While many classes have finished, learning opportunities certainly didn’t stop this summer at Humber. The college welcomed 159 participants to Humber’s inaugural Global Summer School program, offering eight academic courses for both domestic and visiting students during the month of July. Supported by all six academic faculties, the courses allowed educators and students from around the globe to engage in experiential, project-based courses for academic credit while experiencing all that Toronto has to offer.
Eighty-four Humber students from 31 unique programs across the college joined 75 visiting students and educators from more than 20 countries in the classroom and beyond, taking part in a full calendar that combined academic coursework with organized events that included community/industry visits and sociocultural trips such as a boat cruise along the Toronto Harbourfront. For many visiting students and educators, this was their first trip to Canada.
Marc Bryan Pacheco Punan, a visiting student from Far Eastern University in the Philippines, enrolled in the Systemic Design for Social Innovation course. “It’s been an eye-opening experience,” he said. “It’s kind of a new and different course, and challenges you to look at things from multiple perspectives,” he explained. “You’re immersed with people from different backgrounds and cultures, so you’re not limited to look at things in the way you always have. You’re open to other ways of solving problems.”
He traveled to Canada with Clarice Jane Gerona, who also enrolled in the Systemic Design course. Gerona says they’re excited to bring back new ideas to their university. “We cherish every moment here in Canada, especially here at Humber,” she said. “[Being at] Humber College is a rare opportunity for us to collaborate and get new ideas to improve and enhance the system in our university. It’s a great avenue for us.” Both Gerona and Punan are looking forward to returning to Canada, too. “We want to study here when we graduate our Bachelor program,” she said.
Rose Marie Headley-Smith enrolled in the Teaching Effectiveness Certificate. Visiting Humber from one of Humber’s partner institutions, University of Technology Jamaica, Headley-Smith says her experience at Humber has been incredibly valuable. “It has been a rich experience, especially looking at digital modes we can introduce to the classroom,” she said. An educator herself for nearly thirty years, she says spending time at Humber has warmed her heart. “Here at Humber, you ask a question and someone wants to know, do you have any more questions?” she said. “There’s a culture of, ‘we want to help.’”
In her remarks at the Summer School’s closing ceremony on July 26, Rebecca Fitzgerald, Humber’s Associate Director for International Mobility and Partnership, thanked students for all they have brought to the classroom. “The faculty have each said it was just as much a learning experience for them as it was for you, as the participants,” Fitzgerald told the graduating students. “We’ve learned so much from the diverse perspectives and energy that you brought to Humber.”
Humber professor Naeema Farooqi agrees. Farooqi is passionate about teaching the Social Media course in the summer school program, which boasted the largest enrollment with nearly 50 Humber and visiting students. “It’s an amazing opportunity for not only international students, but our domestic students as well. It’s so important in a global economy to cross-pollinate, make these connections, and network,” she said. Her lived experience pursuing international education makes her uniquely suited to be a part of the Summer School program. “This experience gives you those transferrable skills that make you a global citizen. You can relate to more people,” she explained. Teaching the course this summer has left her inspired. “With programs like this, we bring the world to our Humber students.”