Monday, August 31, 2015

Vitalii Starov - “My First Blog from Canada”

By: Vitalii Starov, Sports Management student at Humber College
This article originally appeared on i-studentglobal on July 21, 2015.

Vitalii has taken the long trip
 from the Ukraine to Canada
 to study Sport Management
 at Humber Institute of
Technology in Toronto.

Hello folks! My name is Vitalii Starov. I'm studying sports management at Humber. I am from Odessa, Ukraine, where I lived almost 17 years of my life. My native city is located in the south of Ukraine, at the coast of the Black Sea. It’s a beautiful city with amazing people, and I personally recommend you to visit it if you decide to go to Ukraine once.

“My name is Vitalii Starov...”

I have always been into learning foreign languages and meeting new people. I am that kind of person that cannot always be at the same place. I constantly have to move on, take risks, and do crazy things. I also used to have a lot of energy as a kid, so my parents decided that it was necessary for me to release this energy through sports. My parents insisted on me taking karate classes when I was five. I have done karate and other kinds of martial arts for 12 years. It started as hobby, but then it grew up into something big for me. I started doing it professionally and brought it to a competitive level. In my next blog post I will tell you about the biggest accomplishment in sports so far...

“I constantly have to move on, …”

Why did I chose Canada?

Career choices are hard for a teenager. You start thinking of different possibilities that you have and you feel the pressure of making an important decision in your life. Therefore, it was hard for me to decide which path to follow. Fortunately, I had my relatives who helped me with it. They advised me to study something that I loved, something that would make me happy, so I would be able to pursue the job of my dreams. That’s how I decided to study sports management.My Humber professor once said: “I have been in a sports industry for 40 years and I haven’t worked a single day. Do you know why - because I love my job.” That’s exactly how I want my life to be. I don’t want to work; I want to enjoy what I do.And honestly, I have always dreamed of living and studying abroad, especially in such an amazing city as Toronto. I fell in love with it as soon as I came to Canada.

“I have always dreamed of living and studying abroad, …”

My dream is to become a sports manager in a professional sports club. I want to be involved in the process of sport events organization. Moreover, I would love to work with professional athletes and try myself in coaching. You never know where you can succeed.

Canadian life for a Ukrainian

I will lie to you if I say that it was easy for me to settle down in Canada. It was hard to get used to new culture, new mentality and new people. Life in Canada is very different from my previous life in Ukraine. That’s why I needed a couple of months to get adjusted to everything. However, I was happy to meet a lot of interesting people and to make so many friends that I haven’t felt lonely yet. My life has changed drastically since I came to Canada. It’s more intensive, more interesting and more diverse if I can say that. I told myself that I would try to overcome my fears once I am in Canada. What kind of fears and how did I overcome them? I will write about it in my next posts…

“… I haven’t felt lonely yet.”
Thank you for reading! I am really happy and excited to share my thoughts and emotions with you. Take care!

“Thank you for reading!”

Read more blogs from international students at Humber here 

Monday, August 24, 2015

“Hating Goodbyes - My Pessimistic Side Takes Over!”


Baneen has travelled
from Dubai, UAE
to study a Design
Foundation Programme
at Humber Institute of
Technology and
Advanced Learning.

Goodbye represents the end of something. It can be amazing if you are saying goodbye to anything negative or sad, like saying goodbye to hot summers or saying goodbye to difficult times. However, goodbyes are so much sadder when you have to give up good times or something that you enjoyed having.
I hated saying goodbye to my family back in Dubai, even though I knew it wasn’t the last time I would see them. I hated leaving my friends after all the time we spent together. Now that I think about it, it wasn’t only because I had grown to care about these people, but it was also because I felt safe and calm around them. I felt like no matter what these people saw me do, they already know the real me so I don’t have to be on guard and watch my words.

Now, because of my own stubbornness, I am in a relatively strange place and have been trying to connect with other like-minded people. So you can imagine my disappointment when I grew close to someone, only to have to let them go at the end of our year together.

“… trying to connect with other like-minded people.”

“good memories”

I liked my class and classmates. In design, your creativity and talent are your biggest assets. The people in my class were not a bunch of snobs who thought they were too good for others. I was friends with people who were amazing at their work, yet so humble that they were willing to tutor me into improving. I am the kind of person who likes to put in all of my efforts in everything academic. I am very competitive and it bothers me if I am not the best at anything I do.

