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About centennialglobalexperience

I went to Italy August 20-Sept 3.

Nagoya, Japan

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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.

 

 

Karaoke

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).

 

 

Akihabara

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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 ;))

 

 

Shopping

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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!

 

 

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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.

 

Language

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!

 

 

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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.

 

Toilets

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.

 

 

Lifestyle

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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.

 

 

Food

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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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

Sara Omer

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Zooplankton Identification Course on Seili Island (Finland) Sep 4-8, 2017

The journey to Finland started off with a frantic search for free wi-fi to access Google Maps to navigate my way from the airport near Helsinki, the capital, to the remote island of Seili, over 200 km away. This may not seem far but it was a feat due to two important factors: 1) September 1st marked the beginning of the off-season effectively reducing services on some bus routes and ferries and 2) many services such as restaurants, shops, ticket booths, are closed on Sundays. With adrenaline and some luck, I arrived safely on Seili a little past 5 in the afternoon.

The zooplankton identification course commenced bright and early on Monday morning, gradually picking up speed as I climb the steep learning curve. It was an amazing experience learning about these microscopic creatures but the most memorable experience was the evening the group spent enjoying the beach sauna. We all met up by the dormitories just before sunset and walked the scenic route which followed the shoreline to the sauna house located on a beach. I walked gingerly with the promise of post-sauna snacks of cider, sausage, and chocolate. When we arrived, the cabin looked very similar to a typical Canadian cottage, a quaint little log house with a chimney where the sauna room was connected to a large living room with a fireplace. However, the moment I walked into the sauna, I immediately understood how important sauna was to Finnish culture. All aspects of the facilities were impeccable, there is a tool for every need you could imagine: feet washing station to keep the interior dirt and mud-free, showers to cool off, towels to sit on the hot benches, baskets to keep clothes dry, ladles to pour water onto the furnace. I was the only non-Finn who partook in the sauna and put my swimsuit on , and to my surprise, was joined by the rest of the ladies, nude. They explained that amongst friends, it was completely normal to enjoy a sauna session with no swimsuit in Finland and that it was not a big deal to see each other naked. This expanded my worldview and forced myself to question why I am still self-conscious about my body while there existed this developed country where young and old alike enjoyed a cultural experience with absolutely zero judgment. This feeling of acceptance and well-being was reinforced further as we did the next logical thing following a steaming sauna: running to the shore for a cold dip into the Baltic Sea. 10/10 would do again.

Lillian Ng
Environmental Technician Fast-Track ’17

Categories: Exchange, Exchange Finland, Finland | Leave a comment

‘We Live in Paradise..!’ (Summer International Program – Italy)

Dante Alighieri – The father of Italian Language said this, and trust me all the people residing in Italy believe this very firmly. And I am extremely fortunate to experience it to the fullest and living life the Italian way..!

Starting a journey with many postponed/canceled events resulting in not meeting a single person of my group made me skeptical but contrasting it completely the group that I got because of this summer program at the prestigious and much honored Centennial College was indescribable. They were the best and extremely fun-loving travelers I’ve met in my lifetime. They are some of the most caring, most mannered and most adorable people I’ve ever met. They were not my friends before but in 15 days all of them became more than family to me. Again a lot of thanks goes to Centennial College..! I’m not exaggerating about them; not even a bit – this is the truth, meet them & find out yourself.

This incredible group consisted of 19 friends from all across the world..! They were from  Uganda, Afghanistan, Russia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Philippines, Africa, Sri Lanka, and myself from India. Truly a Global Experience..! Centennial College will surely be remembered forever by me with utmost reverence. Thanks, @CentennialCollege for selecting me in #SIPItalyUrbania and #SaGE for arranging everything so perfectly and gifting me the #GlobalExperience. I learned a lot from you all..!

The hosts Lea and uncle cared us with unseen love &  extreme respect – treating us just like their sons and served us delicious food with a personalized table-linen(our names written on them) – Ps She had 30 years of experience as a cook/chef. The L’insegnante (teacher) Anna Ferri who took our Language Class was the coolest and the best teacher I ever had. She was awesome at teaching Italian, a caring, and a happy person. She did her best to understand us. Even she used to play great Italian songs in-class to fill the blanks listening correctly to the lyrics. And yes, we even watched a movie in class. Thanks, Lea and Anna for making Italy trip very memorable.

