Global Citizenship and Equity Learning Experience offers selected students the opportunity to participate in a FLIP program. Faculty-Led International Program is conducted in Suzhou China. This international program is project-based that involves in-class studies, market research and professional business visits. Before departing we were placed in groups of 3 and had to select a Canadian company that is not in the Chinese market. Amanda, Jennerys and I teamed up together did our market research and decided that Saputo`s Cheese and Soy Milk would be a great Canadian company to do our market entry strategy on.
Overly excited to begin this wonderful experience of receiving the opportunity to travel to China for the first time. Myself along with 8 other students and 2 professors packed our suitcases and mentally prepared our mind to be in the air for approximately 15hrs.
Upon arrival in Shanghai China, with little to no expectations, I was ″the minority among the diversity″ within the group. Our ethnic background reflected a very unique and diverse team inclusive of the professors, our countries include Canada, Jamaica, Brazil, Ukraine, Syria, Venezuela, Columbia, India and Scotland.
School of Business Students
Our week started off with a wonderful welcome ceremony hosted by the Suzhou Centennial College team for the School of Business as well as the School of Hospitality team that was on their FLIP experience as well.
Meet my buddy Ella, At the beginning of our FLIP experience, one of the involvements from (Suzhou Centennial College) SCC was the buddy system they created. This allowed us to instantly develop a relationship with two students in similar programs who were learning the English Language. I had the nicest buddies Ella and Aaron. We wore Canadian Flag pins and gave them to our buddies at our final tea party.
This unforgettable experience could not have been successful without our awesome professors Justin and Linda. With our busy schedule daily we went from the classroom learning about the Chinese economy to business meetings held at various companies in Suzhou and Shanghai. Some of the companies we visited include:
- Canadian Consulate in Shanghai
- Canada China Business Council (CCBC)
- Samsung and Back and Decker Manufacturing Plant
- Ecommerce Companies etc.
- The W Hotel
Of course, this trip could not just be about business and study, we journeyed throughout Suzhou and Shanghai and made historic visits at the Old Village, The Water Garden, The Bund, Shanghai Tower, the fastest train in the world (The Bullet Train) and definitely some Shopping in the AP Market,
Concluding with the most memorable personal experience was the overall Chinese culture, not setting any expectations I was open to all I could experience and more, however, never had I imagined I would feel so welcomed like a celebrity. Yes, you heard right, remember earlier I mentioned I was ″the minority among the diversity″ the Chinese people were fascinated by my appearance, my colour, my overall physique. At first, I thought they were laughing at me but then I wanted to find out why was this happening. To my surprise, they loved the way I looked. They wanted to take pictures and to touch my skin. I managed to capture a few moments below:
谢谢(Thank You) Centennial College for this wonderful opportunity.
Written by: Shenae Clarke The Business School