FLIP-Peru My Experience so far…

It’s been 5 days already in Peru. We spent 2 nights in Lima and then came to Chiclayo, another city in Peru where we are going to work helping develop premises, GMPs, SOPs for an educational food processing plant. People here are so warm, polite, welcome, and sweet. Undoubtedly, this is a great experience to get to know Peruvian culture and understand that we have more similarities than differences.

The professors of the IESTP Institute are so professional and very warm facilitators.

We did not imagine the scope that Centennial College had in Peru. I feel very proud of being a Centennial College student as I myself witnessed how hard Centennial College has worked and continue to work towards helping to build a more focused and efficient education system based on the local community’s needs. Even more inspirational is to know that Centennial College’s participation in this type of project had inspired other local and international institutions and organizations to take part in this project. The outcome? Well, more young local people with fewer resources, and otherwise not able to access superior education, are now on their way to college and building a professional career that will enhance their lives and their community in countless ways, and you can feel it when they look at us with grateful faces for us being here.

What an amazing experience!

By Jenny San Juan

From Lima to Chiclayo

Hi all, this is Cindy (FLIP Peru, 2019). After 12 hours of travel time, we finally arrived at our hotel in Lima! It was 3am and we were all exhausted so it was straight to bed for us.

After breakfast in the morning, we departed for the Ministry of Education. Here, we were able to share our experiences, hopes, and excitement with the team. We specifically highlighted our diverse FLIP team, both culturally and academically. The purpose of our visit is to help a pilot plant in Illimo build their prerequisite plans and set them on the path to success. Moreover, my personal goal is to immerse myself in all of the Peruvian cultures, from food to customs and traditions. I not only want to share my experiences but to learn as much as I can about our Peruvian partners. After our Ministry visit, we spent the rest of the day immersing ourselves in the food culture and Peruvian markets surrounding our hotel.

Day 2 in Peru was spent exploring the Larcomar area, followed by our next flight out of Lima and into Chiclayo for the late evening.

We were all settled into Chiclayo for Day 3’s cultural day, spent visiting museums in Lambayeque and a historic dry jungle where we learned about and saw the impact of El Nino on their ecosystems and economy.

Today we are up bright and early to begin our first day in Illimo and are excited to meet with our Peruvian partners to begin a week full of work, sharing our knowledge and cultures.

FLIPPeru Day 1

Hola Amigos,

At the end of day 1, I thought to share my day with all the readers. First, landing in Lima at midnight didn’t give me an opportunity to explore the city, but when I started my day wearing a professional attire to meet the Ministry of Education, Lima, I felt that I might have a big day today. Yes, I did. When we reached at the Ministry of Education, the Peruvian officials greeted and welcomed us with smiles and love. We (a group of 12 people from Centennial College Food Science Technology program) had exchanged the views on developing technical aspects for the partner institution in Chiclayo. After the meeting, we had an opportunity in clicking a picture with the Peruvian officials and ended our afternoon. Second, I had an amazing lunch at a local Chinese-Peruvian restaurant and moved ourselves to explore the city and adapt to the culture. Finally, at the end of the day, I have learned one thing – People have high values and they are always welcoming. With excitement to start day 2 and tiredness of day 1, the first night at Lima, Peru ends.

#FLIPPeru #SaGEJourneys

Sravan Jeeru

#FLIPPeru

Hola amigos,

The reason why I have saluted in Spanish is we (a group of 10 students from food science technology) are going to a partner institution in Peru! Now as we are leaving from Toronto airport, I see some mixed feelings on all their faces, some with excitement and some with anxiety. But whatever faces we carry, we all had one thing back of our mind – Give our best to the partner institution and get something back what we can give to the Centennial Community!

Sravan Jeeru

#FLIPPeru

#SaGEJourneys

FLIP Peru, Pre-departure Excitement​

Only 24 hours before leaving Toronto for the exciting adventure that awaits in Illimo, Peru. I never thought that in my last semester of Food Science Technology I would have the opportunity to apply the acquired knowledge at Centennial College and even more at an international level.  Everything is almost packed up, and the expectations are only arising. There are no words to explain how grateful I am to be part of this journey that starts tomorrow.  It does feel amazing being a Centennial College student and have been given the opportunity to explore another country and on top of that learning and adding professional as well as academic experiences that in the future will be interesting stories to tell. Although I am excited, I am trying to keep my assumptions to the limit, so that everything in Peru will be surprising rather than upsetting for not fulfilling any unrealistic assumptions I could have.

I am super excited about what are we going to live and learn in Peru, and will ever be grateful for being part of this Global Experience.

Peru, off we go!

by Jenny San Juan

Food Science FLIP Peru 2019 (Pre-Departure)

Hi, I’m Cindy and I will be travelling to Illimo, Peru from February 21 – March 3 for a Faculty Lead International Program (FLIP). I am in my final semester of Food Science Technology and look forward to working with our Peruvian partners to develop their prerequisite plans, as well as getting an insight on the Peruvian Food Industry through planned site visits. Our group has been working hard to prepare, and with just a few days before departure, I am feeling more and more excited. I can’t wait for ten days of new experiences, culture, and most importantly – food!

