More than 100 Niagara College students became more world- and work-ready this past winter as part of NC’s Be World Ready (BWR) 2019 Winter International Field Study (IFS) trips. All trips took place between February 23 and March 3.
Peru Leadership Exploration and Development (LEAD): Leadership and Youth in Action
Nine NC students further developed their leadership skills while experiencing Peru’s rich history and natural wonders. “I am deeply honoured and humbled to have seen Peru in the light that I did,” said third-year Business Administration – Accounting student, Shannor Wright, who is originally from Jamaica. “I have seen leaders born out of adversities, building a community from an empty land filled with sand; a renowned star transcending his talents to ensure Peruvian youths have a future and are not in gangs; leaders training students, and their competition, to become leaders without an ounce of jealousy. This trip has humbled me to not just strive to be a global leader wanting to be at the top, but to instead work towards influencing an epidemic effect where other global leaders are born.” This trip marked the first IFS partnership with NC’s (LEAD) program through the College’s Centre for Student Engagement and Leadership (CSEL). “It was life changing to immerse myself into such a rich culture and history that taught me to build a life with the resources I currently have and to live a fulfilled life not just looking through the windshield, but checking the rear-view mirror to see who you are leading and to where you are leading them to,” said Wright.
Ecuador: Me to We
Twenty students from the School of Justice Studies learned more about conservation and rural development challenges during an IFS trip to Ecuador, working on a grassroots community-building project with Me to We and helping to remove barriers to education for youth. Joel De Almeida, second-year Protection, Security and Investigation student shared that this was his second IFS trip. “BWR’s IFS trips provide you with a new world view that feeds your inner explorer and allows you to pay forward to the world in the best way,” said De Almeida. “These trips have never failed to amaze me from beginning to end with the plane rides, bus rides, new countries, beautiful mountains and majestic new cultures you are able to integrate with.”
Los Cacaos, Dominican Republic
Fifteen students from NC’s Greenhouse Technician, Landscape Technician and Horticulture Technician programs gained exposure to the Dominican Republic’s fair-trade coffee production, greenhouse production and environmentally sustainable growing methods. A main component of this trip was the construction of a steel framed greenhouse. “All of the smiles shared and good memories made me realize that trying new things is always good,” said second-year Tourism Management and Business Development student, Alison Uribe Garcia. She explained how being a translator on the trip helped her to realize that she would like to become a tour guide translator after graduation. “I have always loved meeting new people and becoming culturally engaged by learning more about other cultures. I strongly encourage students to take the opportunity to travel with BWR and not to be afraid of going alone, take a risk.”
Costa Rica: Environmental Studies
A group of nine Environmental Studies students learned about Costa Rica’s natural environment, and how its unique wildlife and ecosystems are preserved. “During my IFS I was able to contribute to a beach cleanup and create an organic farm at an elementary school while being immersed in the amazing culture and diverse wildlife Costa Rica has to offer,” shared Nancy Kessler who is studying in NC’s Environmental Management and Assessment graduate program. “I gained a better understanding of the reason and importance of preserving the rich plant and wildlife we have, which reinforced what I have been learning about in the classroom. These memories and lessons from my trip to Costa Rica will stick with me and help to guide my decisions moving forward.”
Costa Rica: Hospitality and Tourism
Seventeen NC students learned best practices among mass tourism operators in Costa Rica, including spa, food and beverage, and hospitality and tourism. Facing and overcoming personal challenges was the most memorable theme of the trip to the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Sport professor, Agnes Nowaczek, PhD, who led the IFS trip as many students were facing experiences for the first time. “Students faced their personal fears and misconceptions to embrace new experiences,” said Nowaczek. “It was the most inspiring place for me to observe their personal transformations near the end of our trip, making them not only more knowledgeable and experienced within their profession, but coming out as more well-rounded and kind individuals.”
New York City: From NC to NYC
More than 30 students from various schools of study became visited New York City for a cultural experience. Students went to New York’s most iconic locations including Times Square and explored world-renowned museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “Being an international student, the IFS trip to NYC provided me with the delightful opportunity to visit the United States,” said third-year Graphic Design student, Keshan Mullings, who is from the Bahamas. “I have a newly found respect for culture whether it be the culture of music, people, food and most definitely art and design. My experience in New York has given me a wider lens of viewing the world and through that lens I see culture, diversity in creativity and the beauty that history has created.”
For more information about Niagara College’s Be World Ready program, visit www.beworldready.ca/