Global Experience Through My Eyes

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Global Citizenship and Equity Learning Experience offers selected students the opportunity to participate in a FLIP program. Faculty Led International Program that is conducted in Suzhou China. This international program is project based that involves in class studies, market research and professional business visits. Prior to departing we were placed in groups of 3 and had to select a Canadian company that is not in 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.

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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.

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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.

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Meet my buddy Ella, At the beginning of our FLIP experience one of the involvement from (Suzhou Centennial College) SCC was the buddy system they created. This gave us an opportunity 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.

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This unforgettable experience could not have been successful without our awesome professors Justin and Linda. With our busy schedule on daily basis 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

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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,

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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 color, 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

Business is all about 关系 Relationships ! – China FlIP 2018

Published by: Satvik Bajaj 
The Business School

关系 Ni Hao / Hello

What happens when a few students who do not know each other embark on a 15 day journey to a totally different land. Well I must say  “Amazing things happen.”

On 1 st of May 2018, Shenae, Noushein, Alexandre, Amanda, Jenn, Maria, Illona, Juan and I (Satvik) met at the Toronto Pearson Airport with our lovely professor Mrs. Linda Traill for our flight to Shanghai

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Being a bit nervous we started the ice breaking session among ourselves and we also received our lovely Centennial T-Shirts. The flight was a long and we were accompanied by our friends from the hospitality school who were going to visit the the Suzhou Centennial College for their program. Receiving a warm welcome at the Shanghai airport by the faculty of Suzhou Centennial College, we also Mr. Justin, the other visionary professor from Progress Centennial College who accompanied us on our trip. Believe me when you are tired, the road to home always feel the longest. We arrived at our hotel apartment around 8:30 pm at night, exhausted by our long flight and travel to Suzhou city but we were definitely  filled with enthusiasm for the days to come.

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Our second day started with cheerful welcome by the staff and students at Suzhou Centennial College and we watched the traditional Kun Opera. After the Opera we had a tour of the college and met our Chinese buddies who supported us throughout our journey

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The next coming days we made a lot of connections with the Chinese buddies and faculty who taught about the Chinese economy and the workplace environment. These key insights were a stepping stone towards our final project. When we started this journey we never realized that these relationships or “GuanXi” (Chinese word) will be paramount in our expedition. The other few days were filled with business visit. The business visits are listed below-

  1. Samsung Manufacturing
  2. Black and Decor
  3. Tongzhou Marketing
  4. Canada China Business Council
  5. Hong Couture Embroidery Home
  6. Naked Hub
  7. Fashion Shard

 

 

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The main lessons we learnt from these business trips included-

  1. Relationships or GuanXi is important
  2. They are many competitors in the market, ” BE PREPARED”
  3. Build a strong team
  4. Study the market
  5. Understand the need of the consumer and provide it
  6. Adapt

Apart from all the business visits we had some really fun and relationship building activities as well. Of course we visited a lot of places in Suzhou and Shanghai. It was worth every moment and some interesting facts we discovered

Suzhou-

  1. The city is applauded primarily for the big ancient gardens.
  2. One of Suzhou’s main attractions is the food
  3. Water towns are another popular attraction

Shanghai-

  1. It is a World Finance and Cultural Center
  2. The Locals Speak a Dialect Called Shanghainese
  3. Shanghai Boasts Brilliant Downtown Nightlife and Night Lights

 

 

With all the information gathered through various sources it was time for the real action- Introducing a Canadian Company to Chinese Market. 9 students were divided into 3 groups and each group successfully wrote a report and delivered a presentation of its marketing strategy.

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On 15th of May we finally bid goodbye to our friends and faculty in China for the warmth of relationships we had been receiving for 2 weeks. This voyage was an enriching one with a lot of memories made, friends made, things learnt and experience gained. I would thanks Centennial College for giving us an opportunity like this.

A special thanks to International Department who were providing continuous support from the day of interview and till date. Another special thanks to Mr. Justin and Mrs Linda who accompanied us on this trip. Your experience was an asset to our team and we gained a lot of insights and valuable information from you both.

