Marley Dickinson is a fourth-year student majoring in Tourism Management. He has been actively participating in the community through activities such as Running Club and represented Brock at Karlstad University in Sweden when he visited the country through Brock’s exchange program.
Dickinson’s journey began when he moved from Newmarket, Ontario to Brock’s village residence in the fall of 2013.
Like many of the prospective students that attended this past Sunday’s Fall Preview Day, Dickinson said when he attended the fall tours four years ago, he fell in love with the university. His decision to attend Brock was in large part due to the immense amount of opportunities offered across campus.
“On my very first day at Brock I was already surrounded by amazing and inspiring people,” said Dickinson. “I was part of a Living Learning Community (LLC) in residence and that allowed me to live with like-minded individuals. I also attended the vendor fair because I wanted to get involved and that’s how I learned about the Running Club.”
Dickinson said he showed up to Running Club on the first day and from there, he was part of the club for three years.
“Brock’s Running Club inspired me to work harder and kept me involved in being fit and healthy,” said Dickinson. “It also helped me keep my mind off of stress and school.” In his second year, Dickinson was the Head of Recruitment for Running Club. He helped advocate and promote awareness about the benefits of the club. “It was nice to inspire fellow students,” he says.
Although Running Club has been discontinued this year, Dickinson hopes that it will make its way back to functioning as a working club through the team’s younger members in the future.
Dickinson has continued running in events such as long-distance marathons. He completed one such event in October, which he accredits to Running Club for helping him stay motivated and involved.
Dickinson is currently an Exchange Host for International Services because of his experience on exchange in Sweden.
“Leaving home for an extended amount of time can be scary but I recommend the experience to pretty much everybody. You’re going to have a global community, diversify yourself, learn so much about yourself, travel to new places and make friendships that are going to last a lifetime,” said Dickinson, reflecting back on his experiences in Sweden.
Dickinson explained that although Brock’s exchange program can be a long process, it is worth it for the experience.
“Brock has a whole pre-departure process to prepare students going abroad,” said Dickinson. “The International Centre is so great at making sure students are prepared and set from the point when they touch ground [in the country of exchange] until they’re back at Brock.”
Dickinson described his experience in Sweden as an “unbelievable opportunity.”
“I was going off on my own and I didn’t know a soul,” said Dickinson, “but then it became my second home.”
While in Sweden, Dickinson made sure to be involved in as many ways as possible. He was a part of the Karlstad University travelling ball hockey team, where he was often referred to as “The Canadian” and spent many days unwinding and learning the Swedish culture from his teammates.
“I truly got to indulge in the culture and I made so many new friends,” said Dickinson. “I rode a bike everywhere, just as they do there, and even helped my floormate practice his English.”
Dickinson shared that beyond his personal experiences in Sweden, it was also interesting to learn from a different educational curriculum. He explained that in post-secondary education in Sweden, instead of having multiple courses at a time, they focus on one course for several weeks and then move onto the next.
“I didn’t feel as overloaded with work and I could have full focus on one subject at a time,” said Dickinson, stating that it has been a bit difficult transitioning back into Brock’s methods of teaching.
Dickinson said that the exchange program is “such an unbelievable experience that everybody should partake in. The statistic is that only 1 per cent of students at Brock do an exchange and that’s really quite low. The hardest part is getting over the feeling of ‘I’m really doing this’ but once that’s gone, there’s really nothing to be afraid of.”
Finishing up his last year at Brock, Dickinson continues to play hockey through intramurals and a separate men’s league. He also volunteers his time as an Exchange Host for the International Centre because he feels that since somebody did it for him in Sweden, it’s important to give back.