“… I liked my class and classmates.”

“... your creativity and talent are your biggest assets ...”

Design classes grinded my gears because I really wasn’t the best. It wasn’t typical studying, you were either creative or you were average. I was average, and had this notion in my mind that I cannot improve just based on hard work. I started neglecting the work altogether and wanted to give up on the program. That is, until my more than average friends started teaching me ways to improve. They taught that in design, time management, patience and research are the key. I could not procrastinate when it came to doing projects and I should not expect my brain to come up with creative ideas if I never feed it any creativity from other sources. So I started looking at ideas and creative ways of doing things on the internet. I started seeing my surroundings with the eyes of a critical designer instead of just an ordinary individual. I started managing my time better. I improved not only academically; I also improved in my personal life. Time management helped me juggle my school, work and family life. I got less depressed and looked forward to the challenges.
After going through all of that, there is certain bond you form with your friends. Now, on the last day of the semester, the last day in Design Foundation, I had to say goodbye to all these amazing, fun and supportive people; this is what I hate doing. Of course we promise to stay in contact and get together, but everyone knows it won’t be the same.
The sad part is that it is not just the friends that I didn’t want to say goodbye to, it was also my teachers. They were these incredibly fun, full of life people who treated us with courtesy, respect but also like friends. I wasn’t afraid to talk to my teachers, tease them and often share my concerns, academic or personal, with them.

“… it is not just the friends that I didn’t want to say goodbye to …”

I told one of my professors about how I hate saying goodbye and he told me something so simple yet so very meaningful. He said, “Don’t think of it as the end, think of it as a new beginning.” Being a tad bit pessimistic, I tend to concentrate on all the negative things. It was nice to see a silver lining amidst all the depressing things. So, I decided to hang on to my friends and stay connected with my professors, even if it is just through Facebook. I also decided to be a little less pessimistic and a little more happy and excited for the future.

“I told one of my professors about how I hate saying goodbye …”

So, if you are having the holiday blues (is that even a thing?), don’t worry. Every time something ends, another thing begins. Enjoy your holidays; keep in touch with your friends and most of all, be happy no matter how many goodbyes come your way!
Read more about Baneen's time at Humber here

Monday, August 17, 2015

Humber Goes Global: Katie in Europe

Between January and February 2015, Katie Csordas completed Humber’s 4th Semester in Europe program, available to students in the School of Hospitality, Recreation, and Tourism.

This post contains selections from Katie’s blog: 


After what feels like a decade of projects, lessons, essays and exams I have finally arrived in Strasbourg, France.. Europe’s Capital!  where I will be completing my fourth and final semester of my program Tourism Hospitality Management  - Event Planning.
Being in Strasbourg still feels so surreal as I have been dreaming and  hoping of coming on the Study Abroad Europe trip since my first week of college last year when the opportunity was presented to myself and my classmates by many professors. Since my first week of college it has always been in my mind that I would go on this trip. I told myself I will and well, here I am sitting in Europe typing away on my computer reminiscing  about all of the amazing things and opportunities I have completed so far and my exciting future ahead of me.
Travelling + Event Planning = Dream Job .. I think i’m on the right track here :)  


Well today I ate enough chocolate for any sane person to last a lifetime … my friend and I officially got the title “the candy girls” just a few short weeks ago, but I may officially be candied out. 
A few of us payed a visit to Patisserie Christian, a luxury cafe and chocolatier in our little town of Strasbourg, France. I could smell the sweetness before I turned the corner to find what looked and tasted like the fanciest patisserie in France. We were given passionate lessons (and of course samples) about twenty chocolates from around the world from rich dark chocolate to sweet and milky.
Christophe, a chocolate connaisseur spoke to us about his world and knowledge of chocolates, showing us the true art to creating luxury chocolates. Through his French accent and the classic European hand talking it was clear right away that he is a chocolate genius and a well established entrepreneur. I love the passion that shines through someones voice when they truly love what they do, this isn’t hard to find in hidden gems you may come across if you ever get the chance to explore Europe.


