FLIP Dominica Republic 2018 Day One

Hola/ Hi everyone, come with me on this reflective journey as I share my first-day experience in the Dominica Republic FLIP 2018. We arrived at the Eco-lodge in the hills of Tubagua, it was the most natural place I have ever been in my whole life with a beautiful breath-taking view.

The day begins with breakfast: fresh fruits, homemade granola, yogurt, eggs, sausage, and toast. Next is our coastal drive in the town of Puerto Plata where Alexis, our amazing tour guide, shared short enlightening anecdotes of the country’s history with us along the way. First stop was the cable car ride in Puerto Plata, this service fully funded by the government 60% of this profit given back to the community and 40% use to pay staff and maintenance. The day was full of awe-inspiring moments, but one of the most highlighting moments for me was the cable car ride up to the mountain of Isabella de la Torres. Why? This mountain is about 2,225 ft high, yes!!!!!! It’s that high. In my opinion, it was a frightening and exciting moment all at once for most of us including myself. However, once we arrived at the top of the mountain all that changed as we disembarked from the car and started taking pictures of the beauty in sight. The atmosphere was welcoming both by local vendors and local peoples. The use of local goods and services was fully evident they use the local resources to create some form of short/ long term employment by building on their natural resources. For example, we bought from the local vendors stalls souvenirs such as jewelry made from local material called larimar a rare blue stone found only in the Dominica Republic. We then made our way down the trail stopped at a cave (yes ppl a cave),  which appears to have been there since the time of the Tainos.  I would say my day was a full course meal and i enjoyed every moment. multiple stops between but this is just a taste for you.

Categories: FLIP | Leave a comment

Nagoya, Japan SIP

It’s been more than half a year since returning from the Summer International Program in Nagoya, Japan, but I still remember vividly so many of the wonderful experiences I had. One of my favorites is the kimono workshop Nagoya Gakuin University put together for us. One of the local student’s family ran a kimono shop, and they were kind enough to bring some yukata in for us to try, even helping us to put them on properly!

yukata 2

Even before leaving Canada, trying on a kimono/yukata (and maybe even buying one!) was towards the top of my to-do list for Japan, I mean, who hasn’t heard of a kimono before? A yukata is akin to a lightweight kimono, usually made out of a single layer of cotton and is much easier to wear than a kimono which has many different layers. Yukata are popular to wear during summer festivals since they are much more breathable. After arriving in Japan and seeing the prices, I knew that I would not be able to afford one, but I had hoped to at least be able to try one on and get a picture. When we arrived at the university and were given our program schedule, I was so excited to see that there would be a workshop towards the end of the program!

On the day of, we were separated into 2 rooms: one for the males and one for the females. As soon as we walked through the doors, we could see all of the yukata laid out on the desks, and we all scrambled to choose one. I was immediately drawn to a dark blue one that had a purple and pink obi (the belt). Obi can come either as just a cloth strip or pre-tied into a bow. All of the ones that were brought in for the workshop were pre-tied to make it easier to put on.

yukata 1

The ladies there helped us into our yukata (otherwise we would have been completely lost on how to put them on!) They had even brought geta (wooden sandals) for us to wear!


After we finished dressing, we were given the choice whether we wanted to go to a nearby shrine while wearing the yukata. I, of course, said yes – I did not want to take the yukata off yet after finally being able to put one on! Geta are known for being hard and uncomfortable to walk in (you’re walking basically on a block of wood) so the university called several taxis to take us to the shrine.

Now, the shrine is definitely one of the things that makes this experience so memorable.

The taxis took us to the Atsuta Shrine where we took tons of pictures at the shrine entrance.

shrine 4

As we walked through the shrine grounds, we noticed there was quite a commotion around a certain tree. Tons of locals had their phones pointed upwards and were talking excitedly to one another.

tree 1

It took us a while to figure out what everyone was looking at, but then we saw it. Can’t figure it out? Take a closer look at the centre of the picture.

tree 2

Yes, that is a snake in the tree. From what we gathered from the locals, the snake can usually be found around the base of the tree, and we were very lucky to see it in the tree. I didn’t even know snakes went in trees.

Besides the snake, the shrine itself was beautiful, and we got the opportunity to take tons of pictures on the shrine grounds before taking the taxis back to the university.

shrine 3

All in all, I had a great yukata experience and I hope to get to buy one when I go back to Japan someday, hopefully soon.

~ Joyce Lok

Categories: Centennial College, Japan, Summer International Program (SIP) | Leave a comment

Costa Rican Humblings – Part 1


My name is Nour Daoud, and I am a fourth semester Social Service Worker (SSW) student, at Centennial College. I am currently in Costa Rica, completing my final placement. Since I am very interested in a future career doing international work, I have opted to complete an international internship, as I thought it was suitable for me. I have been humbled and challenged more than I can describe to you in words. So I thought I’d spare you my boring personal reflection, and just show you why. Please bear with me as this is my first blogging experience ever, and I hope you enjoy it!

