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Vancouver Study Abroad Students Share Reflections

Vancouver Spring Break 2016 Faculty-Led Study Abroad Program, led by Prof. Renford Reese

For Spring Break 2016, Cal Poly Pomona students spent six days in Vancouver and two days in Victoria for an "alternative" Spring Break to study International Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). Participating students signed up for PLS 499: "International NGOs" in the Winter Quarter 2016, taught by Prof. Renford Reese. Students created their own nonprofit organizations and examined the missions of international NGOs such as Doctors Without Borders, MAP International, The Red Cross, The Salvation Army, World Vision, Habitat for Humanity, CARE, and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Please visit our website for more information about this Faculty-Led Study Abroad Program.

Vancouver Group

Vancouver Study Abroad Student Comments 2016

Traveling to Canada during Spring Break 2016 was simply an amazing experience that has inspired me to continue to be a global citizen who is passionate about volunteerism. Ultimately this trip has challenged and opened up a multitude of opportunities for me to continue to seek a global understanding of the world in helps of making me a better student and citizen. --Teaira Martin, Gender, Ethnicity, & Multicultural Studies Major


This trip was an amazing experience that has opened my eyes in so many different aspects of life. Traveling with Dr. Reese has inspired me to not limit myself and to actually get in the trenches and be the change I want to see. I definitely have the travel bug and am ready to travel the world and explore different cultures. --Adrienne Markham, Business Administration Major

Studying abroad in Vancouver and Victoria was an amazing experience because I met incredible people and was introduced to the most beautiful scenic landscapes I have ever seen. I come back to Cal Poly Pomona a motivated student seeking opportunities to get involved and looking forward to the next adventure. --Jennifer Bermudez, Political Science Major                   


My Vancouver experience was by far one of the best experiences of my life. This was my first time going on a plane and leaving the country. This trip was so much more than I expected and I most definitely now have the travel bug! --Jolie Savage, Sociology Major


The trip to Vancouver gave me wonderful insight on the type of non-profit work being done by people all over the world. While only meeting with a small number of Canada-based non-governmental organizations, the work they do is monumental because of the lives of the people and communities they have touched. Also, I am grateful to the city and people of Vancouver, BC, Canada for allowing our humble group to take in the city and all the wonderful sites, foods, people, and culture it has to offer.  --Amalia Macias, Architecture Major


I had the most amazing time in Vancouver! It was truly an extraordinary experience to tour a foreign city, meet locals, and study international non-profit organizations. I highly recommend future students to go on this incredible trip! --Emily Croucher, Agribusiness & Food Industry Management Major


This trip was an extraordinary experience. I was able to grow as a student and as an individual by being exposed to different international NGOs in a different country. We tend to overlook our neighboring countries, but there is so much we can learn form them at an academic and cultural level. --Edgar Herrera, Master’s in Public Administration Student


This trip has made me realize how unique the United States and Canada really are. On the surface things seem very similar but there are differences that set us apart. These similarities and differences have helped put things in perspective for me. --David Escobar, Political Science Major


The Study Abroad trip to Vancouver/Victoria was such an inspiring and necessary trip. During the trip, I was able to absorb information not only from the special guests and those who presented, but I was able to develop relationships and connections with the other students on campus that I feel will stand the tests of time...until we all go back. --Terry Monday, International Business Major


Canada is beautiful, clean and very green. My expectation was delivered with equal parts of education and adventure. I'm even more excited for my next trip. --Philicia Jenkins, Apparel Merchandizing & Management Major


It was my first time studying abroad and I was able to get a hands-on experience with my peer's and my professor. Studying non-profit organizations in class and being able to take the knowledge outside of the classroom and apply it in the real world allowed me to get practical experience. Dr. Reese was very thorough, he took the time to explain and expose us to nonprofits and even the Canadian culture during our trip. I would highly recommend this trip to everyone and specifically students who don't have time to study abroad for a whole quarter. --Christine Ghanimian, Political Science Major


Vancouver was one of the most beautiful cities I have experienced and it was my first time visiting another country. It provided a rewarding experience that I could never forget. The journey empowered you to want change the world. --Joseph Giles-Sullivan, Liberal Studies Major


The Vancouver trip was beneficial for me as I was able to learn more about non-governmental organizations while learning about the culture of Canada. Being able to participate in this trip made me more interested in the works of NGOs as I was able to experience these organizations and how they shape the world first-hand. The positives of these NGOs gave me hope for a better world. --Rafi Jahangiri, Political Science Major


The study abroad was truly an exceptional program learning of the similarities and differences in Canada compared to the United States. Learning about the struggles that Non Profit organizations go through to improve their cause. Through my experience on this trip I recommend others to be part of study abroad programs and traveling to learn about other cultures and grow as individuals. -- Jasmin Correa, Political Science Major


The Vancouver/Victoria trip was a phenomenal and dynamic experience, which certainly exceeded my expectations. It is not an everyday experience to meet founders of international non-governmental organizations and learn about their organizations and humanitarian work that they do on the front lines such as developing communities and providing resources that may not be attainable to them. Also, by attending this trip as a consumer of knowledge and with an open mind, I was able to learn how our neighboring country just north of the border has been able to implement policies to issues that are controversial in the U.S. This trip contributed to my self-growth and made me realize that "it's not expensive to change somebody's life, all it takes is the heart and willingness to wanting to change." --Sergio Maldonado, Psychology Major