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.
I applied for the SIP program to Turku Finland as I felt the program (Professional Services and Productization) would help me to market my business. I studied Travel Services Management and I’m now a travel agent. So this program was a catch as providing travel advice is providing a service, and I wanted tips on how to market a service. You can imagine how excited I was when I heard I got through.
Arriving in Finland I was very moody and grumpy, as I connected in New York so I was travelling for more than 24hours. But when I got on the train from the airport to Turku, I instantly relaxed. The cuntryside was lush and green and there was this calm that captivated me. Being a country girl, I’m always drawn to communities rather than cities, so seeing Turku wasn’t all that built up gave me something to smile about. The train ride from Helsinki to Turku was really relaxing and provided some really good sightseeing.
In Turku, I had some problems with my pre-booked accommodation but soon found myself helped by a local. Finnish people can appear intimidating and blunt, but once a conversation is started, they really warm up. Thankfully they’re kind and helpful, so I was out of my accommodation rut in less than 5 minutes of conversation with the local. This was the beginning of many other local encounters that made my trip amazing.
At school (Turku University of Applied Sciences), the classroom discussions were so enriching. Altogether we were 12 students and 2 lecturers representing 11 countries! You can imagine the cultural exchange that took place. We bonded well. In fact, my favorite moments in Turku were all moments when we got together. Outside of school, we did social activities including dinners, museum tour, city tour, picnic, shopping, and a boat tour to Stockholm, Sweden. We also had lunch together, every day we tried a new canteen. The food was absolutely scrumptious and ridiculously cheap! With our student cards, we got lunch for as little as €2.80. A buffet meal consisting of coffee/tea and bread, salad, entree and sometimes dessert. And you’ve got choices, always 2 or 3 entree items to choose from.
Other than the super cheap student lunches, I was amazed by the transportation system. People bike/cycle all around. Whether they’re going to work, school or party, they cycle! Yes, men in tuxedos and ladies in stilettos cycle all about. Cycling is so common, cyclists have their own section of the street to cycle on and a tonne of places to park. Other than that, it’s so easy and fast to walk about (even though I got lost a bit). From where I stayed, walking to school was the same distance as taking the bus so I often walked. It was sad to leave all that behind – little to no traffic 🙂 to come back to the hustle and bustle of Toronto 😦
All in all, I had a wonderful time in Tuku. The program was amazing and I now have friends from all over. I highly recommend this program and cannot say thanks enough to Centennial for such a great opportunity.
My name is Jodie and I am in the Travel and Tourism program. I did the SIP program in Oviedo, Spain, which is located in the Asturias region (north of Spain), for the month of July. I applied to the SIP programs for the fun of it and to be quite honest, I didn’t expect to get in. But to my surprise, I got an interview and then found out I was accepted to the program while I was away in Colombia.
Before departing to Spain, I knew some Spanish but I didn’t know enough to have a conversation with somebody or even ask for help. I only learned on my own by listening to Spanish music, watching telenovelas, and by observation whenever I visited Colombia. I was scared when I arrived to Madrid because I didn’t feel comfortable speaking Spanish since I lacked the confidence. This quickly changed because I was forced to speak Spanish since that was the sole purpose of me going therefore I needed to try. Also, majority of the people in Oviedo didn’t speak English because it wasn’t a city with many tourists.
I was in the Intermediate I Spanish class and my teacher didn’t speak ANY English. At first I thought this was a little bit of a challenge but this actually helped me improve my listening skills. My conversations class not only gave me the opportunity to practice speaking, it also helped me to be more confident to speak. With the help of all three of my teachers, Lorena, Pablo, and Gloria, my Spanish has improved in every aspect.
To wrap it up, I was genuinely sad to leave Spain and I actually cried while I was on the bus to get to Madrid’s airport. I will never forget Oviedo’s overwhelming architecture, the relaxing lifestyle, and all the people I have encountered during my stay. I have a lot of stories to share about Oviedo and these pictures and videos posted don’t do much justice. One thing I could say is that this was definitely a life changing experience for me and I would do this again in a heartbeat. Te extraño mucho, Oviedo. ❤
My name is Yonghui. I have stayed in Alcala de Henares, Spain, for a month with my wife studying Spanish and traveling around. Alcala is the city where I would love to spend the rest of my life after retirement. People are nice and kind, city is not too crowded, beautiful and natural… It is such a blessed city! Thank you for this great opportunity.
Study Love in Spain.
My name is Bianca, 20 years old. I am Brazilian and this Summer of 2017 I have been part of the Summer International Program in Spain.
The total length of the program was one month (August). As you might already know, it is one of the hottest months of the year in Europe, so obviously I was melting everyday over there; but I can’t really complain about it. Everyday I would wake up with this huge sunlight coming into my window, would have breakfast with my lovely Spanish family and go to school by walking and laughing with the best roommates in the world.
During class, I will admit, we have learned a LOT of Spanish. All of the professors would only speak Spanish, so we had no other choice than learned it (some would say by the hard way, I would say by the funny way lol).
After class, me and my friends used to go out for lunch and everyday try a different Spanish dish. So on Mondays, for example, we decided to always go out for Tapas, which is kind of (INCREDIBLE DELICIOUS) side dishes given to you when you ordered any drink. Unfortunately, I don’t have any picture of it, cause I was always starving for lunch after class. PS. OUR CLASS USED TO FINISH AT 3PM, so you can imagine how hungry we were.