Written By

Satvik Bajaj

China-FLIP-2018

moonThe experience of the trip has started in the plane as it has taken us 14 hours to arrive. Each hour was passing, I felt that it was talking about the differentiation and the new things that we’re going to experience, such as, food, culture, society, language, Shops, tourist places, social media, technology, and the business companies that we visited it.

 

IMG_0396On the second day, we went to meet with the other members of Centennial College in Suzhou greeting us with a warm welcome. We saw a show of a nice unusual opera that they create it, dance and song between man and women, dressed in costume for a masquerade.

Then we meet with our Chinese buddies to share information about the country, know more about young people in China and share some Chinese food at the lunchtime together. Also, we had some lectures in Centennial College by Chinese instructors explaining Chinese society, and the accelerated development in term of technology and business in China.

The next following days were more excited and enjoyable when we start interacting more with the natural and traditional things in China. We went to two different parks, museum, traditional shops, Suzhou Centre, expiation, restaurants, museum, and the Tower.

We also went into the Orient Pearl Tower (468 m) and have pictures of the city from its glasses floor. Indeed, the view in front of the tower in Shanghai at night with the lighten building, that change in colours, and the colourful modern ship crossing the dark lake at the night, and the moon in the sky this moment was the time when we can say that “A picture tells a thousand words”. We were exploring that from the restaurant as it is the best place to have an enjoyable dinner beside this view.

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Suzhou Shop Centre was an enormous building designed in an attractive way. There were the longest electronic stairs that cross over two floors. The shop centre has 168 restaurants that were full of people more than the shops itself.

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The traditional old building with a roof made of stone with four high sharp sides on each level that looks as lofty, surrounded with green and colourful grass and flowers it was all picturesque.

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In addition, the traditional shops in Shanghai have special pieces of arts and new useful products that people would love to own one of them at least.

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Also, the museum in the tower that comprises an exhibition of large natural pictures and it shows wax replica people at work, house, and in court.

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The Industrial Suzhou Park was a new incredible experience to see.

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They illustrate their information about the country developing stage and forecasting statistics for the future of the industry, business, and technology. All that was shown on maps made of 3D modeling provided with a special design and light to make it remarkable. One of the things that they have done is that they had illustrated Suzhou map by building small different buildings on the floor with the same design as it is in the reality. A person was explaining about each part of the city and each specific part will radiate with colorful lights while his explaining about it.

mmexport1525475762565 (2)As China is a combination of historical and modern cities, we visited the Humble Administration Garden which has a history of over 1000 years.

mmexport1525616152457On the day that we were traveling back, we rode in the express train on the speed of 300km per one second. Where the place that will take 20 minutes to arrive at, it will take just 3 minutes on this train!

Furthermore, the ten different companies that we luckily visited it.

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Black & Dakar and Samsung where both are smart manufacturing companies that integrate the power and the intelligence of people and machines together to achieve its massive production goals. For example, it was incredible to believe that Samsung Company produces 1000 laptops per day where each laptop will take them just in 3 minutes to produce!

CCBC, and Government of Canada that both had provided us with more information about the market, export, import, and some business rules for an international company interring its business in China.

Naked Hub, which is a sharing co-working space, shared by business members and entrepreneur. People can meet with them to discuss their business to reduce the risk while interring the market in China.

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We also visited the famous W hotel that is made of luxury materials such as the colorful velvet, and the silk walls. Adding to its high service to customers with all the facilities and the outstanding overlooking of Suzhou lake and shop center.

Another organization was Shoutout. It is an event planning company that tries to maximize the inventory in the city. It gathers people and invites celebrities to promote different new brands and small business in China to support them.

In Fashion Shard Company, they explain to us more about the social media that is different from ours. People rely on social media and do everything on some apps such as WeChat, that has more than 500 million followers, Weibo, and Alibaba where people can book their plane, restaurant, pay their payment to the bank, connect with other and see the news and the pictures of the celebrities, so they can dress and eat the same thing as them and show their friends proudly.

