Odense – 2019

I was luckily selected for a SIP to the Southern Denmark University. To be honest it was not what I expected… it was better. The program that I took was extremely interesting, it is called Engineering for Sustainability. Normally, conversations about climate change and where the world is heading tend to be a little pessimistic at times, but I was surprised to see all the positive aspects and solutions our Danish professors had to share. I left this course feeling optimistic and looking forward to support the cause.

20190811_211828 (1)20190807_210228 (1)

               The whole experience for me was a big challenge, but I would say it was a good one. The locals where all very friendly, and I was able to speak English with the majority. Whenever I was lost, there was always a kind Danish who would give me the most detailed instructions to my destination. Going from biking once a month to at least an hour or two every day was another interesting point. I found the fitness life I never had before!

IMG-20190816-WA0010
My team for 10 days 🙂

               I found people to be very down to earth. It surprised me the way the city works, the way they shop, and how comfortable it feels to be there. A lot of the clothing stores that I saw where second hand clothing stores in very good condition. The use of cars is definitely much less compared to what I see in Toronto and my home country Mexico. I paid attention to these kinds of details such as consumption and their lifestyle to be able to compare it to the one I am used to and my own ideas. This was also very related to my program since the course was centered in the way humans impact the environment.

               It was very nice to be surrounded by all the green spaces, I was even lucky enough to see deer and duck families. Eating out is also something that might not be as frequent in Denmark. I would see the locals mostly bringing something from home. On my accommodation on the other hand, it was common for a group of friends to gather in order to cook something together and share.

               I loved getting to know another culture and being able to experience first hand the educational programs. Definitely, I learned a lot, and I feel grateful for this experience. It was an invaluable experience, I was able to manage my time, study, get to know the city, and connect with amazing people. I would not change this experience for anything.

IMG-20190811-WA0020
I will share one of my favorite pictures for end. Yuichi, Dimitri, Rita, Ahmed and Chloe, my five closest!

ANA SOFIA GOMEZ ALVAREZ

SIP – SOUTHERN DENMARK UNIVERSITY

ENGINEERING FOR SUSTAINABILITY

AUG. 2019

 

 

 

2019 SIP Nagoya

My Japan Experience

 

It still feels like a dream.

I can clearly remember the day when I know for sure that I am heading to Japan.

Feelings of excitement, joyfulness mixed with a hint of anxiousness.

Boom! A few months later, the departure day has come.

The Nagoya SIP will only last 19 days, I want to make the best out of it!

The day of arrival, the first impression was the heatwave. Even though I spent my past 19 years growing up in Guangdong, China, I still couldn’t get used to the sweat and stickiness. Whatever, I said to myself, I will get used to it. The heat turned out to be the reason why I made up my mind not to come again in summer.

First day of the trip, I finally met my school group, along with a few other participants from other parts of Canada. There were 14 of us, and we were ready to write each other into our life stories.

First week of the trip, all of us got assigned to spend two nights with a local family. I was not unfamiliar with host families. I still kept in touch with my host family with whom I spent almost one year with when I was exchanged to Europe during high school. This would be such a good chance to experience Japan in a real way, not the tourist way. My host family was so entertaining and caring. They didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak Japanese. However, we could understand each other beyond where the language barrier stopped us. That was a very memorable weekend without culture shocks, except that they bought me tons of food to bring back to school. They were very nice and welcoming. We even went out again after the program to see firework during Obon celebration. This had become a lifelong relationship that I wanted to maintain.

Second week of the trip, everyone was busy learning more Japanese as well as Japanese culture. During the weekend, we went to Tokyo. Tokyo was a totally different city than Nagoya in my opinion. I had seen the huge “missing” Japanese population in Tokyo, but not in Nagoya. If I compared Oshawa to Nagoya, then Toronto was like Tokyo. In Tokyo, even though more people knew English, they were somewhat less eager to help while in Nagoya, people would come up to you even if they didn’t know much English. I still enjoyed Tokyo a lot, especially the Disneyland part. In Disneyland, the service was flawless. One of the staff even wanted to hold my garbage bag for me.

Last week of the trip, all of us were busy working on assignment, presentation and Kyoto trip. This trip was a bit different than the Tokyo one since everyone would be paired up with a Japanese student and decided the itinerary. My group decided to commence a slower itinerary which turned out to be a wise decision. I still remembered that on the first day of arrival, the Japanese teachers all said that Nagoya was considered the hottest place in Japan. However, before departure, they all said that Kyoto was hotter than Nagoya, which was very true. Usually, the temperature in Nagoya felt like 43, but in Kyoto, it felt like 46. I really had to come back sometime during autumn to experience the beauty of Kyoto, the summer was just miserable for me.