Thanks, Diletta for arranging the housing so properly – can’t expect anything more even in my imagination. Lastly, thank you very much, Pearl, for arranging the make-up orientation and supporting me very well through the whole process. I came to know how an excellent email looks like.. Giovanni – the Managing Director at Centro Studi Italiani and Enrico the student coordinator thanks for all your help, patience, and #extraordinary support. Happy Birthday and thanks to Anna for being with us and guiding us at all places – Urbino, Venice, Florence, Gubbio and Rome.

Grazie Mille (Thank You Very Much) Centennial for bestowing us with a remarkable and unforgettable #international experience, providing us the substantial bursary and giving abundant happiness in college-life.

Readers, I highly recommend to experience the Paradise yourself..! I bet you’ll have many things to say and tons of memories to share. Even my computer has 141+ Gig memories of Italy…IMG_20170924_102801_012.jpg

#Cheers to the reality that was better than a dream..!

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Do share your precious comments, thoughts.

Forgive the errors with your big heart.. & thanks for reading. I’ve shared many more events, memories, and photos of Italy on Facebook. Click Here to read and see them all..!

– Rishit Sheth

Categories: Italy, Summer International Program (SIP) | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Busan, South Korea

My one month in Busan was an adventure i’ll never forget! While it had its ups and downs, i found myself gaining an abundance of travel experience (and way too many amazing skin products!)

In this short video that I made, it captures some key moments from my first few days in Busan.

This trip was filled with great food, teacher’s, entertainment, shopping, and company!

I thoroughly enjoyed my stay in Busan and I can’t wait to go back.

From eating fried chicken at my first baseball game, to exploring the many temples in the mountains, Busan will definitely be the place I know I will visit again. Even though there were a few bumps along the way regarding our dorm situation myself and the others still managed to make a memorable trip.

—Marissa Shaw

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URBANIA, ITALY SIP August 2017 by Lina Safi

Ciao Ragazzi! My name is Lina Safi, and this past summer I travelled on Centennial College’s Summer International Program to Urbania, Italy in August of 2017. During this global experience, I gained many important life skills, including learning how to be independent while learning.

Prior to departure, I was very nervous about joining a group of other students whom I had never interacted with prior to the trip. There was a total of 19 of us, and I had only had a small orientation with half the group before meeting the rest for the first time at the airport in Rome.

Instagram: @_linasafi for more pictures.

However, everyone clicked immediately from the start. We were met at the airport by Enrico, our student support coordinator, and a bus driver who drove us approximately 5-6 hours from Rome to the small town of Urbania, where we were greeted and taken home by our host families. All of us were greeted very warmly, and the families were very loving and some of the most kind-hearted people I had ever met. We were also given times for breakfast and dinner, as well as our own set of keys.

The next day, we began school at Centro Studi Italiani, where our classes were from 8:50-4:30. That may seem like a typical Canadian school day, but in Italy, that school day also had a 2 hour break from 12:30-2:30pm. This was because Italians emphasize importance on the meals and “siesta” part of their day. Even the shops close during the mid-afternoon for a few hours!

We had two classes, language and culture. Centro Studi Italiani had also given us written material to use as textbooks and help improve our Italian education. We were also given a 2 week schedule dictating the days we had a change in routine, for excursions or special classes like cuisine, or ceramics.

In the ceramics class, we were taught how to really work with clay, and designed our own fish. In the cooking class, we made homemade gnocchi. One of my favourite activities during culture class was playing “Heads-Up!” in Italian.

In addition to these special classes, Centro Studi Italiani and Centennial College organized a variety of excursions for us to partake in.

Excursion #1: Province of Urbino

Excursion #2: Florence (FIRENZE)

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Excursion #3: Venice (VENEZIA)

Excursion #4: Gubbio

Excursion #5: Rome (ROMA) / Vatican City (CITTA DE VATICANI)

 

It goes without saying, however, that our experience abroad could not have been so great without the help of the amazing Giovanni, Anna, Diletta, Gloria, and Enrico, who made sure that our time in Urbania was wonderful. I learned so much Italian and culture in a matter of just 2 weeks that I feel like a whole new person. Furthermore, I am forever grateful to Centennial College for giving me the privilege to experience such an incredible and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, where I not only learned and grew as an individual professionally and personally, but also made a family from halfway across the world. Grazie mille Centennial College e grazie mille a Centro Studi Italiani! Mi manchi.

