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Solidarity Experiences Abroad aims to inspire Brock students

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While sitting in a Grade 3 classroom in Peru, Misha Biswas learned an important life lesson. The Brock University teacher candidate found herself fascinated by the way teachers and their young students interacted in the tiny schoolhouse.“I am so inspired by the relationship they shared, which taught me that genuine love and passion is most important when it comes to teaching,” said Biswas, now a fifth-year Concurrent Education and Child and Youth Studies student.Her time in the South American nation, made possible through Solidarity Experiences Abroad (SEA), allowed her to apply her teaching skills in a practical setting and provided valuable experience on her path to becoming an educator.Run by Brock’s Faith and Life Centre, SEA is a short-term, international experiential learning opportunity that allows students to travel and explore realms of social justice by connecting career objectives to a series of volunteering activities and community development projects.The program helps students gain hands-on experience by supporting a range of health campaigns, educational and entrepreneurship workshops and construction or renovation projects, all in partnership with community leaders and grassroots foundations around the globe.Biswas, who went on the Peru trip as a participant in 2016 and a leader in 2017, spent her time both years working with young learners.Knowing the impact the experience can have, she hopes to inspire other Brock students to take advantage of the rewarding opportunity available to them.“I highly recommend travelling abroad with SEA,” she said. “You will have the opportunity to apply your skills and knowledge, and to have an amazing learning experience overall.”Christine Saleeb, a fourth-year Medical Science student, travelled through SEA’s Med Plus program to Peru in 2015 and Ecuador in 2017.She spent her days participating in a variety of medical-related activities, such as assisting with triage, job shadowing and taking the baseline measurements of patients, including height, weight, blood pressure and blood sugar.“This trip gave me real-life and practical experience dealing with others in a global setting,” Saleeb said. “It also exposed me to tasks completed in the health-care setting and gave me a taste of what it is like being on the practitioner side of the interaction.”Learning from the physicians, nurses and dentists on the trip helped to improve her cross-cultural interactions, as well as her interpersonal and communication skills.“The biggest thing I took away from this trip is the importance of setting aside all differences, relating to and showing compassion to the person standing in front of you, no matter what they look like or who they are,” she said. Brock students with an interest in social justice and travel can learn more about Solidarity Experiences Abroad and upcoming opportunities by visiting the SEA website.Upcoming trips include:Education: May 19 to June 1, PeruNursing: June 14 to 27, EcuadorMedical: June 30 to July 13, PeruRegistration for each trip is due Friday, Feb. 23. read more

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