Costa Rican Humblings – Part 1

Hola,

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 🙂

Nour

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

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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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.

SIP Salamanca

Stepping into the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca for the first time was an unbelievable experience. The school was beautiful and old and bigger than I ever imagined. The first day we had an orientation where we were split into classes where we took a placement test to determine our level of Spanish. Following this we went on a tour of Scala Coeli, a large bell tower with an amazing view of the city. Over the course of my two week stay in Spain, I met many new people, ate delicious food, and learned a lot of new Spanish words and phrases. The teachers at the university were excellent. We had writing class in the morning then lunch and afterwards pronunciation class. The accommodations at the university residence were perfect, I had wifi, 3 meals a day, and my own room (with its own bathroom). The food was great at the residence and there were lots of options for every meal. There were many different people staying at the residence who I go to know during my trip. In addition to classes at the university, I visited an art museum and a car museum while in Salamanca, as well as a cathedral that took over 200 years to build. Overall, I had amazing time on the SIP Salamanca and I cannot wait to revisit Spain in my future travels.

 

Studying at Oviedo of Spain is an unforgettable journey in summer of 2016

by Meiling Miao

I am so lucky and I feel so proud of being a Centennial College student. This summer, I was selected to learn different language and culture in another Country- Spain by Summer International Programs. Fortunately, it is second time to be selected. Life is a continuous journey. Some journeys are short and some long. Some journeys are unforgettable to be erased by the sands of time. The journey of Spain I had was one memorable experience.

I was arranged living with a local family called a homestay. We lived along with each other, just like a real family even we were not able to communicate too much by language barrier in the beginning. My homestay mother is an elegant and knowledgeable lady whose name is Elizabeth. She has passion to teach everything to me and my classmates Faye, Jessie and Minyung whenever we need her.  She invited us to go to the concerts for many times. She introduced about history, food, culture and music of Oviedo to us. After 20 days, we were able to talk to each other in Spanish. Can you image we just stay there for 20 days? Ali is another wise lady I want to mention. Ali is a coordinator of University of Oviedo, she can speak many languages including Spanish, English, Chinese and some French. We were used to meet up in order to improve our languages. Also, Ali helped us a lot. I think there is no better way to learn a new language and culture.

The reason why I applied SIPs is that my program is Practical Nursing. Once, I had a trouble in communicating with a client who only can speak Farsi in my placement. I had to spend a lot of time to figure out what she needed every time. Sometimes, knowing one more language can save life. After that, I realized that how important of good communication skills were for people, especially, for a nurse. In this case, I think SIPs is a great opportunity for me to learn another language and culture in order to care clients easily and effectively. Meanwhile, it is a chance to widen my eyes which is beneficial for my future career. It is not only to enhance my global awareness but also to help clients who are Spanish speakers. It will be greatly improved in the programs, which are relevant to my major.

In the end, as a Centennial College student who is studying PN, I am proud of myself. Also, I strongly recommend all students to applied SIPs, you will definitely benefit from SIPs .It will light your future and color you experience.

Meiling Miao (300801439) Practical Nurseing

My adventures in an unknown land – Oviedo, Spain

By Xiuhua Wang, SIPs, Oviedo, Spain, 2016

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Hola, buenos días.

I met my Spanish mother at the bus station, when all we could understand each other were “Hola” to me and “Hello” to her. And that’s how my adventures in Oviedo began…

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Oviedo is the capital city of the Principality of  Asturias in northern Spain. Got a chance to explore this city during the whole August, I have fell in the love with this small but neat and charming city.

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It’s a historical city that founded more than a thousand years ago. And from those ancient buildings, we read the history.

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Or, catch a glimpse of their wisdom in those statues…

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After class, drinking a cup of Sidra (Cider, alcoholic beverage made from apple ) may be a good idea.

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Or, seeing around just a few kilometers away from this lovely city…

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Or, how about dance?

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6 Things I Dare You To Do While Studying Abroad

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My classmate and I are in class playing a board game to help us practice our Spanish.  We are holding our list of items we needed to get, such as 1 kg of jamón and 1.5 kg of azucar.

No entiendo is a Spanish phrase I often say when I do not understand what the other person is saying to me while I am here in Spain as part of Centennial’s SIPs.  It is also the same phrase I hear from the other person as well.  In Oviedo, where I am doing my SIPs, I gain more Spanish because the majority of the people you interact with are locals.  One day, my homestay mom wanted to accompany me to places to help with translation.  But I kindly refused and thinking I could do it on my own.  Well, after being laughed at numerous times, receiving all kinds of facial expression from the other person, and even one person stared at me blankly and walked away.  These are the kinds of reactions I received from the locals when we are not interacting with the same language, me with Spanglish, a word derived from English and Spanish, and the other person with Spanish.  But it is when you get out there to self improve on learning Spanish that these attitudes from people will result.  Its actually vale, okay in Spanish!  So, I hope to help you put your newly learn-ing language to functionality by daring you what I had dared myself to do.  I present to you 6 things I dare you to do while studying abroad in Oviedo.