Never be afraid to take a risk, or be pushed out of your comfort zone. You never know what you’ll discover about yourself!

Till my next post….PURA VIDA (if you ever visit CR, you must learn this expression)!!!

Ciao mis amigos 🙂


Categories: Canada, Centennial College, Changing Experience, Costa Rica, Internship - Costa Rica, Internship -Costa Rica, TEC University, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Im Just on a volcano.

I went to visit the Irazu volcano. It was cold, windy and cloudy and i forgot to bring a sweater or a jacket. Even though I was freezing, I had an incredible experience, and I didn’t want to leave here. I can touch the clouds and breathing the fresh air. I was so high up in the clouds that you cannot see the city below us, but instead you see the point of view, as if you were still on the seat of a plane. Blue skies and perfect white clouds that is all I see. I had accomplished a dream to visit a volcano. (Hernando Tirado, social service worker).

Categories: Costa Rica | Leave a comment

They were house as pets

These creatures are called Cayman. They used to belong to somebody in their home. They were confiscated by authorities and donated to the University of TEC, Costa Rica. The students here are learning about these creatures as part of their program.  Also, the scars you see on their bodies are caused because of the conditions they were leaving in. (Hernando Tirado, Social Service Worker).

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

TEC University and baby alligator

I got the opportunity to hold a baby alligator.  It was small, cute and I was excited to hold him. While I was holding him I started to reflect. That this will be my first and last time in holding such a creature, that the next time I get to see it, he will be 30 times bigger and it will take 8 grown adults to hold him. (Hernando Tirado, Social Service Worker).

Categories: Costa Rica | Leave a comment

Learning about butterflies.

I spent two nights in San Carlos, Costa Rica. Where the University of TEC professor  was teaching us  about butterflies. In this photo he was teaching us how to hold a butterfly without hurting it, but also how they are able to camouflage or scare of predators.

Categories: Costa Rica | Leave a comment

Nagoya, Japan


It’s been a while since returning from my Summer CIP, and experiencing the reverse culture shock was something I didn’t expect. After living in another country for a month, you begin to adapt to the different cultures and practices of the host country; it feels as if you are returning to a foreign country rather than coming home to your family when you fly home. I found myself grasping at small memories and items that brought me back across the globe desperately, arguing with myself about which country is my real home.

Now that I’m entering the Winter 2018 semester, I look back at the experience and think about how much fun I had overall. At this point, I have once again coped with the integration back into Canadian society. With a clear mind, I’ve decided to recount the highlights of my adventure.




This had to be the first thing on my list to talk about. Karaoke in Japan is on a whole different level! Unlike the song books we have here, you navigate their system using tablets. They also have big screen TVs paired with modern Karaoke systems that are always updating their library. The price is very fair, especially because your time includes unlimited drinks! At least, majority of places do. Places like Joy Joy even offer free alcohol… but if you’re going on a centennial experience you better not drink (it’s in the contract)! They also have different lights flashing around the rooms, and some places have instruments to play around with (i.e. maracas, tambourines).





Fair warning; it won’t be as all you anime nerds out there expect. There is a lot of anime there, but not everywhere. There are a lot of arcades too, and if you want to play the music games you see on Youtube, you have to go up 1 or 2 floors (Ignore the crane games. They are tricky for noobs). THEY STILL HAVE DDR IN JAPAN!!!! I also tried a VR game that I can’t go into details with (though I’ll throw out the word bishie as a hint ;))





The shopping in Japan is just like in Canada, but they have so many more items available at their equivalent of a Dollar Store! It’s like going to a Walmart(but even better) where everything really is just a dollar! I could spend hours in Daiso and Seria just trying to figure out what random trinkets I think I need. The quality is also better than you’d expect. What would normally cost around $12 here in Canada only cost me 100 yen (about 1USD) in Japan! They also have more cute clothes, though I guess that’s up to preference. Another thing to note is how often you’ll see a vending machine around; it’s so convenient on the really hot days!




The temples and traditional buildings are gorgeous! Walking around the outskirts of town you can see how they integrate both new and traditional architecture into a beautiful blend… I could get lost exploring for hours on purpose! Although everything is built tightly, it feels like they are more efficient because they don’t waste what space they have.



Japanese is such an interesting language which sounds so smooth, and hearing it spoken all around me caused my heart to flutter. I’m so happy to have been able to practice speaking the language, and improving my proficiency. We were challenged to write a report in Japanese, and I honestly had so much fun typing on the Japanese keyboards!




