Last month, I had the good fortune of joining Zoran Kondali and Jim Bate in South America. The three of us led a mission to Peru, Ecuador and Columbia working closely with existing partnering institutions and colleges to find synergies for the NSCC Tourism and Culinary programs. This is part of an ongoing initiative to encourage international students to come to Nova Scotia and take part in our programs. Having International students enriches the experience for students, faculty and administration. Learning about other countries and cultures brings new perspectives and experiences to all. I was very pleased to welcome four Peruvian students to the Tourism and Culinary programs at Akerley this academic year.
We spent the majority of our time in Peru meeting with partner institutions, getting to know their faculty and viewing their facilities. It was amazing to see how the famous Peruvian hospitality would translate to the classroom and curriculum. Our partners were quick to engage our enthusiasm for their food and culture, teaching us the art of their craft in the short period we were together. We were so lucky to experience Peruvian cuisine, working with local personalities who helped prepare some of the most current and historical dishes that have garnered Peru their fabulous culinary reputation. Our partners were overjoyed at how we were keen to try and learn about each cultural offering they planned day and night.
After Peru, we travelled to Guayaquil, Ecuador where we visited with UEES, ECOTEC and the Canadian Embassy. Due to an air travel delay, we had to pack our entire visit into one day, a challenge, but also an amazing experience. While touring the facilities we met with many of the school leaders, including the Director Escuela Gastronomia Francisco Vintimilla at UEES. We engaged in great conversation about future faculty and student exchanges, as we align very much in our school of thought around teaching and learning. We look forward to presenting these opportunities to both faculty and students when the details are complete. Our day concluded in Guayaquil with a tour of the brand new Universidad Ecotec campus, this was a climatic finish to a long hot day meeting with Rector Dr. Fidel Sanchez, Jihna Gavilanes, and Dr. Jorge Luis Macchiavello.
Our final day was spent in Bogota, Columbia visiting with Colegio de Estudios Superiores de Administracion. CESA has unparalleled facilities in the charm of a beautiful Bogota neighborhood. We toured the campus and were in awe of the infrastructure and most impressed with the level of student engagement. We were very captivated once again at the level of hospitality shown to our group, and the enthusiasm for the growth of the relationship throughout our visit.
At the conclusion of the trip, we look back with fond memories of an amazing relationship building experience both from a cultural and academic perspective. Our trip was so moving and has led to amazing dialogue with a number of inspiring South American institutions. We will have more news to follow on potential partnerships and we look forward to welcoming future students and faculty to our campuses.
Academic Chair, School of Business
NSCC Akerley Campus