In a few short days it will mark three months since I have been back home in Canada. My last week was spent tearfully saying goodbye to Strasbourg and the Chateau then we took off road tripping through Beaune, Reims, Dijon and the lovely Paris. It was a busy and perfect way to say goodbye to my new love, I call it, Europe :) it just has my heart … 
I constantly and will forever look back on the experience I got studying abroad and how I got to spend many moments of free time in various parts of Europe. It is unbelievable the opportunity I was given. Even though the months I was away flew by and I wish I could have stayed longer, I am grateful for how long I was there for. These opportunities don’t come often for everyone, but if they do.. make sure you grab them, travelling, opportunities, experiences .. they’re oh so good for the soul my friends. 
Coming home from the adventure of a lifetime was bittersweet and strange. Life has not slowed down since i’ve been back and I don’t think it will for a while, but i’m okay with that. Between starting my new event planning job and simply settling back into home life, coming back to the great and the not so great, I find myself reminiscing back to Europe often. 
Each and every time I travel I find myself saying and feeling as if i’m in a different world, on a new earth. I have found it to be a great mind set while travelling. Act as if your in a whole new world, live in those exact new moments and take in every little thing among the way, if it amazes you or not. Be present in your current world no matter where you may be, home or far away. (but make sure you visit Europe– it won’t disappoint) 
Needless to say… 
I can’t wait to return 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Humber Goes Global: Anthony in Finland & Guatemala

Name: Anthony Nguyen
Year of Study: 3rd

My name is Anthony Nguyen and I'm going into my third year of the Child and Youth Care program. I wanted to go abroad so that I could travel and study at the same time. I had an amazing experience while studying abroad at JAMK University in Jyvaskyla, Finland and I actually decided to take the program a second time. It was interesting to take courses that are not offered at Humber like Creativity Management, Russian Language, and Nordic Business. The program was short and it was awesome to earn two credits in three weeks. 

On the weekends, I did not have school and was able to travel around Europe. I met so many people from around the world and I now have many global friends. Going abroad has definitely changed me as a person. I am more culturally aware and I am also able to do better academically during the school year with less courses. 

This summer I also went on Humber's community development trip to Guatemala. This trip was life changing and was the ideal way to earn field placement hours. The days are jam packed and I was able to work in local communities, and at a school. I was able to make many connections with local students and I learned so much. I learned about genocide and visited many impactful sights in Guatemala. I also watched as an organization weighted and measured children. This organization focused on malnutrition and it was amazing to see their work. Overall, I think that every student should go abroad. 

I will only go to college once so I think it's important to take full advantage of the opportunities that Humber has.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Humber Goes Global: Lucas in Ireland & Ghana

Name: Lucas Alexandre
Year of Study: 4th

My name is Lucas Alexandre and I am a fourth year student at Humber College studying in the Criminal Justice Degree Program. This past year I had the fantastic opportunity of being able to travel not once but twice through my program at Humber. In May of 2014 I travelled to Ghana, Africa for just over 3 weeks to complete a placement for my program. Also, in September of 2014 I travelled to Waterford, Ireland where I spent 4 months as an exchange student studying at Waterford Institute of Technology.

Upon starting my second year at Humber as is required by the program all students had to complete an 8 week placement in order to be eligible to graduate. During our placement orientation in September of that year, our program coordinator Gerry Small was discussing all of the opportunities we could pursue for our placement, and I remember him giving the group a brief description of an opportunity to travel abroad as a placement opportunity. That teaser was all I needed to convince me that whatever this mystery travelling placement opportunity was; it was what I wanted to do! Upon receiving more information on the nature of the placement and going through the preparation process for this opportunity I was head over heels excited for what was to come!

Oddly enough the opportunity to study in Waterford only ever materialized because of the orientation that occurred with the international office to prepare the students for our trip to Africa. So yes when it rains it pours with opportunities!

The reason why I took these opportunities to begin with were honestly because I’m not getting any younger and the responsibilities I have are only going to become more and more time consuming. I looked at the situation from the perspective that if I didn't take the opportunity when the timing could not be better than I would probably never do it at all!

I was fortunate that through the placement in Africa I met Akbar whom was another student in my program who was going on the trip as well. Up to that point we had never spoke…honestly probably never even made eye contact with each other, but this trip ended up helping us to become close friends and in the end even decide to study in Ireland together!

Highlights…well I guess I could type until my hands cramp up or the battery dies on my computer because there were no shortage of highlights! Due to the nature of the both opportunities and environments being so incredibly different, the highlights in both places were very contrasting in that they were brought upon in different ways and situations, but none-the-less they still evoked such similar emotions.

was incredible! The community accepted us instantly and made us feel like we had been part of the community forever! Working with the community to help complete the construction of the library was a treat in itself in that we would work with the children and various members of the community to help take an empty building and allow it flourish!

