Monday, June 30, 2014

Gratitude is the best attitude

Humber graduate speaks about internship in Uganda and Haiti

By: Kezia Hinds, Work study, Marketing and Communications, Humber College 
This article originally appeared on Humber Communiquè

Tinika Sampson has always known that she’s lucky to live in Canada – and her internship experiences in Uganda and Haiti have reinforced that sense of gratitude.

For the past three months, Sampson, a recent graduate of Humber’s Child and Youth Worker  program, has spent her days interning at two HIV/AIDS prevention clinics in Uganda providing support for mothers and children infected with HIV/AIDS.

One year earlier, Sampson, 21, spent five months in Port-au-Prince, Haiti at Besthesda Orphanage.

They were different groups and two different places, but both were experiences the young graduate says she will never forget.

Tinika Sampson volunteering at a school Uganda

“I’ve learned to be very grateful. To be grateful that I am living in a country where I have the opportunity to go to school, speak my mind, to disagree, to say no. Freedom is a good feeling and not everyone has that opportunity to be free,” says Sampson.
While in Uganda, Sampson interned with the Tumaini AIDS and Prevention Program(TAPP) and the Rural Orphans Widows AIDSNetwork (ROWAN) while staying in the village of Muwanga . Having to walk 15 minutes for a pail of water or bicycle to the clinics were just part of the rich, new culture she was exposed to.

Having rebounded from the abyss of civil war and economic catastrophe, Uganda is becoming  relatively prosperous. However, although the Ugandan government is advocating for universal education there are still problems with accessing schooling. Subsidized HIV/AIDS medicine is also very expensive.

“Whenever I walk to the clinics, everyone would stop and greet me on the way. They told me ‘Welcome back to Africa.’ They really embraced and looked up to me.  Life is never perfect – even here in Canada things aren’t perfect – but the Ugandans embraced those struggles in a positive way,” says Sampson.

And her time in Haiti had similar experiences.

“The girls I worked with in the orphanage are all educated. Some of them had lost their parents to the 2010 earthquake, others to abuse or poverty, but the girls were so full of life. They all wanted to be married and have a better life. When you ask them what they want to be they all said doctors,” explains Sampson.

Sampson will return to Haiti next year to assist with a medical program and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in International Development.

“The simple foundation Humber instilled in me as a child and youth worker is that you should not be judgmental. You need to love and you need to realize everyone has different perceptions and perceives things differently. You can’t approach others with a hierarchy or superiority. You need to form allies and work with people.”

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Humber Goes Global: May 2014 Study @ Sea Baltic Adventure

Collaboration is a core tenet of Humber’s approach to education. It is also a key means to fostering a global education for students. To that end, Humber is growing its international presence through innovative partnerships that allow students to benefit from international transfer agreements and study abroad opportunities. While allowing faculty and staff can to take part in global research along with the design and delivery of academic programs and projects. Humber currently has articulation agreements with post-secondary institutions in Australia, China, Korea, France, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, which offer Humber diploma students the opportunity to transfer credits to their degree programs.

Similarly, the Study @ Sea course offers the students in any program in the School of Hospitality, Recreation & Tourism, and to students in select programs in the School of Media Studies and Information Technology an opportunity to explore and study cultures around the world. It is offered In partnership with the Institute for Shipboard Education.

Photo Credit: Brian Bannon
Students learn about the history, politics, culture and environment of the countries being visited through lectures and interactive workshops delivered by faculty on board the ship, and through service learning / community outreach projects at destination ports.

Brian Bannon, Humber Student at Paris, Italy
In May 2014, the students got an opportunity to go to seven countries to put their theories to test. They went to Hamburg and Rostock (Germany), Gdansk (Poland), Klaipeda (Lithuania), Tallinn (Estonia), St. Petersburg (Russia), Helsinki (Finland), and Stockholm (Sweden).

Read their testimonials to gain a deeper insight of their newly learnt experiences:

“It is so exciting to get to the places you’ve only read about. We are tourism students, and a very important part of our studies is to actually learn where the major attractions are located. A couple of months ago in class we learnt that The Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located near Belfast, Northern Ireland, and here we are, climbing to the top of the steep basalt columns for better view.”
                   -Olga Menshikh, Tourism Management student, Humber College

“I think this trip changed my mentality on travelling in general. I loved the fact that I was able to use what I had learned at the pre-ports in each destination. Study @ Sea was a great way to experience each port and I will definitely return to some of them. I enjoyed having the opportunity on the ship to go to lectures or workshops that I was interested in. The destinations were great but the environment and the people aboard the ship made the overall experience amazing.”
                 -Caterina Cacciacarro, Tourism Management student, Humber College

What I learned from participating in the program is that as cliché as it might sound the World is a Classroom and it's up to us how we choose to learn from it. I look forward to taking my newfound respect for travelling with a purpose and applying it to my future endeavors.
                 -Jessika Mohan, Tourism Management student, Humber College

Study @ Sea allowed me to learn a lot about myself and understand the things that I can handle and can’t handle. The value of a dollar doesn’t really matter anymore when you’re out traveling the world because nothing makes you richer then travel. The people that I met, the memories I have made, the adventures I went on really made this one of the best journeys I’ve ever gone on.

