Yes, an international experience helps you to tick places off your bucket list. But it’s more than that!
I see traveling as an exclusive experience, that’s all about being present, tasting, learning, trying, seeing and doing.
Going abroad is about indulging in unique local experiences: living the moment and making remarkable memories, the best ones!

marble macbook skin

This cute Macbook Marble Skin is from Amazon.

 

Now let’s get back to the IELTS Essay writing strategies.

I’m here today because I would like to share some tips on how to properly structure your IELTS essay. Read till the end to get a bonus!
Before we get started, let me just answer some of the most popular questions you might have regards IELTS.

  • What is the IELTS test?
    IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. It’s an English proficiency test.
  • Who needs to take the IELTS?
    Those who want to either study in or migrate to an English-speaking country.
  • Why is the IELTS exam so difficult?
    The IELTS exam tests your ability to read, write, listen and speak in English. Your skill levels will dictate how easy or difficult you find the test to be. However, you must familiarize yourself with the test format, the British and Australian accents, the test time and their scoring system. And of course, you should get prepared before the test date. Adding a study routine to your IELTS preparation phase is a must if you want to succeed in the exam. You can study on your own by reading prep-materials and listening to English radios or you can practice it with native English speakers.
  • When do I get my IELTS results?
    You will get a Test Report posted to you 13 days after your test date. Some test centers also provide text messages and an online test results service.
  • How’s the IELTS score calculated?
    IELTS uses a 9-band scoring system.
IELTS 9 band score scale
The IELTS 9-band score scale.

 

  • How will IELTS help me in the future?
    Whether you would eventually want to live, work or study abroad, IELTS can be accepted by employers, educational institutions and immigration authorities in English-speaking counties worldwide, such as the UK, Canada, and the States for example.
  • Can IELTS be taken online?
    At this time their exams are primarily paper delivered. However, some IELTS test takers for UK Visas and Immigration will be able to take their IELTS test on computer.
  • Which IELTS should I take for university? 
    Most universities will accept the Academic version, but you should check with each institution that you’re applying to, and see which type of IELTS they require for accepting international students.
  • Which IELTS should I take for Canada Immigration programs?
    Canada has different Immigration streams. For the federal Express Entry – Skilled Immigrants, you must take the IELTS General Training option. For other immigration streams, please check Canada’s official website for its requirements.

Now that you may have most of your questions answered, let’s talk about the writing part of the IELTS exam.

Studying on your own may not be for everyone. I know this from experience. I studied really hard for about a month and thought I was ready for taking the test. But I wasn’t. So I had to study even more, for much longer to get the results I needed. And after living in the US for 1,5 years, taking English classes throughout basically my entire stay, I genuinely thought that if I put some effort I could study by myself and achieve the results I wanted, without help.

For those of you following me on Instagram or Twitter, you know I studied all day, every day, for 4 months. And yes, I did improve my overall results. But I didn’t get the exact band score I needed in one specific section of the exam. I know it might sound like I’m worrying too much. But if you are applying to Immigration programs or Universities abroad, that can be a total deal breaker.

Here comes the good news. There’s this straight-A international student, who’s been accepted by top 5 American Universities, whose work I admire sooooo much. She’s gathered accredited language schools on her website and made them available for online booking. AND you get 5% to 30% lower rates than directly at schools. How amazing is that? I wish I knew about it back then.

So if you want better results, it is no shame to ask for help. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Lingua Trip has an international presence, and offer you the possibility of study in many different countries such as Canada, Malta, Ireland, the UK, the US and more…Now that’s a company with a background I can rely on. An easy way to find the perfect language school to improve our skills, without paying extra for agents’ services. The girl boss behind this business is passionate about learning languages, traveling and study abroad, just like me. I couldn’t relate more. They give fully support at all stages of your study abroad trip. She’s been in our shoes that’s why she knows how important support is to an international student. 

  • Bonus Tip: if you’re still not ready to travel abroad to learn a language, don’t give up! You can also take the IELTS / TOEFL – preparation online, as well as practice your speaking skills with a native English speaker on Skype.
  • PRO TIP!: Dreaming on getting accepted by a foreign University but have no clue about where to start or how to get prepared? I know someone who can help. Marina is expert in higher education abroad. She’s gotten 700 out of 800 on GMAT and 117 out of 120 on TOEFL. She’s been accepted by top 5 American Universities and 2 of them with full financial scholarships. If there is someone who can give a Consultation on higher education abroad, she’s the one!