#SaGe #SIPItalyUrbania #LearningAbroad #CentroStudiItaliani

 

Categories: Italy, Summer International Program (SIP) | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

SIP- Dynamic Busan

Hello readers, my trip to Busan has been one of my top travels by far. My main purpose of the SIP was to learn and emerge myself with the Korean community and people. Although learning a new language can be intimidating, I can promise you that learning how to read and write Korean will only take 1 week maximum. With the exceptional expertise from the teachers of Youngsan University they really make you understand and teach you everyday sentences to aid you to converse with the locals! Busan was naturally beautiful as the city is surrounded with mountains and the ocean. Dynamic Busan has everything to offer such as its beaches, amazing food, the shopping, outdoor and indoor activities and of course the wonderful people! If I have another opportunity to go to Busan I would do it again without hesitation!

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Categories: South Korea, Summer International Program (SIP), Uncategorized | Leave a comment

MY SIP TRIP EXPERIENCE IN BUSAN

Hello fellow Centennial Student! My SIP trip to Busan started on July 10 to August 4. There I was greeted by Youngsan’s University staff Mr.Park and my classmates from Centennial. My experience in Busan and in regards to Youngsan University has been amazing all thanks to the generosity of  Centennial College, Youngsan university and their staff. Aside from attending the exceptional program learning the  Korean language, we were thrown into the Korean culture as we explore, experience and socialized with Strangers in broken Korean. The environment, culture, and society was vastly different, but the community of people were amazingly kind, caring and thoughtful like a mother caring for her child. My experience with SIP has its ups and downs but overall it was an excellent experience and I will forever cherish it.

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Finland was fantastic!

I applied for the SIP program to Turku Finland as I felt the program (Professional Services and Productization) would help me to market my business. I studied Travel Services Management and I’m now a travel agent. So this program was a catch as providing travel advice is providing a service, and I wanted tips on how to market a service. You can imagine how excited I was when I heard I got through.

Arriving in Finland I was very moody and grumpy, as I connected in New York so I was travelling for more than 24hours. But when I got on the train from the airport to Turku, I instantly relaxed. The cuntryside was lush and green and there was this calm that captivated me. Being a country girl, I’m always drawn to communities rather than cities, so seeing Turku wasn’t all that built up gave me something to smile about. The train ride from Helsinki to Turku was really relaxing and provided some really good sightseeing.

In Turku, I had some problems with my pre-booked accommodation but soon found myself helped by a local. Finnish people can appear intimidating and blunt, but once a conversation is started, they really warm up. Thankfully they’re kind and helpful, so I was out of my accommodation rut in less than 5 minutes of conversation with the local. This was the beginning of many other local encounters that made my trip amazing.

At school (Turku University of Applied Sciences), the classroom discussions were so enriching. Altogether we were 12 students and 2 lecturers representing 11 countries! You can imagine the cultural exchange that took place. We bonded well. In fact, my favorite moments in Turku were all moments when we got together. Outside of school, we did social activities including dinners, museum tour, city tour, picnic, shopping, and a boat tour to Stockholm, Sweden. We also had lunch together, every day we tried a new canteen. The food was absolutely scrumptious and ridiculously cheap! With our student cards, we got lunch for as little as €2.80. A buffet meal consisting of coffee/tea and bread, salad, entree and sometimes dessert. And you’ve got choices, always 2 or 3 entree items to choose from.

Other than the super cheap student lunches, I was amazed by the transportation system. People bike/cycle all around. Whether they’re going to work, school or party, they cycle! Yes, men in tuxedos and ladies in stilettos cycle all about. Cycling is so common, cyclists have their own section of the street to cycle on and a tonne of places to park. Other than that, it’s so easy and fast to walk about (even though I got lost a bit). From where I stayed, walking to school was the same distance as taking the bus so I often walked. It was sad to leave all that behind – little to no traffic 🙂 to come back to the hustle and bustle of Toronto 😦

All in all, I had a wonderful time in Tuku. The program was amazing and I now have friends from all over. I highly recommend this program and cannot say thanks enough to Centennial for such a great opportunity.

 

Categories: Finland, Summer International Program (SIP) | 1 Comment

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