‘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..!



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..!

– Rishit Sheth

Sancti Spiritus, Cuba – GCELE Experience

By: Inez Tarditti-Falconer

Sancti Spiritus, Cuba… Where do I even begin? This GCELE was literally a trip of a lifetime for me. I learned things I never thought I could learn, went through experiences I never would have imagined, met Cuban friends that I never thought I would have met and travelled with an amazing group of people from Centennial!

While in Sancti Spiritus, I really got a taste of what it’s like to live in Cuba. I went on this trip with the mindset that I would be helping the people there, but in reality, the people of Cuba taught me and helped me more than anything. I learned a lot about the permaculture movement happening in Cuba and what that meant in regards to their food security. It was moving and inspiring to get to know how the Cubans we met lived a life that revolved around nature and taking care of the land, while living off of it as well.

Many of the farmers were teachers, engineers and ordinary people with other jobs. They had farms and gardens as a side activity. I thought this alone was moving because taking care of these farms and gardens is a big and task requiring a lot of hard work! Since I know how to speak a bit of Spanish, I was able to speak with some of the farmers and I honestly learned so much from them. They are so wise, knowledgeable and humble in all that they do – it was amazing to meet people like them.

All of my new Cuban friends are always in my heart and without a doubt, I will be returning to Sancti Spiritus to see them again!  I also got the chance to plant banana trees, papaya, sweet potatoes and coffee. I was actually in the dirt and planting! It was such an awesome feeling, mainly because, before this trip I would have never ever thought I would be working in a farm and getting dirty – or even planting anything at all!

Learning about permaculture in Cuba opened my eyes to our own food security in Toronto and what that really means for us. I also stayed at the foundation’s museum, and something that I had to get used to was the water shortage. Mostly during the days, the water would run out and return in the evening. I never had to deal with anything like this in Toronto, so it was something that made me realize just how grateful I should be for something as simple as having unlimited access to water in my home. From the drives in cars from the 50’s, to the delicious food, to the vibrant energy of the Cuban people, to the endless laughs and memories, I can honestly say that I enjoyed every second of it.

All in all, this trip was unreal. When I was back in Toronto and it came time to tell all my friends and family about it, I found myself having difficulties putting it all into words. It’s one of those experiences that you just had to be there to really get it! I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity by Centennial. I think that GCELE’s are such an amazing part of this College. Because of this trip, I have memories that will last a lifetime, lived through experiences that have changed me as a person and made amazing new friends. Without a doubt, this GCELE was absolutely and unforgettably INCREDIBLE.

Adapt, Learn, Grow

(*Note: Originally published on Sunday Jan 13 but apparently it didn’t work)

Hello again!

So here I am retroactively writing my blog because time flies when you’re having fun and it could not be more true now that I have spent just over a week* here in Cancun.

I have also been to Playa del Carmen (about one hour away) both weekends and Cozumel (a 45 min ferry ride from Playa del Carmen) just today with my father! It’s been a lot to take in but I’ve been mentally blogging and looking forward to a “time out” from all the adventure to publish my thoughts.

There is so much I want to write about, like the fabulous time I’ve spent with my dad, the house I am living in with two room mates (I moved in on Friday) and my school life but one blog post at a time.

Today, I’m going to discuss what I hope to gain from this wonderful opportunity in three areas of my life: academically, professionally, and personally. Here goes!

I took off on this adventure for many reasons but to summarize them I wanted to do my version of “Eat, Pray, Love” which I have cleverly renamed in a more literal sense to my situation “Adapt, Learn, Grown”.

Personally, I needed this retreat to save my soul (drama queen much?). I think there comes a time in everyone’s life where everything is just so mundane and you need a change, nothing makes you happy any more no matter how much it should, well that time was on my clock. Also, I’m a huge believer of astrology and being a summer baby (Cancerian of the Zodiac) I need the sun and ocean, it gives me energy…so winter always makes me depressed back home. This change of scenary, beautiful climate, and new culture is something the doctor could not prescribe! I think it’s good for any body’s spirit and I am grateful I could make my great escape to this beautiful place.

It’s very important to me to become truly self reliant and independent. Though I’ve experience fleeting moments of wanting to go back home, I know you have to challenge yourself in order to discover all the potential you have within.

Being in alone in a different country I only have myself to count on, I must make my decisions using my best judgement because there’s no best friend here to cross reference with or back me up if I’m in a jam, I have to adapt and go with the flow as well -which I’m having some difficulty with. Though I’ve lived in Europe before it’s completely different here, the laissez faire attitude and the lack of mobility on your own (buses are not ideal or that easily accessible) makes you feel like you have shackles on your feet. Not to mention a) it’s WAY too hot to walk around, and b) it’s not pedestrian friendly so I have to depend on my room mate who luckily has a car but he also works & is not my personal chauffeur though he is more than willing to help me out. Patience is a virtue. However, all of the differences have opened my eyes to see how fortunate I am for everything I have back home and the beautiful country I live in O’ Canada!  Moving on…

Academically, this opportunity will allow me to perfect my Spanish as well as formally learn to read and write as I realized in class this week, I am familiar with the material but I am missing the technical terms so it will take some effort on my part to do the work. My classmates have been helpful with my note taking (as some teachers will deduct marks for spelling errors in your notes…yes they actually check that you’re taking notes..) my classmates and I will exchange English lessons for Spanish writing lessons. The business Spanish will certainly benefit me in my career. (Side note: I am also taking a basic french class which is a great refresher as I am already fluent but it’s been ages since I reviewed verbs and adjectives. Also, how small is the world that my teacher is from Quebec!)

Professionally, I aim to investigate international companies to see if someone could have an informational interview with me. Ideally, I would like to talk with someone from Coca Cola as the beverage market is huge here, since the water is undrinkable plus once you tire of water there are many juices and soft drinks to choose from, a lot of which are made by Coca Cola.    I will research other companies that do business with Canada too.

My dream job will allow me to travel (preferably somewhere hot), use my languages, and use my socio-cultural skills to enhance the companies business and client relationships. Maybe I’ll find future employment here in Cancun!

All in all, with just 9 days (*now 11 days) in the bag I feel positive about the road ahead and I look forward to navigating it and documenting it along the way!

I will definitely be seeking words of wisdom to keep me inspired and so for tonight,

Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life. 
Herbert OttoImage