                 -Daniel Bar, Tourism Management student, Humber College

Travel, see the world, learn, grow, have fun and help local people at the destinations are all components that make Study @ Sea unique. The program provided me the opportunity for impactful cross-cultural experiences in 7 countries. The lectures on the ship prepared me with the knowledge, history and culture of each country to appreciate how incredible they are.

                 -Mai Luu, Tourism Management student, Humber College

The SOS Children’s Village gave us a view of St. Petersburg that opened our eyes to what is behind the beautiful buildings of the city. It is one thing to go around and see the main attractions such as the Hermitage and various palaces, but you have not really experienced a city until you go behind the mask of the beautiful areas and see what life is really like for some of the less fortunate.

                  -Sheena Morris, Tourism Management student, Humber College

Friday, June 27, 2014

#Humber2Algonquin Contest: Student Submissions

Have you heard about our contest? We extended the deadline until July 7!

To enter, you can submit a 15 second video, creative photo, poster, or 200 word essay. Here’s a sample of some of the essay submissions that we received!

Student Submission #1
Travelling, in my life, is indispensable, like fish need water, trees need soil and bees need flowers. I have couchsurfed for one year, watched all seasons of The Amazing Race and been waiting for a real camping experience to Algonquin Park.

Life in Toronto is busy. Skyscrapers, crowded downtown and fast paced life sometimes make me tired; that’s why I need to go outdoors, enjoy the fresh air and exercise. Let’s imagine, I can canoe through 2,000 km routes, hike 35 km through the highlands, paddle across their eight lakes, just to name a few. Those activities would help improve my stamina and burn calories. Who doesn’t want to be healthier?

Camping in a forest, unlike guided tours, I have to face different issues; from getting lost, erecting the tent to catching a cold and avoiding unwelcomed insects. Thanks to the difficulties, I will gain many new survival skills that will definitely help me in my everyday life, like carrying the TTC subway map anywhere! It calms me down when coping with unexpected life barriers, and enhances the teamwork skills as well, which can be very useful in any jobs.

Last but not least, camping experience will also bring me new friends. What would be more interesting than sitting beside the campfire to take a sip of maple syrup, to share stories, exchange knowledge, hold each other’s hands and dance!

I want to say Thank-You to the International Centre for organizing such an amazing trip. I will definitely sign-up for it! 

Student Submission #2
So, long story short, I’m thrilled and stoked about this event so when I heard about the contest which would save me 225 bucks (yes it’s hard to manage finances if you’re a student) and enable myself to earn a ticket for me to a trip for which I’ve been waiting ever so long.
Camping has always been in my bucket list, so I would want to say a big PLEASE to the Humber community for allowing me to have this enriching and momentous trip with the new friends I make on my way, by giving me the free ticket!

Camping can take on many definitions. Camping to one person can mean seclusion in the middle of a forest, another individual might think camping as a motor home with all the amenities of their house; like in an RV. For me, I want go gaze the stars far away from the air and light pollution of a city; in the woods, along with some awesome company. When I heard my college is organizing a camping trip in Canada’s oldest provincial park, I wasn’t surprised because believe it or not, my PMPG batch-mates and I were thinking about organizing a trip in Algonquin Park.

Student Submission #3
My life always remain simple and under the pressure of studies. Last month, for the first time, I went on a trip with my college friends to a hill station and I enjoyed it a lot. Then, I realised the importance of trips in a student’s life. So, I also want to gain an experience of camping in my life.

Moreover, this is for the first time I am going to study in an international college. So, I want to make new friends with whom I could complete my studies in happy and pleasant environment because ‘a person can study even the most difficult subject easily if he/she has good friends in school/college, but a person who feels lonely and sad in his/her school/college will never get good marks in even a simple subject’.
In the end I want to tell you that I could adjust to live in any type of environment and I want to overcome my intrinsic behaviour. So, it will be a great opportunity for me and I don’t want to miss it. It will be the best start of my academic life in your college.

Monday, June 23, 2014

How to take a two-week vacation with only $150

By Emma Phan, Humber Stduent & International Centre Student Ambassador

Summer has arrived and many vacations and adventure are about to start! But when you're a student on a budget, travelling in Canada can be a challenge and we have to be creative. That's how I discovered Couchsurfing!