TongZhou, that sells their products on Amazon. We had to choose a product from them and explain it in our own words to help them sell it on Amazon with short and efficient way.

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Hong Country Embroidery Company which produce fancy silk cloth with a unique design made accurately and efficiency.
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Visiting those companies have added an effective value to our trip. Learning from them some new comprehensible in term of business in China which was all beneficial to know especially for a new company entering the market in China.

Before the last day, we had to submit our reports and do our presentation about a Canadian company that each group has chosen to analyze all the factors, SWOT, the 4Ps related to this company while interring the market in China.

Thanks to all of the facilities from Centennial College in Canada and in China providing us with a great service to enjoy the trip. Also, thanks to our professors Linda and Justin supporting us there. I am also grateful to Centennial College giving me this great opportunity to visit China and experience new things.

Written by: Noushein D. Shirazi

FLIP China – Suzhou 2018

May 03rd, 2018, day one….The learning experience was starting.  In our first day, I had the opportunity to watch the Suzhou traditional opera called Kunqu Opera.  This traditional kind of art was performed by the Centennial Suzhou professor and his student.

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In our second day, we visited Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP). This place is an exhibition of the technology and industrial development in Suzhou in the last 25 years.  Suzhou Industrial Park shows how have been developing the city, and what are the main goals for Suzhou. SIP is the place where investors can see how Suzhou is right now, and how will be its future.

Another place we visited was the Hong Couture Embroidery Home, in this place we listened to a presentation from the owner´s daughter.  In this presentation, she explained to us what embroidery is, what their target is, and she spoke about the embroidery school that they also have.  We had a practical experience in embroidery.  We learned from firsthand how to embroider, and also we had some practice.

Suzhou is a beautiful, and have some traditional places.  In our adventure to discover Suzhou we visited the Humboldt Administrations Gardens, those gardens are more than 600 years old.  In this place, I felt like a movie, with stunning landscapes, beautiful views, and too many people enjoyed it.

The Flip trip goal was how to do business in China, so our itinerary was prepared for this. In that 15 days, we had time to visit some companies that help us to achieve this goal.  One of those companies was Canada China Business Council.  The council made an amazing and complete presentation, where we can see the main steps to do business in China, and what are the keys to startup.  We had an overview of what are the regulations that investors face when they try to enter the Chinese market.  This visit was so productive for us, and we can take a lot of information about our project.

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Another company was Naked hub, this is a company that shares workspaces with different companies, small business, entrepreneurs, and small startups.  They offer all that companies need about spaces and facilities.  It is a very workplace to work, friendly and wide spaces.  Companies can rent the spaces for a couple of hours or a year.  They have an app where they posted information about availabilities and event that they have.

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The amazing Flip trip team made an appointment to visit Black & Decker and Samsung.  Those companies are astonishing.  They have an awesome production line, and they also are the smart factory. We can see in the firsthand how technology and human interaction created a perfect product in just a couple of minutes.  Black & Decker work mainly for the North American market because in China they do not have high demand.

In our practice activity, we work with Tongzhou. This is a company that sells lunch bag in Amazon for North American customers.  Their CEO made a presentation for us where he showed what is the company mission, vision, and goals.  Also, he asked for help.  He gave to us an assignment about rewrite some of their Amazon publication.  The objective for this assignment was to make the publications more attractive according to the North American customers. We had the chance to work together with Chinese people, and bring some advice for them.

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Before finish our Flip, we went together with the hospitality team at W hotel.  This is a five starts hotel. It is luxury, fancy, and stunning hotel.  In this experiences, we can learn about hospitality, and how details are so important to make a profitable business.  The concept that they have is amazing. They are working to make very good experiences for the guests, different styles, and needs.

In our last weekend in China, we had the opportunity to visit Shanghai as tourists.  We met some places as Yu Garden & Bazar, The Bund, Shanghai Maglev train, and the Oriental Pearl Tower. The last one was an awesome experience for me.  To walk on the glass floor was unbelieve, and unforgettable times.