In all, during my 19 days of stay in Japan, I feel that most Japanese were very nice, to a point that it feels like unreal. However, thanks to the pre-study that is required before the program, I understand that this behavior underlies a very important Japanese culture. Because most Japanese are considered to think or act the same, meaning that they have “telepathy ability” among people, therefore they niceness one experiences are very similar across Japan.

Everyone wanted something different from this trip. As for me, I wanted to learn some Japanese, as well as experiencing the renowned formality of how the Japanese function. It is so lucky for me that my wishes have all been fulfilled. I don’t experience anything other than my expectation since I am from a similar culture. However, this can still be quite a cultural shock to some of you especially on the diet and the weather part. Also, people may find establishing a real relationship with the Japanese challenging. Well, there is no such thing as a perfect precautions. We just need to step out of our comfort zones and get the experience rolling.

Jingyao Zhang

Salamanca – A Golden City Steeped in History and Education

This past July I had the pleasure of participating in a Short International Program (SIP) in Salamanca, Spain.

Salamanca is located in the community of Castile and Leon, in the north-west region of Spain.  I attended Spanish lessons in the morning at Universidad Pontifical de Salamanca, and I spent my afternoons and weekends sightseeing.

20180706_085301

School

Spanish lessons consisted of the basics – counting (cero, uno, dos, tres…), eating (yo como…), drinking (tu bebes…), days of the week (lunes, martes, miércoles…), months (Enero, Febrero, Marzo…), and colours (negro, blanco, naranja, roza…).  Did you know that there are 27 letters in the Spanish alphabet?  The additional letter is between N and O and looks like this – ñ – and is used in words like “niño” and “niña”.
Even though our classes were 4 hours a day for 4 weeks, we learned quite a bit in that short time span.  Everything from animals to different verbs to family members, we learned it.  During our last week was our final exam, graduation and grad party.  Graduation Day was absolutely one of my best days in Salamanca.

20180727_115221

Culture

When I wasn’t learning in the classroom, I immersed myself in Spanish culture, which is its own education in and of itself.

My first week in Salamanca coincided with 4th of July celebrations, and those of us that found our way to Plaza Mayor was fortunate enough to be serenaded by a mariachi band.  That weekend I rented a bike, grabbed a map and took off on my own Tour de Salamanca.  The city is small and compact with loads of bike trails, so it was very easy to navigate.  I rode along a Roman bridge, through Jesuit Parque that had a pond in the middle of the park, filled with swans and ducks.

That same week my flatmates and I went to a Flamenco show which was outstanding, and the rest of the audience must have agreed as shouts of “Ole!” and “Guapa!” came from the crowd.

Being the adventurous type, I took a bus from Salamanca to Saville – the capital of Andalusia community one weekend.

First up was the Real Alcázar, which is Spanish for Royal Palace.  The palace is still the primary residence used by the royal family and certain rooms were closed to the public.  I have no words to describe just how drop-dead beautiful this palace was.  Gorgeous doesn’t even come close to describing its stunning beauty.  I could’ve spent all day there and still not see everything.  Everywhere you looked, there was art to be found, even on the ceiling!  The palace is the perfect mixture of Christian and Arabic influences.  And if I was gobsmacked by the inside of the palace, I had a shock waiting for me on the outside.  Real Alcázar has not one, not two, but three gardens, the next one more beautiful than the last!

Up next was Plaza España (Spain Square) which was walking distance from Real Alcázar.  Also another piece of stunning architecture, that was relatively quite new compared to Real Alcázar.  Plaza España was built in the 1800s for the Ibero-American Exposition World’s Fair.  It is a semi-circular park with a large and beautiful water fountain in the middle and a pond that surrounds it.  You can rent rowboats that take you around the pond and under gorgeous bridges.  While exploring Plaza España I ran into impromptu Flamenco dancers and singer.  I ended my day with tapas and a well-deserved sangria.

Want to have your own experience?

20180714_12200420180714_171140

Trips

My final weekend in Spain was by far, the best of my entire trip! Our school organized weekend trips for my classmates and me so that we could practice our Spanish.  On Saturday my classmates and I went to Segovia to see the Roman Aqueduct, Alcázar of Segovia, and Segovia Cathedral, which was absolutely beautiful.  Alcázar of Segovia is now used as a war museum and had a very pretty garden in the shape of a maze. 20180721_111923

After lunch, we made our way to Avila, which was only a short bus ride away from Segovia.  Avila is famous for its medieval wall, which provides beautiful views of nearby cathedrals and the town.  On Sunday, some of my classmates and I went on one of the school-organized weekly beach trips to playa Suances.  Suances is a 3.5-hour drive north of Salamanca and it was the best 35 euros I’ve ever spent.  The beaches were spectacular, clean and not over-crowded, the ocean wasn’t cold, and the weather was hot, hot, hot!