So, what is Couchsurfing?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, [couch-surf]: stay temporarily in other people’s homes, typically making use of improvised sleeping arrangements.

From backpackers’ perspective, Couchsurfing connects everyone on the globe by having hosts share their couch with strangers, encouraging travelers to share their culture and making communities stronger through language exchanges, dance classes or hikes.

That’s so dangerous! How can you trust a stranger?

We cannot deny that everything around the world is surprisingly connected. Couch-surfers call strangers friends you haven’t met yet.  Couchsurfing has provided many tools to help travelers protect themselves.

1. Everyone must create a detailed profile where they introduce themselves, places they have visited, talk about their hobbies and habits, such as smoking or sleepwalking. The writing style of the hosts can give surfers a lot of hints about their characteristics!
Couchsurfing hosts in Quebec. 

2. Experienced hosts will have tons of references written by other people. We all have different beliefs and have different likes and dislikes. Therefore, to ensure a happy couch-surfing experience, you should read all references to find the right fit for you.  

3. If you are still worried, send e-mails to people who have provided their references.

4. Your safety comes first. If you are a solo female traveler, it may be better to stay with other women or families. Also, GoogleMap the host’s address first to know how far it is to the city/town centre, the nearest bus station or grocery store.  

5. Nothing is perfect. If you find something wrong with your host or you just feel insecure, leave the house right away. Remember not to express your anxiety; keep calm, pack your belongings, call the taxi and be ready to leave. 

In my next post, I will share my unforgettable backpacking and couchsurfing experiences to Kingston,  Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec City - stay tuned!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Humber Hosts Vietnamese Delegation

By: Linda Chao, Manager - International Recruitment & Market Development, Humber College

Humber recently hosted a group of high school principals from Vietnam. Students from the Vietnamese Students’ Association, Humber faculty, and staff came together to honour this academic-cultural exchange. 

James Cullin, the Associate Dean at Humber's Business School, said, "It was very obvious to me that international students who have come to Humber from Vietnam are having a wonderful experience with us. In truth they sold the quality of the Humber education they are receiving with such a level of passion, that I found myself just standing back and letting them do all the talking."

Humber was proud to share insights into our polytechnic approach to post-secondary education. 

"The delegationhad never been on study tour to Canada before. Their visit to Humber represented a wonderful opportunity to highlight the value of polytechnic education we so expertly deliver here at Humber," said James.

The principals received a tour of Humber’s sprawling North Campus and a mouth-watering Vietnamese-Canadian-inspired dinner in the Seventh Semester. 

"We enjoyed the facilities tour and the chance to interact with Humber's Vietnamese students. Also thanks for the lovely dinner and video presentations - the group really enjoyed seeing your students in action.It is clear the delegation was impressed with what they learned in Canada which, of course, was a major objective of the visit," said the trip organizer. 

Events such as these reflect Humber’s cultural diversity and promote Humber’s global relationships.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Humber turns DC into "District of Canada"

Students interning at Canadian Embassy in Washington

By Sara Chappel, Senior Writer and Web Editor, Humber College
This article originally appeared on Humber Communiquè

Photo by Texas State Archives and Library Commission

The War of 1812 may be long over in Washington, but 200 years later, Humber is staging a mini-invasion of its own.

Two postgraduate students, Abby Greenbloom and Chelsey Mandaric, will be interning at the Canadian Embassy for the summer. Greenbloom, who is completing the Public Administration program, will be working with the assistant trade commissioner in the Commercial Policy and International Business Development sector.

“We’ll be working on developing ways to encourage Americans to pursue postsecondary education in Canada,” explains Greenbloom. “I’ll be helping to research how best to market Canadian schools to American students.”

Mandaric, who is currently finishing the postgrad Event Management program, will be working with the embassy’s Events Production team, and is looking forward to the fast-paced lifestyle.

“The embassy does two to five events per day, so I imagine my days will be very busy and full of excitement,” she says. “Washington’s always been a place I’ve been drawn to – and I cried with joy when I discovered that I’d gotten the internship.”

Both will be working in Washington until August.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Can-Am Fam 2014

Experience the best from three top post-secondary institutions.

Niagara University, Niagara College, and Humber College are organizing a complimentary familiarization tour from June 24-27 to experience that best that these three institutions have to offer to students who are pursuing post-secondary education. This tour is open to all American high school Counselors & Advisors!

Meals and accommodations will be provided for all tour attendees. Travel to and from Niagara University (Lewiston, New York) and Niagara College (Niagara, Ontario, Canada*) is the attendee's responsibility. A return bus service will be provided from Niagara College to Humber College (Toronto, Ontario, Canada*).