Closing our trip, we made an entry market presentation.  In this presentation, we present one Canadian company to start the business in Chinese market.  We can take our knowledge about the Chinese market and their regulations, and take all of that information to create a plan on how to start the business in China.  Canadian companies like Tim Hortons, Canada goose, and Saputo took part in those presentations where Chinese student can see what each of those companies need to do to enter the Chinese Market.  What will be their partner, in which cities of China they are starting, how will be possible Chinese accept our proposal?  We had the chance to learn in real life how to do business in China, and how to put into practice that knowledge and combine them with our program.  Thanks, SAGE and Centennial College for this amazing learning experience.  Centennial students take advantages about this kind of program and go for it…..

Jennerys Gonzalez – Flip China -Suzhou 2018.

 

I went to China, and it changed my life

 

I mean, it really did. And I’ve been back for over a month (or 2) now and have spent most of that time trying to figure out how to put a life changing experience into words. Starting from the beginning is always good, which in the beginning of this journey I almost didn’t apply. One of my professors passed along a message to my classmate saying he thought we would both be awesome candidates for this opportunity. I was flattered. Ok I was anxious first, then nervous, then flattered. I’m a mature student with 2 little ones and I’d never spent 2 weeks (the duration of the FLIP) away from them. It wasn’t an exciting thought. Then the typical anxieties came flooding in like what if I don’t like it? The flight is so long!! What am I going to eat there?? It went on like this for sometime, until on the deadline day for the application I decided to go for it with hours to spare. We can fast forward all the red tape up to the fact that I went and it was amazing!

As a hospitality student and lover, I was so impressed and pleased with how we were treated. From the moment we landed and were introduced to our student friends and professors, they were the definition of hospitable. They wouldn’t even let us carry our own luggage! The very first night there we were taken out to the most amazing dinner. This was probably first “I’m not in Toronto anymore” moment because they only had chopsticks to eat with and I was so hungry, I had no choice but to learn. And the food was amazing! Only one of many amazing meals I would experience.

Suzhou is a beautiful place, both during the day and at night. A modern city that’s always busy. That made me feel more at home. Where we stayed was a place called the education town which is basically an area filled with colleges and universities from around the world, apartments and little plazas and grocery stores. There were always students buzzing around buying coffee and breakfast to get to class or buying dinner to go home and study with. I instantly felt at ease being here, any anxieties I felt before the trip were gone. Of course there were cultural differences, we had to squat to use most public toilets (a lot easier than I thought it would be!), and there was an obvious language barrier. But none of these things made our trip difficult, in fact I enjoyed all the new experiences and being outside of my comfort zone.

Did I mention this was a culinary FLIP? I like to cook as much as I like to write an essay (not very much) but Chef Feng made it easy, enjoyable and loveable. They only use one knife in Chinese cooking, a cleaver, and while it takes some getting used to, it is much easier than switching out knives all the time. They also only use a wok to cook every part of the meal in. The meat/fish, the rice, the veggies everything! After each part is done the wok gets a quick rinse and it’s on to the next. My fondest memory would have to be that by the end of the trip we had memorized Chef’s go to seasoning for every dish we made: Salt, pepper, little sugar, little MSG (still a huge part of Chinese cuisine), little Chinese cooking wine/vinegar. Like clock work, we would add this combination to every meal. Some of my most memorable moments were spent in the kitchen learning new things and jumping out of my comfort zone.

Other memorable times were the time spent in the classroom with our amazing teacher Lissy learning about Chinese culture. Every thing about their history and way of life is based off of their rich history. Every holiday has a deeply touching story, stories about love, respect and happiness. We created a presentation all about Canada, lead by myself, some other students and our teacher Wenli. We taught everyone about our own culture, history, we even passed around some of our coloured money (their money is still paper and all one colour there) It ended with a game to test their listening skills which everyone loved! On our day off, we took a trip to the beautiful Shanghai by local subway and speed train. Shanghai is one of the most stunning places I’ve seen, reminding me of Toronto or New York City. And finally, at the end of my trip, it was my birthday and to get to celebrate it with new friends both from home and abroad, made it one of my most unforgettable yet.