20180722_195044

What I’m going to miss about Spain and Salamanca particularly is the manana lifestyle and siestas (seriously). I’m definitely going to miss the food, the beautiful architecture, the gorgeous beaches, and going to bed every night to this view.

20180706_233241

If you get a chance to participate in a SIP, I highly recommend it!
You won’t regret it!

Ouida Shiers – SIP, Salamanca, Spain

Want to experience a SIP yourself?

What I Learned in Japan

60de079f-8853-4f91-9f6f-beee3d55c061

Japan was absolutely beautiful. I can’t say it enough. It was jaw-droppingly gorgeous and unequivocally awe-inspiring. It wasn’t just the raw nature of ginko trees and ocean views that drew me in, but the culture itself; the grace of so many experiences – tea ceremonies, local cuisine, coffee, temples and shrines. I experienced all of this alongside several unique lectures, each describing a specific area of Japanese culture.

Kabuki

I’ve thought a lot about the two extreme elements of Kabuki theatre. All at the same time it is both, incredibly strict and precise, having very specific and concrete rules and ways that are absolute, but it is also an extreme form of Sakari Ba, The Business of Having Fun. This term is described in Japan’s Cultural Code Words by Boye Lafayette De Mente. This type of duality is common in Japanese culture from what I’ve seen and learned so far, it’s polarized into the homogenous, serious side that is common place and the lively, eccentric side that is saved for moments of release, where entertainment is necessary and the extreme is admired. I’ve even seen already the difference in the local Japanese students that I’ve met, who are serious and studious but also enjoy having fun with a drink to ‘blow off steam’ from stressful student lives that later become stressful careers. It seems that many Japanese flock to entertainment such as Kabuki in order to do this same thing, escape from the precise nature of their daily lives for a more eccentric expression of Japanese culture.

Tourism

One of the aspects that I found to be very interesting to me was the way of the Samurai, who killed themselves in public displays in order to die with honour. This idea stands out to me as related to the cultural code word, Akiramenai, meaning ‘Do or Die’. The book, describes this as “incidents in which the persons involved chose to die—often by their own hand—although their predicaments were not life-threatening, or even desperate from the Western viewpoint”. Samurai were described as being like body guards, serving the emperor and in turn, the Japanese way, so it makes sense that they would willingly sacrifice themselves if it was in someway for the well-being of the country. While this was common in Feudal Japan, this has been decreasing significantly, making way for a less obvious display of honour. “Instead of dashing straight up a mountain they want to climb, the Japanese way is to circle it slowly, gradually working their way to the top. That way, nobody pays much attention to what they are doing.”

Local Cuisine

Despite all the incredible traditions and elements that we learned, I think my biggest take away came when we were told to not just experience the food, but also the entire environment of the restaurant that is curated for patrons. The term Itadakemasu/gochisoh sama meaning ‘Thanks for the Hospitality’, describes the atmosphere of Japanese restaurants in comparison to that of other cultures. Specifically, the book paints a picture; “There is a precise etiquette for sitting, serving and being served, and eating,… as restrained and stylized as the food served… The essence of Japanese food is small portions, artistically shaped, and served on china and lacquer ware that is conspicuous for its beauty.”

I thought this idea was beautifully captured in the way that the instructor  discussed the culture of eating in Japan. It’s not enough just to have Japanese food; You have to take a break from your life in order to experience the entire food culture and really understand all that Japan’s local cuisine has to offer.

Karate

Something that I noticed very quickly in the karate lesson was the strict, precise nature of the art. You must always move your body in the order of 右 then左 in practice and the craft itself is a combination of subtle strength and discipline. This idea is expressed through the term The Three Doors to Success, which are described as “receiving the right teaching, dedicating oneself to the teaching, and applying one’s own ingenuity to what is learned from the teachings.” This is something that I was immediately drawn to when watching my classmates repeat specific instructions for a variety of ‘take down’ techniques that are a combination of self-defence and precision attacks. Listening to the sensei is not the only important thing, and doing so will not guarantee any amount of success, it is up to the student to listen to the sensei and  absorb his teachings, dedicating time and effort while bringing your own self fully into each movement. Karate isn’t just about moving your body appropriately, it is also about foresight and focus so that you can see your opponent clearly and use that to gain the upper hand.

