Monday, September 15, 2014

Humber Goes Global: Ana and Katey in Kenya

In April/May 2014, Humber faculty member Dr. Ryan Snider led a group of four students from the Bachelor of Commerce in Hospitality and Tourism Management program to Kenya to conduct tourism research related to socially responsible safaris and the indigenous Maasai people. The students gained experience completing field surveys, analyzing, and reporting on data.


Q&A with Ana Pinheiro, Student, Humber College

Program: Bachelor of Commerce – Hospitality and Tourism Management

Year of Study: Year 4 (2014-2015)

What was your motivation for taking part in this research project abroad?
This trip was an opportunity I never would have imagined I'd get to do, something way out of my comfort zone but also something I knew I could not pass up.




What were some of your favourite moments?
As a big animal lover, I found the game drives through the Maasai Mara National Reserve to be one of my favorite things to do while on our trip. Seeing the lions, zebras, elephants and giraffes in their natural environment (including the breathtaking sunsets and landscapes) was truly a unique experience.

     




What did you value about the research?
For me, the most interesting aspect was meeting all the different candidates, who were from so many different parts in the world, and seeing their interest in our research. Because I entered a lot of the research data myself, I found it evident that a lot of our candidates had very similar experiences during their visits to the Maasai village. 


How has going abroad helped you grow as a person? How do you think going abroad has/will help shape your future career?
The trip has helped me be more open to opportunities I may have not considered in the past, especially in terms of job opportunities out of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) or even abroad.


What advice do you have for students thinking about going abroad?


Do it for yourself; don't let others influence your decision to go or not. Make a plan/goal for yourself: for example, raising the money for the trip and giving yourself a deadline to decide. I knew this research trip was something I wanted to do on my own and therefore planned to work all throughout winter break to raise money and have the full amount ready by the end of January. 

I would also suggest getting informed about the country you are traveling to; know some of the language, customs, traditions, climate, etc., so that you are not shocked or unprepared when you arrive.

And, lastly, enjoy every bit of the experience, because it will be an experience you will carry with you for the rest of your life.


Q&A with Katey Ishikawa, Student, Humber College
Program: Bachelor of Commerce – Hospitality and Tourism Management
Year of Study: Year 4 (2014-2015)

What was your motivation for taking part in this research project abroad?
One of my goals in life is to travel to as many countries in the world, and the opportunity to explore Kenya was there. I want to learn about and experience new cultures firsthand. I also felt it would be a good opportunity to go with someone who's knowledgeable of Kenya (Ryan Snider).


What were some of the highlights?
 Learning about the Maasai traditions and how they live on a day-to-day basis. I have a lot of respect for Maasai women. Being able to carry their wood down the mountain is impressive. 

Seeing all the animals and getting so close to them allowed me to feel excited and amazed as well as fear at the same time. For example, nowhere else could I walk four feet away from a giraffe in its own habitat. Seeing them in the zoo is nothing compared to seeing them in the wild. The lionesses were also very impressive. It was really exciting when I spotted an albino baboon in the wild, which is really rare.

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What advice do you have for students thinking about going abroad?
Just one word: “Go.” If the opportunity arises, don’t hesitate. Some people told me not to go to Kenya because it could have interfered with my paid work term away from school, but I’m glad I didn’t listen to them. Traveling the world is an opportunity of a lifetime, and not everyone is lucky enough to have that chance. Watching documentaries on television is not the same as being there and experiencing the heat, the smells, and sounds and just being able to embrace it all. 








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