The last night in Suzhou was the best by far. We had the chance to talk about our experiences on this trip, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. We cried and cried, so moved and forever changed by these short two weeks. I cannot thank Chef Sam, Wenli, and the SAGE team for giving me the opportunity to take this trip. Enjoy a small fraction of some of the pictures we took on this trip. It truly changed me and I will forever be grateful. If you ever have a chance to visit China, do it! Your heart and your stomach will be better from it.

All photo creds go to my picture goddess Julie Miguel http://www.juliemiguel.com. She also made a blog post about China, so head on over to check it out!

 

Thanks for reading 🙂

 

Renee Tingle

The markets in Guangdong 

Hello,

I would like to talk about the main markets of Guangdong province in this post.

A lot of people come to China for business, as for me, however, I do not have an acting business anywhere yet, but I definitely learn opportunities now, where you can find particular kinds of goods and how to negotiate.

I learned the following:

2 main cities are – Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Guangzhou – mostly textile, clothes, leather and leather goods. (Do not forget: most Chinese companies come to the canton fair twice a year, which is convenient)

Shenzhen – home for electronics, most electronic factories(for new, popular goods are located there).

So, If you happen to come to any of these cities, you will make your idea of business wider in terms of prices, logistic offers, goods themselves. It is very useful even to pose as a businessman, to see how the sellers react and what they offer.

If you just want to come to buy goods for yourself or your family, you can visit not the factories, but markets, they offer a whole variety of goods that can be sold retail, it is also possible, but don’t expect it to be “dirt cheap” in comparasion to your home country: big companies, who order in enormously large volumes, get extremely low prices, therefore it is also no that much more expensive all over the world.

Vadim Ayrapetyan

Internship in Guangzhou – Usefulness of the trip

Hello, couple weeks after my arrival I can share with you the following:

– If you have or planning to be engaged in international business – trip to China is the first thing in “To do” list

– Stereotypes and small parts of information will not be able to give you the view and idea of what international business really is, even partially. You have to come here and see it with your eyes.

-First day of my arrival I attended one of the biggest trade fairs in the China and in the whole world – 119th Canton Fair. You can see how the international business is really done here, how companies invent new stuff and businesspeople from all over the world come there to spread it all around the globe.

-After that, I started working ineducational field and started just observing how negotiating and interacting among businesspeople is done here.

-No matter, what people say about China, coming here is enormously useful, regardless of the costs

Be prepared:

If you a foreigner who tries to do some business with China – you are a target. That is why you have to get familiarized with everything(preferably, act through a third party) and know the product you are going to buy. But that’s very deep. Anyway, if you got the opportunity to come here, you will not lose a minute of a time that can get you some information and experience.

As for me, I either work, or work. Work on my official, internship work, or for my future(in my spare time) that’s why I had my first day-off, when I only went out to have fun a month after my arrival.

Vadim Ayrapetyan

Internship in Guangzhou – Things to be prepared for

Hello, my name is Vadim Ayrapetyan. I am a Centennial College student(international business co-op). I am doing my internship in Guangzhou, China. I would like to write about all the things that every person travelling to China has to take care and be aware of.

-Make sure that everything happens according to the plan and you know the dates before you buy flight tickets;

-Know every second of your trip(layover, airports, terminals of arrival and departure , times, cities, where to eat). All that stuff matters – the more you know, the less stressed you are. You can even try to get the airport maps;

-Make sure you get the right type of visa with the desirable duration of stay;

-Follow the signs in the airports during layovers;

-As you arrive to Guangzhou – it is hot and humid;

-First thing you have to do – stay connected, it is worth all money that you will spend: you know directions, you have translator, you can chat with your friends or make new ones, it is not “wi-fi on every step” city, so it’s better to buy a sim-card.