This is another thing you should really try in Japan. You can try photobooths in other countries, but I haven’t been able to find one quite like Japan’s. Some booth places will even have rental cosplay’s available, as well as areas to doll yourself up. The biggest thing about Purikura in japan though is the unusual beauty filter. It will make you look so different! I highly recommend getting at least one.



I have to give the bidet toilets an honourable mention; It’s such a weird concept but once you try it, it’s so hard to look at toilet paper the same way. You WILL regret not trying it. Seriously.





I’ll be honest: I didn’t expect everyone to be so kind. I’ve been approached by Japanese citizens eager to practice English with me and have a nice conversation, and they portray strong emotional connections between each other that I had not expected. Granted, not all are like that, but moments like when my luggage got stuck in the train doors and everyone around me stopped to help me pull it out have me taking a step back to reassess what I had come to understand about Japanese people. It opened my mind a bit more to reality, versus the stereotypes we become so used to. Playing around and doing crazy things, experiencing life in Japan from the perspective of a typical Japanese University student; I can honestly say that I’ve never had so much fun in my life, and I wish I could relive those short moments over and over again.





THE FOOD IS AMAZING! If you love sushi, then you’ll cry after trying fresh sushi from Tsukiji Market or any equivalent. It’s so expensive, yet the taste still lingers on my mouth even now… and Kobe beef is sooooo good! Their food tastes so different from North American food, and coming back was a tough transition for me. 7 Eleven has the best fried chicken, and the price isn’t bad; I can literally survive happily off eating that chicken for days.



Japan Travel


If you have time, you should really travel to the different prefectures; the difference between them is astonishing, and the experiences are so unique! In Canada you typically stand on the right side of the escalator, but in Tokyo you stand on the left; In Osaka it’s actually the right! The onsens are also so fun and relaxing, though I highly recommend going to a mountainous region to experience the real thing.


There’s honestly so much to say, that I even made a short video for a contest about experiencing Japan:




Even after returning, my journey still continues. Since then, I’ve seen and talked with friends I’ve made back in Japan, and I am planning my eventual return. I’m very thankful for the opportunity SaGe has given me; I’ve made so many friends and valuable connections. I promise all you hopefuls that applying for one of these experiences will be a once in a lifetime experience you’ll never forget!




Categories: Japan, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My Dubai Experience!

My experience in Dubai this December was amazing! I had the opportunity to not only represent Centennial College, but also Canada at the annual G200 Conference. Through this experience, I was able to network and build professional relationships with global leaders and youth around the world. In addition, I was also immersed in all the cultural experiences that Dubai had to offer.



For the first couple days, we had back-to-back meetings and presentations at our hotel. I was in the Labour Market and Global Health Committee, where we established a series of recommendations for the United Nations about various topics including gender equality, maternal health and precarious work. It was amazing to hear ideas from youth around the world who held very distinct opinions and thoughts due to our diverse backgrounds.


The conference was really busy. We were learning, sharing and eating together throughout the three days.

WhatsApp Image 2017-12-22 at 4.00.48 PM



IMG_3455 (1)

Apart from the conference, we also had some time to explore Dubai together. We visited Jumeirah Beach, the Burj Khalifa and went to the huge Dubai mall. I also had a chance to do a desert safari trip in Sharjah, about an hour away from the city.

Overall, my Global Experience trip was everything that I anticipated and prepared for. I was able to participate in a space to discuss my passion for youth development in labour and education, all while meeting new people and experiencing a different atmosphere.


I also got to know Maegan, Lina and Carlos from my very own Centennial community!

Sara Omer

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Global Experience to Dubai!

Let me start this blog off with how grateful I am to have been given this opportunity to go to Dubai on December 3- Dec 10, 2017.

My goal was to learn more about the culture and have the opportunity to network with the business professionals at the G200 Youth Forum.



I went a couple of days earlier and the conference started on December 6, 2017.  This global experience was a chance to experience the culture, network and learn more about my self. I went two and a half days earlier before the conference, I was able to adjust to the time difference.


I had the chance to go to the Global Village, It was by far one of my favorite things to do in Dubai. It was beautiful at night with the lights and this was the best opportunity to shop.

I went on a Desert Safari and the Gold Souk.

I went to the Dubai mall and behind the mall was the fountain show.


Once Wednesday came, that was the first day of the G200 Conference.  I applied to participate in the G200 Young Professionals Platform and The G200 Entrepreneurs Platform, which went great with my program I study at Centennial College. At this conference, I had the chance to listen to other speakers and meet them.

Overall, my Dubai Experience was amazing and I learned a lot from networking and traveling by myself.  The G200 conference was a great opportunity to learn about world issues and business professionals life experiences, the importance of happiness, globalization, investor relations, social entrepreneurship and about other countries.


By: Maegan

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.