Sufficient time will be provided to experience the campuses, relax, enjoy, and get a feel for the schools and the cities they are located in.

Space is limited so please register by Friday, June 20. A detailed agenda will be circulated to all registrants in advance.

Click here to register.

The Vitals

What: Can-Am Fam 2014

When: June 24-27, 2014
Where: Niagara University (Lewiston, New York); Niagara College (Niagara, Ontario, Canada); Humber College (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

*Note: A valid passport is required to cross the border to Canada.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Study Abroad: Dominican Republic

By: Shivanie Mangal, Student, Humber College
(Shivanie joined the annual Alternative Spring Break trip in February 2014 to the Dominican Republic, organized by Student Success and Engagement) 
I was about seven-years-old when some Americans came to my village, Mon Repos, Guyana. I had never seen people who looked different than me. I was enthralled and in awe. When they came to my primary school, we played games, they taught us, and we sang together.

Outreach 360, Dominican Republic

After some days, they were gone. I was sad and missed them terribly, even though I had never learned their names. As I grew older, I knew that one day I would travel to another country and have a similar experience, only this time I would be at the opposite end teaching local children.

I wanted change in my life, and in 2011, I came to Humber College as an international student. It was scary and exciting all at the same time, leaving my old life and starting afresh in a big city where I had endless dreams. I know I made the right choice to come to Humber College, as I have done things I had never dreamed possible and discovered so many new and fascinating things about myself. Humber is simply my home, and I cherish every experience I have here, spending my days off from class in the library or working on campus. I am deeply involved on campus, and I love my academic program: Bachelor of Commerce-International Business.

I heard about Alternative Spring Break in 2013, but by the time I got around to getting more information on it, the deadline has passed. Incidentally, one of my classmates went, and I heard all about the trip that I missed. It was on my radar for the following year, and this time I got on the list to go. One of my classmates, Paul, signed up to go too. We were excited to go together.

Outreach 360, Dominican Republic

Speaking figuratively, the storm happened before I left. I had challenges around paying for my trip, studying for midterms, etc., and I was not even excited to go until I got on the plane destined for the Dominican Republic. It was Reading Week, and I studied on our layover and whilst I was in the Dominican Republic. During my time at Outreach 360, I bonded with the wonderful staff of the center, twelve new strangers from Humber College—representing all three campuses including the University of Guelph-Humber. I also got a chance to meet some cool and amazing people from the United States and people just like myself from Brock University, Algonquin College, the University of Western Ontario, and McMaster University. Through my journey in the Dominican Republic, Paul became my best friend.

When I was in the Dominican Republic, I also put what I’d learned during my classes in International Business to work such as Cross Cultural Communication and World Geography. On my way to the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, I saw a Coca-Cola sign on a makeshift shop with no one present on a deserted stretch of brick road, and I recalled my class on International Marketing on how major companies end up in small towns. With my background knowledge, I was able to figure out how this sign ended up in a deserted place in a rural community.

I learned so much about the local culture, its history, and respecting local customs and norms. I also ate amazing local food such as arepita de yuca and arepita de mais, not to mention fresh pineapples, watermelons and fried plaintains…. mmmm….those were so good.  One evening, I had a fun time in an amazing dance class of Bachata and Merengue. We sat under the stars each night doing our group reflections, never seeing each others’ faces in the pitch blackness of night. Everyone around me was talking about how grateful they were to be living in Canada as they saw the digital divide, poverty and locals making the most of what they have and finding ingenious ways of surviving in Monte Cristi. As I breathed in fresh night air and heard the donkeys and chickens in the distance, I knew it was not the same for me. I did not have to fly 1,804 miles from Canada to Hispaniola to be grateful. I live each day whether I am in the Dominican Republic, Canada, Guyana or wherever else being grateful for what I have. However, what I did take away from my time in the Dominican Republic was “vivir en el momento” or, in English,  “live in the moment!”

As I walked to the main town with my flip flops and bug spray on in the evening to get coconut ice cream from the Bon, the local children calling me “Americano! Americano!” I remember thinking, I am indeed living in the moment. This phrase resonated with me after I had to lead a small group activity on our first day in Monte Cristi. One of the crucial things I took away from my trip was how much I learned about myself in the process.

On the Wednesday after siesta, when we were trekking back to camp on foot for our half-hour walk to camp, I remember how upset I was. As I neared camp, a little girl in pig tails named Rudyisa came running and jumped straight into my arms and at that moment I remembered how happy I was to be where I was. I also recalled my seven-year-old self in that moment when the American group came to visit my school. Hiking El Morro on the last day was a challenge which I conquered. It was my first time hiking coupled with my fear of heights. With each step I took, I discovered new and interesting things about myself. As it was myself with my thoughts, I remember thinking…vivir en el momento!