  1. Sign up for a library card at the local library:  I am thankful that it is accessible to sign up for a library card in Oviedo, so I could borrow books to read on my break time at school and bus rides on school trips.  But, it was definitely a challenge when I tried this.  How will this help with your Spanish?  It will help you by giving the experience in signing forms and speaking…attempting Spanish.  There are common words that you can learn as well, such as nombre, apellidarse, and dirección: name, family name, and address.
  2. Ask 2o people in the first week of school, their name and where they are from..in Spanish:  ¿Como te llama? y ¿De donde eres? (You are asking for their name and the country they are from)  Encantado/a means nice to meet you. This will help you practice the basic introduction to others in Spanish and also making new friends 🙂
  3. Order tarrón helado:  I dare you to order something or this typical flavor known in Oviedo at the local ice cream shop. It is an almond ice cream and during the winter holiday, the tarrón fruit dessert is popular as a gift.  In general, I dare you to order food, because my first time ordering croissants, I ended up with 6 croissants and costing me more then what I intend.  The experience will help you practice numbers and ordering.  Such as when you enter the shop it is polite and typical to greet the people with buenas or hola, bueno días.  To order you could use me gusta… or necesito (I like and I need).
  4. Attend the festival de verano:  During the summer month, the province will have summer festivals.  In Oviedo, the festival of summer offers free concerts in historical monuments, and discounted tickets to theatrical performances.  I had the chance to attend several musicals.  So, how will this help you?   I had to find the location of the place, so I practice my Spanish by asking for directions.  You could use hola, señor/a, donde es.  As well as, everyone I heard when I was in line or seated were speaking Spanish.  That way, I am immersing myself in listening to Spanish.
  5. Watch television:  The local channels offers news, and local tv shows.  I found this helpful in learning Spanish because I start hearing repeated words and phrases, such as tambien, entonces, pero, and mañana. (also, so, but, and tomorrow).
  6. Wonder the streets:  I dare you to wonder the local streets, read the street names, names of shops, and listen on people’s conversations.  This will help you be acquainted to some words and activate your hearing and seeing cues.

!Hasta luego!

Sherry Ing

Massage Therapy student studying at the Universidad de Oviedo intensive Spanish classes as part of Centennial College’s SIPs this summer.

Rosy walls, Wedding Bells, Mountain Peaks, Cowbells, Vibrant Hues…Buen Días!

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I went on a school field trip to Picos de Europa, a national park in northern Spain.  There were never ending peaks of mountains and cows roaming the hills.

Its my third week studying Spanish at the University of Oviedo as part of Centennial College’s SIPs, and I just finished the weekend off with a school trip to Covadonga, Picos de Europa, and Congas de Onís.  These trips shows the history of Asturias according to my professor and locals.  Our first stop was the Congas de Onís, which had the Puente Romano.  It is a bridge built in the medieval times from the reign of Alfonso XI of Castille and Leon.  In the middle of the reconstructed bridge, hangs the Victoria Cross, that relates to the battle of Covadonga.  On our way to Picos de Europa, a national park in Northern coast of Spain, we had to stop for passing cows, that lived in these mountains.  The cow bells rang in the background, as I hiked up and down the paved path along these mountain peaks.  Beyond these inlands were lakes, Ercina and Enol, that glowed with a deep blue hues.  It was quite a magnificent view!  What I also saw and learn was that it was a site for mining.

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Lucky day for my school, we witnessed part of a wedding ceremony.  In the picture, you can see the four musicians, the bag pipe is a traditional instrument you will hear in Asturias.

Covadonga was our next location, and it has a history that relates to religions; Christianity and Muslim.  I am not verse in history, but before choosing the SIPs, I researched Oviedo, and found this part interesting.  On train and bus rides in Spain, each region and cities I pass by, I start noticing geographical, cultural and religious influences.  Another note, I had a chance to see the elegantly dressed guests of a wedding in the rosie wall, Basilica of Santa María la Real of Covadonga.  The traditional bag pipe was played.  According to my professor, it is custom for a Spanish wedding guests to gift about 150€ each when they do accept their invites.  I guest I will be sending my best wishes to any future Spanish weddings.

¡Hasta luego!

Sherry Ing, currently enjoying the Spanish course in Centennial College’s SIPs at the University of Oviedo this summer.

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Choose Homestay

TOP 5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE HOMESTAY

Its the second week that I am studying at the University of Oviedo intensive spanish course as part of Centennial College’s SIPs in Spain.  It is important to know the living choices when studying abroad, you have the option of staying in homestay or student resident, etc.  These living choices has some benefits and advantages when learning a new language.  Here is my top 5 reasons why you should choose homestay.

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5.FAMILIA.  

I get to live with a homestay family who is based in Oviedo.  They know the Catalan Romance language, and also Spanish. They know the city well and  I can ask many questions, such as locations of monuments, the hours of operation of stores, etc.

4.FOOD, FOOD, FOOD.  

Did I mention about food?  My homestay family makes what they usually eat here in Oviedo.  I get to live the way they do through their culinary.  Though my stomach protested in the first week to have some vegetables, I made progress to negotiate with my homestay that VERDE is a must for me. For dessert, I enjoy the fresh local cherries that they have here, its very delicious.  I have lunch very late in the afternoon, that I am not used to, which is around 2pm.  Negotiation with my homestay family is in process to have an earlier breakfast…so I can leave early to school because I still get lost on my way to school.

3. TURN DOWN THE VOLUME.  

When living in a homestay, I can focus more on my studies, so I can be one step closer to my goals of fluency in Spanish.  I do not have to worry about random weeknights parties from roommates.  Hilariously, my upstair neighbours likes to walk in their heels, I think its time for them to invest in carpets, no?

2.SIESTA, YES PLEASE!

I get a chance to do what my family do and learn their way of living.  In the afternoon,  I enjoy my siesta, cat nap, which I find helps me reenergize.

1.SPANISH 24/7.

My homestay family makes an effort to speak to me, despite the communication challenges of not fully understanding each others native language.  In this way, I am in an immersive environment that allows me to  listen and try my best to communicate verbally in Spanish, so I can practice my Spanish.

¡Hasta luego!

Sherry Ing

Centennial College Massage Therapy student, currently studying Spanish at the University of Oviedo in Spain for the summer.