– Cindy

Smart Sustainable Cities FLIP – Turku, Finland

20180819_053312.jpgThis summer I travelled alongside a few other students from Centennial College to Turku, Finland for the Smart Sustainable Cities program arranged by Turku University of Applied Sciences. The program hosted 23 students not just from Canada and Finland, but from all over the world. The students here were also from multiple disciplines, including architectural, environmental, business and energy, collaborating together to combine a vast collective knowledge from these different places and disciplines to come up with ideas of how civilization will continue to evolve. The courses were very intensive, introducing professionals from different industries to educate and challenge our knowledge of what is and what could be. ssopiskelijat.jpg__678x300_q85_crop_subsampling-2_upscale.jpg

On many of the afternoons and weekends, the University offered many social programs that allowed us to see their country well beyond the classroom, visiting a few islands on the baltic sea, Skanssi Shopping Centre, museums and historic sites of Turku, as well as a day in Helsinki. These social programs brought together a great number of people from the different summer courses that the University was offering, allowing us to meet many people from many places.20180826_174014.jpg All in all, my time spent in Finland was fantastic. The program offered by Turku University of Applied Sciences was a unique opportunity, granting great knowledge to all those who participated. The country is beautiful with an intriguing history. I thank Centennial College for making my participation in this program possible, and professors Connie Zehr and Arun Hor for joining us and supporting our travels!

-Brad Shedlock

My Global Experience – FLIP to Belgium (July 2018)

Before this Global Experience, travelling has always been somewhat of a pipe dream for me. I have a long list of places I want to see, but seldom had the resources to go. One of the best things to have happened to me was seeing the email about the opportunity to travel to Belgium for beverage marketing. Not only could I go to one of the countries I have most wanted to travel to, but I also would be able to work toward my career goals. As an advertising student, this program would give me a better understanding of where my field fit into the broader marketing mix. Once I found out about this Faculty-Lead International Program (FLIP) I thought of little else besides getting through the application process — and I am so grateful that I was eventually chosen to go.

The Buildings

One of the things that struck me right away was how beautiful the city of Ghent was. It was surreal to look outside the hostel and see a picturesque gothic church from your window and a castle at the end of the canal. Every day on the way to class you would notice new buildings and just be blown away by the architecture. Either with beautiful colours or intricately engraved stonework, each building was so unique and so different than anything I had ever seen before. What’s more is that amidst these old buildings was the very modern Graffitistraat, a street where graffiti is legalized. With everything being within walking distance, you really got to take in and appreciate the city.

The Activities

With so much to take in, I was surprised by the great balance between course work and exploration. For beverage marketing, we were tasked with devising a marketing strategy that could launch a Danish beer from Rise Brewery into the Belgian market. We were able to tour breweries of Belgium like Gruut and Duvel Moortgat, which are micro and macro breweries respectively, as well as attend several tastings. On our weekend break many of our group travelled to the coastal city of Ostend and attended an event sponsored by Desperados. Even on our weekend without class, we were able to have an enjoyable experience that also worked to give us a better understanding of the promotional strategies used by competing brands in the market.

The Food

Not only were we engaged in so many activities, we were also learning about the Belgian market and the Belgian consumer. To truly develop a feasible marketing strategy we had to speak with locals and bartenders. This was such an amazing experience because you got learn so much more about Belgium by talking with the people who knew the country best. We were given great insight into our projects, but also references of places we should see and specific local foods we should try. Everywhere in Ghent were small cafes, confectionaries, and privately owned restaurants (which was a big departure from the franchises we see everywhere in Canada). It was really helpful to get recommendations and make the most of our two weeks in this country – I also do not think I will have such delicious waffles ever again!

The Takeaway

In hindsight, I believe there is no better way to truly immerse yourself into a new country than to study there. While I was only in Belgium for two weeks, I feel like I got to learn so much about another culture. Working in cross-cultural teams meant I got to really understand both the similarities and differences in our daily lives. Yet, what surprised me most was that we were not just working with Belgian and Danish students. Many students, even within the Canadian group, were international students who came from different countries than the country he or she represented for this FLIP. We had such an eclectic cultural mix within the three participating schools (some students being from Poland, Bulgaria, Colombia, Brazil, India and Ireland). Not only did we come from different countries, but also we were all in somewhat different programs in school. This meant we could bring something unique to the table and learn from each other for these projects. I think this FLIP really showed me how people can come together and form friendships that transcend different backgrounds and experiences, and it was really special to be a part of that. I am so grateful that SaGE and Centennial have provided me with this opportunity to make friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.

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Thank you so much for this unforgettable Global Experience! 

Written by: Lauren Clancy

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 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.

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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 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.

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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

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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 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

Business is all about 关系 Relationships ! – China FlIP 2018

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