-Not so many people speak English or have English menu in the restaurants

-Not all ATMs accept foreign cards

P.S. I am not really a selfie person, but I like to take photos of lovely views, and I would love to share them with you
Vadim Ayrapetyan

Be Who You Want To Be

At their Jr. High School in the mountains Butuo County, we asked a class of Grade 8 girls the same question we were asked at their age: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Most girls answered that they wanted to be a doctor, teacher, or famous singer. I found it curious that the girls wanted to enter into the same professions, despite each of their unique qualities and talents.

When we returned to Xichang, a larger city outside of Butuo, we ran a similar Career Workshop with a different class of girls and asked them the same question. We were pleasantly surprised by a host of varied and enthusiastic answers: lawyer, chef, fashion designer and shop owner, music teacher, engineer! These students were older and had received more education than the younger students in Butuo.

We worked with the students to create their own “Dream Boards” to show their hopes and dreams and who they aspired to become in the future. One of the students had the most thoughtful Dream Board. It showed that she wanted to travel the world, become a lawyer, or an accountant, or a ballet dancer, get married and become a good mother.

When she presented her Dream Board to our group, she said, “I used to only have one dream. But the future is uncertain, so we must have many dreams. You must be who you want to be!”

Our group on our last day together. Our t-shirts say,
Our group on our last day together. Our t-shirts say, “Make the most of it”.

The students in Xichang grew up in Butuo County and have had to overcome many obstacles to get where they are today. In spite of their difficult journeys, the girls in Xichang dared to dream to enter such creative and personalized professions because their education has allowed and inspired them to.

On this GCELE, my ideas on the value of education were reinforced. Education has the power to reach into a seemingly hopeless situation, widen horizons, open doors to opportunities for growth and excellence, and maximize potential.

Education truly makes a profound difference. It is a priceless gift. You and I have the power to give it!

– Althea Gorospe

Educate A Girl, Educate A Village

I met Emma at her Jr. High School in the mountains of Butuo County. At almost nineteen years old, Emma is the eldest of her class. I remember that she is shy, but has the kindest smile and the strongest singing voice. She impressed me by saying that she wanted to be a photographer or journalist. To me, these seemed to be out-of-the-box professions, as her classmates wanted to be doctors, teachers, or famous singers. As I helped her fill out the Goal Worksheet we distributed to her class, she told me that she loved watching the news reporters on television. She wanted to see the world and take photographs of her travels.

Photo taken by Emma.
Photo taken by Emma.

Emma had lived a difficult life and still dared to dream. Her hopeful and resilient spirit humbled and inspired me. We spent the rest of the day by each other’s side. She held my hand as we said goodbye; I didn’t want to let go. I reminded her to never give up on her dreams and to always keep smiling. She asked me to never forget her, and I certainly never will.

Later, I learned that Emma’s mother had pulled her out of school three years earlier. Her mother had arranged a marriage for her, and she was engaged to a man from her village. Emma’s family had already paid a dowry to the man’s family. Her mother insisted that she give up her education so that she could return home and get married.

Fu Hui Education Foundation negotiated with Emma’s family in order for her to return to school. They made a contract that would allow for Emma to attend school for another three years, until she finished Jr. High School.

Outside of Emma's school in Butuo County, Sichuan Province, China.
Outside of Emma’s school in Butuo County, Sichuan Province, China.

Unknowingly, I met Emma while she was in the last days of her formal education. Summer was fast approaching, and Emma was due to return home and get married. She would never be able to attend high school, graduate from university as a journalist, or travel the world.

I can’t describe the feeling I felt when I learned the truth; perhaps I could say disappointment, or sorrow; burdened, or heartbroken. Perhaps a mix of all of those. One of the kind Fu Hui volunteers comforted me with this: that although Emma would not be able to continue her education, she would return to her village as an educated woman. Emma has received endless benefits from her education, and she would share these with her family, her future children, and others in her village. She will be a beacon of light, a carrier of knowledge that can lead to hope for a better life.

“If you educate a boy, you educate an individual. If you educate a girl, you educate a village.” – African Proverb

Emma and I.
Emma and I.

– Althea Gorospe