So having lunch, we normally went back home to take a nap because of the SIESTA. As Spanish people says “dormir la siesta”. Can you think of any better way to spend your day with a full belly? We slept around one hour and went back to streets for shopping, or eating more, or visiting some new places. The funny thing is, our small city would be completely empty from 3pm to 5pm. I guessed everyone was also taking a nap. But as I mentioned, the same time we went back to the streets, everyone else was also there, which always meant partyyyyyyyyy!!!
So from there to night time, the city was really alive and we had a lot of fun. I have many stories I could tell here, but I think I will just live some pictures from my GREAT Spanish adventure. Love to share my experience =)
The opportunity Centennial College had granted myself along with 18 other students has been nothing short of fantastic. As an architectural technology student visiting the birthplace of civilization and seeing all the beautiful and intricately detailed buildings was enough of a reason for me to want to go on this two week adventure.
Little did I realize what I would receive would be so much more. All students stayed in the loving homes of Italian families that made us authentic Italian meals every evening. At Centro Studi Italiani, centered in the small town of Urbania, we studied Italian language as well as ceramics, cooking and a wine tasting. The staff and teachers were friendly and did an amazing job setting up our stay in Italy. After classes we had ample opportunity to go out and mingle with the locals, getting a full immersion into the Italian culture and making new friends along the way.
Also included in this two week program were excursions to Florence, Venice, Rome, Urbino and Gubbio. While there we were gifted individual on site exploration, with some pointers on the local landmarks, allowing everyone to see or do as they pleased. Each location had its own charm, with sights and history making it hard to compare one to another. If this sounds like a lot to take in for just two weeks that’s because it was, these two weeks were jam packed with adventure around every corner and I would not trade this experience for anything. I look forward to returning to Italy one day, and hopefully reconnect with the new friends I have made.
– Brad Shadlock
Hi, my name is Maegan!
This blog is about the amazing opportunity I got to cross Italy off my bucket list. I am a student at Centennial College studying a three-year Business Entrepreneurship coop program. On August 20- September 3, a group of 18 students went on a journey together to Italy for two weeks.
We stayed in Urbania, Italy for the two weeks, once we got there we got to find out who was our room mates and Italian parents for the rest of the trip.
The next day was school Centro Studi Italiani; where we learned Italian for 2 hours a day, all the teacher were very nice and helpful. It was a great idea to learn the basics of the Italian language to help with traveling on our own throughout the trip.
I really wanted to experience the food in Italy, here are a couple of items I really enjoyed.
We ate gelato every day and ate from the supermarkets.
–>What I learned about Italy is Itanians love pasta, wine, they need to be bussed through a door to get into banks and they take naps in the middle of the day.
In Urbania, Italy we had a Wine Tasting, Cooking class, and Ceramics class.
We had one day in Urbano, Gabbio, Florence, Venice and Slept over in Rome:
My Favorite part of the trip was Venice and Florence I always wanted to go there!
In conclusion; this global experience was amazing and I will never forget the summer I spent getting to know Centennial College students from all different campuses and learning the Italian culture!
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.
I am ecstatic to be writing about, my wonderful SIP trip to Urbania Italy, with Centennial College and Centro Studi Italiani. From the beginning to the end, everyone you met was eager to welcome you into their homeland and into their lives. From the directors of the school to the staff, our homestay host, and the locals, we were constantly surrounded by Italian hospitality and warmth. This immersion into the culture, allowed no time to miss or develop homesickness. Urbania became home. We now have a new family with our hosts, and made new friends that will last a lifetime. Creating this close bond, was not easy. However, a goal of mine was to be more accepting of situations and become more outgoing. This allowed me to benefit fully from all the experiences in front of me. This trip truly encouraged me to develop communication skills, that are invaluable in today’s job society. I am grateful to have participated in this program. All of my expectations were shattered, and I came back to Centennial College with a sweeter outlook on our world. Grazie mille Centennial College e Centro Studi Italiani !
My name is Tobi and I am a second year Baking and Pastry Arts Management program student. I attended the SIP this summer at the University of Logrono, Spain. I stayed in a residence close to the university and got to experience all the flavours and colours of Spanish life. I arrived in Spain, knowing very little Spanish. It was definitely a culture shock not understanding everyone speaking around me…and to me. However, as each day progressed over the four weeks, I learned more and more. I met some amazing locals along the way and even had the opportunity to hike one of the mountains in the area with local friends.
Spanish culture is amazing! The siesta – they are not kidding about this. Many businesses close by 3pm and do not open until after 5pm…and for good reason too. It is hot in Spain in the summer! Temperatures can soar during this time and it can be just plain uncomfortable to be outside at times given my Toronto blood! The days are longer and dinner starts later, after 9pm. The food is unbelievable and I recommend to everyone to sample the wonderful variety of tapas (or pintxos in Basque language). My favourite is patatas bravas. Fried potatoes plus liquid mayo plus tomato sauce is a wonderful, wonderful thing.
In terms of the course, I took level A1 Spanish and was in a class of about 13 other students from all over the world ranging from South Korea to Australia to the Ukraine. We each shared our cultures and truly embodied the beauty of diversity. We all successfully completed the course through the caring guidance of the most charismatic and engaging profesora. I started the course a bit intimidated over whether I would be able to grasp the concepts. I finished more eager than ever to tackle the next level. It was an absolutely life changing experience and I recommend a global experience such as this to anyone. I met some amazing people, was immersed in a vibrant culture and have lots of stories to last a lifetime. Thank you SAGE and Centennial College!