In celebration of International Education Week (#IEW), the Student Center Photo Contest is now open! Vote NOW!
The following ten finalists have been chosen and the photo with the most votes will be selected and awarded 250CAD on November 21, 2014. Good luck to all finalists!!
1) Read through the photos and captions below
2) Vote for the photo that best captures the international experience here!
3) Tell your friends!
Alessandra de Souza, Carleton University :The dream of studying abroad for many of us was just a dream for a long time until the moment when we finally had the chance to come and see it all coming true. We learnt (and are still learning) how much diversity this world has, how many languages we speak, how many ways we can support each other, because we are in the same boat. Certainly, we will never forget those people who cared about us, who helped us when the language was a challenge, when the food tasted so exotic, when winter came, away from our country but feeling as we were at home… Canada is an amazing place to study and live. Our minds will never be the same again.
Cassandre Ville, Université de Montréal:À quelques heures de Bishkek, la capitale du Kyrgyzstan, les nomades passent l’été dans les pâturages en haute altitude avant de quitter leurs yourtes pour passer l’hiver aux villages. Étudier à l’American University of Central Asia, ce n’est pas seulement avoir l’opportunité de bénéficier d’une éducation de qualité et de la vie universitaire, mais c’est aussi découvrir la culture de nos camarades de classes et les paysages montagneux dans lesquels ils ont grandi. Toutes ces découvertes viennent enrichir mes connaissances et réflexions en anthropologie, mon domaine d’étude. Mes études précédentes au Canada me permettent d’appréhender ce nouvel environnement avec intérêt, respect et patience. En plus d’être une expérience valorisante pour mon cursus scolaire, c’est aussi un apprentissage personnel très enrichissant et épanouissant. Cette expérience est également un défi à relever puisqu’il faut s’adapter à toutes ces nouveautés. Cela me donne confiance en moi et je me sens déterminée à réaliser mes nouveaux projets.
Claudia Gamache, Université de Laval :Un échange étudiant signifie nécessairement de nouvelles rencontres, nouveaux amis. Ici, à Moscou, lors d’une balade en fin d’après-midi, je m’amusais à faire un shooting photo plutôt amateur avec mes deux nouvelles amies. La meilleure photo de la journée aura été celle que je vous présente maintenant; deux filles, d’origine différentes, de cultures différentes, de convictions différentes, réunies au même endroit, s’enlaçant et souriant, bien heureuses de s’être rencontrées lors d’un échange étudiant en Russie. La chose qui les liait le plus; leur différences et leur amour de la langue russe. C’est deux filles auront été mes deux meilleures amies lors de mon séjour à l’étranger.
Eisa Alhabib, University of Calgary: This photo was taken at Chira Island, Costa Rica in April 2014 at a rural elementary school. Volunteering with the ucalgarycares program for a community-based learning experience was truly the best experience I have ever had in my life. I come from Kuwait, known to be a very wealthy Middle Eastern country that produces 9% of the world’s oil reserves. When in Costa Rica, I had stayed for almost two weeks living with a host family and to be able to share their everyday routines of having rice and beans for breakfast and fishing as a source of money, I thought to myself that I have to start learning how to appreciate the life that I live. Meeting the kids at the elementary school was the highlight of my experience. Their smiles never left their faces and to have what we call “so little” yet be very satisfied with their lives is something to really think about. We got to help them by mixing cement and creating an assembly area for the school. I learned that permanent happiness comes from satisfaction and helping others, not with having more. This will not be the last time I travel abroad to volunteer.
Joanita N. Muwanga, Ryerson University:I’m still asked regularly how I enjoyed my time as a student at Nanyang Technological Institute in Singapore. My exchange experience was both educationally enriching and spiritually rewarding. With nothing going as planned, I was constantly thrown into situations that forced me to think quick on my toes and experience my challenges with a positive attitude and vacuous adventure. From culture shock to language barriers and unanticipated no longer offered classes, I was forced to mature…and rather quickly. I travelled to six different nations: The Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, Singapore, and China. When asked what my most memorable experience I’ve been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to visit the Mutianyu Section of The Great Wall Of China. In the African-Canadian community, we have a saying: “Big ups to the Most High.” The Most High is defined as a feeling of complete euphoria or feeling “high” in a spiritually connected presence of love. Crawling, walking and trekking, because let me tell you it’s not at all easy, the Great Wall of China is one of the most surreal things I have ever done!
