George Zhang - Police Foundations Program (Diploma), Criminal Justice (Bachelor of Social Science)
A selected group of 12 students including myself had the lucky chance to visit China for the first faculty-led student trip with the Nanjing Police Forest College. We flew from Toronto to Shanghai then stayed there for a few days. Afterwards, we took the train to Nanjing China. The trip brought our little group to many adventures. Places such as huge temples, amazing museums and wonderful local tourist shops were all included.
There are a few highlights that I will carry with me forever. I really admired the Nanjing Memorial Hall Museum. This massive museum was dedicated to the Nanjing victims of World War II. From just walking along the pathway to the building, I could feel a heaviness in my heart. Huge statues with real stories of the atrocities in the war instantly tore my reality apart. While dripping tears I paid my respects to the victims and toured a piece of history frozen in time. As a student studying in the Criminal Justice Degree, this experience struck a chord with me. It gave me the drive and desire to continue pushing myself so that I may one day help somebody’s loved one. Another highlight is visiting the Nanjing Police Forest College. Reconnecting with the Chinese exchange students and watching performances from their dance, choir, and calligraphy classes were awe-inspiring. Their students treated us like rock stars. They showered us with attention, gifts and enthusiasm. Our group also got demonstrations from their firearms, physical education and other criminal classes.
These adventures shaped my opportunities when I arrived back to Toronto. I started working at the School of Social and Community Services supporting the Nanjing partnership and other inbound international students. I currently support 24 amazing students from the Nanjing Police Forest College. Being able to connect with their culture and relate with them is pivotal to my role as a mentor. This relies heavily on my experiences in their beautiful city. In addition to my role as a mentor to the exchange students, I promote opportunities such as the faculty led trip to China. I truly believe these trips are a once in a lifetime opportunity and I would love to share these opportunities with as many students from the Humber family.
For me, global learning is an opportunity for growth in terms of personal growth and career growth. Opportunities that give individuals the chance to broaden themselves are unique and special to each person. I personally have improved in the areas of work ethics, leadership, adaptability, interpersonal relationship maintenance and development. Going to a foreign country with contrasting cultures really pushes people out of their comfort zone. I saw the group rise and stand strong in the face of uncertainty and change. Experiences such as the comradery that exists with being in an unfamiliar and uncomfortable place is a special bond that only a selected few understand. In addition to the comradery, developing oneself through overcoming new and challenging obstacles is not expressible in words. It can be best described as reaching the top of your own Mount Everest. I can say that global learning is so much more than what is written down on paper or talked about in a booth. It is an experience that truly enhances all aspects of an individual.