 

So without further ado, let’s see the overall structure that every good essay should have on your writing exam, or PIN it to read it later.

How to Write an Awesome IELTS Essay

This is what a great IELTS essay should look like:

  • Introduction
  • Body Paragraph
  • Body Paragraph
  • Body Paragraph (this one could be unnecessary, depending on the type of Task you were requested to respond. Two good body paragraphs are usually enough).
  • Conclusion
[bctt tweet=”Getting tips to rock on my IELTS essay.” username=”cellemazzocato”]

The best thing you can do is to brainstorm the main ideas of each part of the essay. This is gold. Address keywords for each section. Take about 2-3 minutes for this. This should be enough time.

And it is ok not to be super creative. You can use the most popular ideas here. Ideas/keywords that most people would use too. Since it is an English test, the examiners are mainly worried about evaluating your fluency in the language, not your creativity.

The main things you should present in each part of your essay

I have listed below the main things you should present in each part of your essay, in order to meet the examiners’ expectations and get yourself a higher score.

Introduction

  • Restate the given topic question, paraphrasing the statement. Remeber to always use your own words and play with synonyms.
  • You must write two 2 sentences:  one sentence paraphrasing the topic and another one developing the main idea.

Body Paragraph #1

A good paragraph length would be around three sentences:

    1. sentence # 1 – Discuss the topic using the strongest argument (or the Advantages when it’s an Advantages x Disadvantages essay)
    2. sentence # 2 – Give reasons and explanation
    3. sentence # 3 – Give examples to illustrate your point.

Body Paragraph #2

Follow the same structure as in the previous paragraph, but this time speaking writing about the second strongest argument.

Or write about the downsides if it’s an Advantages x Disadvantages essay.

How you are expected to write depends on what is being requested on your essay question. So you should be alert for different essay formats.

For example, in Advantages x Disadvantages essays, it would be interesting to discuss the Advantages in the first paragraph and the Disadvantages in the second paragraph.

Another great tip here is  l.i.n.k.i.n.g   w.o.r.d.s.
It is an excellent opportunity to use linking words to connect sentences as well as to start a paragraph.

An easy option for paragraphs would be starting them by simply saying writing Firstly, Secondly, Thirdly/Lastly for your paragraph number 1, 2 and 3. And for linking words connecting sentences, there are plenty options for every situation. Like In Addition to/Additionally to express sequence for example and, However – Although when contrasting ideas.

Body Paragraph #3

This section may not be necessary for certain types of essays. However, if you are required to ALSO give your opinion, then it would be interesting to dedicate the third paragraph for that purpose. That way your writing will look neater and easier to read.
So always read the question very carefully and follow the instructions.

Conclusion

      • Here you should start by restating the topic. Then write a summary of the main points in your essay.
      • You must NOT add new points to your ideas in this part of the essay.
      • Your conclusion should show you answered the essay question(s) AND had given supporting paragraphs that explain and illustrate your ideas.

That’s a wrap! Those are the best tips I’ve found when studying for my IELTS test.

Back then it took me quite some time to research how to write the best introduction, paragraphs, and conclusion in an IELTS exam. The time I used to do this research, I could’ve used to focus on my studies and get prepared faster. But, I’m glad I could put together this info for you, hoping to make your student life a bit easier – which is something I’d appreciate then. And if you don’t have the time to research all this info like I did, don’t worry. The guys at Lingua Trip offer tons of ways to help you achieve your studying goals, whether that’s with a Skype Lesson or a Higher Education Consultation.

So I really hope you liked it and found this article helpful.  And now, the fun part: The bonus I promised.

Sign up below and I’ll have a list of essay topic ideas sent right to your inbox!

✅  And don’t forget:
  • How you are expected to write depends on what is being requested on your essay question.
  • Be alert for different essay formats.
  • Always read the question carefully and follow the instructions.

Tell me what you think of these tips, I would love to read your opinion.

Let me know in the comments below how this post helped you on your IELTS preparation studies.

 

AMAZON DISCLAIMER: Marcelle (Why I Post) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for websites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. These links are of no extra cost to you and simply go towards the costs of keeping this website running. Thanks in advance for your support.

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase by clicking on my links, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you, that will help keep this website running. Thanks again for your support!

 

​Brazil Important Travel Information

​Brazil Important Travel Information

Follow my blog with Bloglovin You cannot go to South America and not visit Brazil. It is the fifth largest country in the world. Brazil has a unique diverse culture that gathers great people and amazing food. Read more about it here What to expect when living […]