Manoel Marcelino de Sa Junior, University of Toronto: As a Science without Borders student, the opportunity to study in Canada has brought changes to my life in a way that I never imagined to be possible. In this brief period, I passed through unique experiences both on campus and off campus that has built in me into a new person. Every person that I’ve met was like a river of chances to discover a new perspective on life, as well as an opportunity to share my culture, and to learn about theirs. In the same way, the places I visited showed me how big, different and beautiful the world is. Each road has led me to gorgeous natural beauty spots like Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia, calm places that make us think that this world worth the effort to keep it exactly as it is: a natural paradise.
Mathilde Largepret, Université de Montréal:« Advance the militant women’s movement », telle est la devise de l’association GABRIELA. Dans le cadre d’un baccalauréat en Coopération internationale fraîchement créé en Belgique, j’ai eu l’occasion de partir en stage aux Philippines. Deux mois passés au cœur d’un mouvement social et des luttes qui l’animent ont donné un tournant décisif au choix de mon futur. Avant tout, GABRIELA se bat pour le respect des droits des femmes et contre les violences qu’elles subissent. Des manifestations – comme la photo le laisse entrevoir, des rencontres avec des victimes et de l’action sur le terrain ont renforcé mon sens de l’engagement. Mais plus encore, cette expérience de l’éducation internationale m’a permis de trouver l’orientation qui me convient. C’est dans cette perspective que j’entreprends une maîtrise en démographie, le tout axé sur la santé reproductive et le « droit à disposer de son corps ». Actuellement, j’ai la chance d’approfondir cette thématique en suivant des cours à l’Université de Montréal grâce au programme Mercator et de goûter une nouvelle fois aux plaisirs et aux bénéfices de l’éducation internationale.
Melissa Crichton, Langara College :This is the India I Love/ We have gathered here, each for our own personal and professional reasons/Eight nursing students and two nursing instructors/We have formed a semi-functional, quirky family in this foreign land/Once strangers, now bonded together by our common experiences on this path of learning and growth/ I have recognized familiar feelings in the hearts of the Indian people/Cultural barriers are no obstacle for these/Pride at the birth of a baby/ Worry in the eyes of a sick child’s parent,Joy while dancing in the sunshine/ Busy days teaching and treating the community/Where school children gave us the gift of song with their beautiful voices/Heart connections with only a smile and the sparkle of an eye/Their small, cold hands took ours in trust/ Connection with others, not by in-depth conversations, but with dancing and laughing/Fleeting moments we must not wish away, for one day we will look upon this time and fondly smile/We will yearn for the colours, the flavours, the sounds /This is the India I love.
Risha Vithlani, University of Windsor: From Tanzanian Student to Global Citizen : My Transformation.When I came to Canada to study all the way from Africa, I had no idea what a multicultural society I would have the opportunity to be a part of. Studying in Canada exposed me to many cultures in a very short span of time, and I made lifelong friends and learnt things that I would have had to travel the entire globe to do. Performing in a Chinese Dragon Dance in the Annual University of Windsor Celebration of Nations will always be one of my fondest memories! Studying in Canada has enhanced my cultural awareness and my ability to work well in diverse teams; for example, in my final year project I worked on a team with people from four different countries. The skills I learnt transfer seamlessly to today’s global workplace, where I need to communicate with people from all over the world – in a manner that is courteous in their respective cultures.
Yang Meng, Centennial College: I travelled to France for an exchange program with Centennial College during the summer of 2014. The whole journey was awesome and unforgettable. While travelling in Loire Valley, I learnt about the French Renaissance. The Chateau d’ Amboise was built by King Francois I, who was regarded as the leader of Renaissance of France. During that time (14th A.D.-15th A.D.), which also be regarded as House of Valois, the winds of change spurred by the Renaissance came from Italy to France. Walking in the castle, I can feel all the elements of that time. When I sat down between two workers from the castle, I felt like becoming one of the people from the 15th century.