Some days during our down time when we had all the children in the community hanging out with us, we would take them all to the middle of the community and would all play soccer together in the field. Between the fun we had playing with them, the fun the people who were watching us play were having and the very positive vibe that was present, it was better than anything that a Toronto FC game could ever create!

For a few days in the middle of our the stay in Ghana our group travelled around various places in the country and visited a few gorgeous historic sites, witnessed some beautiful scenery and truly received the opportunity to take in the whole experience we were enduring to its fullest!

A funny thing happened during our trip that made the whole experience a lot more enjoyable as well. By about day 3 of living together and spending our entire day with each other, you would have believed we had known each other for our entire lives by how close we had gotten! For example, one afternoon during some of our down time we decided to orchestrate a mock wedding between a few of the members of our group! (If you need any tips on how to have a great wedding and not spend $50,000, then I think I can help!) On our long drives while we travelled, our whole bus would rock out to some of the local music that was playing, and even one night during one of our stays at a hotel we had a dance off for the whole group and everyone who was staying at that hotel to enjoy!

Now Ireland gets to step up to the plate. Ireland provided me with a boatload of great memories and highlights as well. I was fortunate enough to travel throughout all of Ireland while I was there and I must say the country is absolutely beautiful and provides some of the best scenery both from a geographical and a historical sites perspective. The people I met while I was there were so receptive just like in Ghana. The made us feel like we had gone to the schools there and lived in the country our entire lives. Waterford Institute of Technology took good care of us throughout the whole semester and provided us with great professors and a very productive learning environment in order to succeed.

An interesting highlight, which occurred throughout the semester, was that with being gone for so long was that it really did help me to grow as a person. I began to truly learn how independent I am and that I didn’t require anyone to look over my shoulder and be there to clean up my mess or take care of me. For example, I have always been a foodie but while abroad I realized that I love to cook and that I actually was quite good at it! My personal growth over the four months I believe really did strengthen my abilities to enjoy the trip that much more!

While both trips were life changing opportunities and occurrences in my life that I will never forget, it was not smooth sailing the entire time. During both trips, I did have times where I became home sick and wished I could have a mini five minute break and just be back home with what I was used to and comfortable with. Also, watching my finances was another task that occasionally became taxing, as I had to ensure that I didn’t go out too hot too quickly and burn through all the money I had spent a lot of long hours working to save for this trip in the first place.

Ultimately though, looking at both trips from a general sense, I have to say that what it has done for me in terms of appreciating the growth as an individual and the sense of appreciation it has provided me for how fortunate I am to both have an opportunity such as I did to travel to such wonderful places were second to none. If I were to relive the past year, I would absolutely live it the exact same way!

Having opportunities to travel in the circumstances that I had, I believe will only benefit me in my future endeavours. Spending time this year receiving an opportunity to see new places in the world and learn new cultures only made me crave the opportunity to want to broaden my experiences with more diverse cultures as I carry on in my professional and personal life. A career which would involve travelling to different countries or working on a national or global perspective would absolutely be something that I would consider especially after the experiences I was able to enjoy this year.

For the future students of Humber who may be considering travelling abroad during their academic careers, I want to be an individual who they can turn to if they would like to discuss anything on their minds about an opportunity such as this, even if it is something that is extremely minor. I would like to do this because at the end of the day an opportunity such as this one is a massive deal and when it comes to making a decision, having supports to aid in that process will only make it all more enjoyable and significantly easier!

For anyone who is considering travelling abroad let me tell you this…these opportunities do not come knocking on your door everyday, and if you've taken the time to read through everything I’ve had to say then you are likely interested in an opportunity such as this one! If you are considering travelling abroad, TAKE IT because at the end of it all what you get out of it are experiences and memories that no other situation could fabricate for you! I really am not a big fan of the silly sayings that a lot of people use but for a once in a situation such as this, there is absolutely one silly saying that works perfectly to help you when deciding whether or not to take advantage of a travel abroad opportunity and that is YO-LO! You absolutely only live once, so if an opportunity like this finds its way into your life, it works for your situation, and you are interested in going, then go! 

Now stop reading what I’m telling you and go start planning your trip and packing your suitcase!