Sake

I found this lecture to be one that resonated very strongly with me. I found that a good portion of this lesson focused on the process and complexity of sake as well as the variety of available sake. I was so surprised that every single prefecture had sake breweries and that each area brewed unique sakes that complimented the tastes of the local food. For me, this really made sense as a way to gather people when Sakiko-sama told us the story about how she spent quality time with her father over sake. I realized in that moment that sake isn’t just a way to bring people together, but it’s a beverage that can be enjoyed by all people regardless of taste because there is so many varieties. It truly is a way to bring every single person together. The term Sakura Zensen, Cherry Blossom Culture relates to a similar idea, that much in the way sake is used to bring people together and connect them, cherry blossoms have a similar appeal. “Millions of people gathered in cherry tree groves and along the banks of streams and rivers flanked by the trees to view the blossoms, drink sake, eat picnic foods, sing, compose poetry, and otherwise enjoy themselves.” Just like sake, cherry blossoms are a way to gather and connect people who may seem very different. Both have a long history with Japan.

 

-Carolyne

NGU, Nagoya, Japan

IMG_2970

 

Nagoya, Japan SIP

It’s been more than half a year since returning from the Summer International Program in Nagoya, Japan, but I still remember vividly so many of the wonderful experiences I had. One of my favorites is the kimono workshop Nagoya Gakuin University put together for us. One of the local student’s family ran a kimono shop, and they were kind enough to bring some yukata in for us to try, even helping us to put them on properly!

yukata 2

Even before leaving Canada, trying on a kimono/yukata (and maybe even buying one!) was towards the top of my to-do list for Japan, I mean, who hasn’t heard of a kimono before? A yukata is akin to a lightweight kimono, usually made out of a single layer of cotton and is much easier to wear than a kimono which has many different layers. Yukata are popular to wear during summer festivals since they are much more breathable. After arriving in Japan and seeing the prices, I knew that I would not be able to afford one, but I had hoped to at least be able to try one on and get a picture. When we arrived at the university and were given our program schedule, I was so excited to see that there would be a workshop towards the end of the program!

On the day of, we were separated into 2 rooms: one for the males and one for the females. As soon as we walked through the doors, we could see all of the yukata laid out on the desks, and we all scrambled to choose one. I was immediately drawn to a dark blue one that had a purple and pink obi (the belt). Obi can come either as just a cloth strip or pre-tied into a bow. All of the ones that were brought in for the workshop were pre-tied to make it easier to put on.

yukata 1

The ladies there helped us into our yukata (otherwise we would have been completely lost on how to put them on!) They had even brought geta (wooden sandals) for us to wear!

geta

After we finished dressing, we were given the choice whether we wanted to go to a nearby shrine while wearing the yukata. I, of course, said yes – I did not want to take the yukata off yet after finally being able to put one on! Geta are known for being hard and uncomfortable to walk in (you’re walking basically on a block of wood) so the university called several taxis to take us to the shrine.

Now, the shrine is definitely one of the things that makes this experience so memorable.

The taxis took us to the Atsuta Shrine where we took tons of pictures at the shrine entrance.

shrine 4

As we walked through the shrine grounds, we noticed there was quite a commotion around a certain tree. Tons of locals had their phones pointed upwards and were talking excitedly to one another.

tree 1

It took us a while to figure out what everyone was looking at, but then we saw it. Can’t figure it out? Take a closer look at the centre of the picture.

tree 2

Yes, that is a snake in the tree. From what we gathered from the locals, the snake can usually be found around the base of the tree, and we were very lucky to see it in the tree. I didn’t even know snakes went in trees.

Besides the snake, the shrine itself was beautiful, and we got the opportunity to take tons of pictures on the shrine grounds before taking the taxis back to the university.

shrine 3

All in all, I had a great yukata experience and I hope to get to buy one when I go back to Japan someday, hopefully soon.

~ Joyce Lok

Nagoya, Japan

20170730_164648

It’s been a while since returning from my Summer SIP, 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

20170810_100756.jpg

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

IMG_1985

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!

Architecture20170801_195428.jpg

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!

 

PurikuraIMG_1834.JPG

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

20170729_142441

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

IMG_1794.JPG

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

20170813_114224.jpg

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!

Written by: Ashley

‘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..!

IMG_20170829_130239_271.jpg

 

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..!

Written by: Rishit Sheth

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.

Written by: Marissa Shaw

 

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)

21231240_921963414621061_8954670412325351142_n

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

Written by: Lina Safi

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!

22016448_10212985502374934_1079203736_n19983626_10159197985460160_9102426441877934889_o