NSCC in Lima, Peru
25.03.2013 - 27.03.2013 25 °C
Last day in Lima, Peru and we are concluding with a visit to Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola (USIL). Luis "Lucho" Jeri Mannarelli is our host for the day, and yes he was yet another of NSCC's guests at the ELAP meeting in October in Halifax at the Akerley Campus.
Lima is a city of incredible size, growth and diversity.
We are staying at the Miraflores neighbourhood near the Canadian Embassy, and the 30 minute drive to the USIL campus gives some perspective to the size of this city of 9 million +. I have not seen driving this aggressive except on a sports channel. Luckily in our neighbourhood there are some very large speedbumps which make crossing the street possible if you are very quick.
Peru, Colombia and Ecuador are very "multicultural" countries with immigrants and influence from Europe, Asia and Africa, and Lima is a very multicultural city. Luis himself describes his family tree with branches in Italy, Yugoslavia, Germany, and Palestine; his mother who speaks 5 languages and father who moved the family to different countries while working in the oil industry.
The pace of development in the city is very visible and USIL is no exception. USIL has doubled its enrolment over the past few years to 10,000 students, and a new campus is under construction. Internationalization is a big theme with the university. The USIL VP International explained to us that the University has made a commitment that all of their students are required to complete an international exchange before they complete their studies. They have several innovative programs for incoming exchange students and faculty, including customized short courses at their new teaching site in Cusco near Machu Picchu (one of the seven wonders of the world) that focus on Peruvian culture, cuisine, and tourism.
After touring the impressive USIL facilities (including the biggest Canadian flag I have ever seen on display for our visit in the centre courtyard of the campus), meeting with staff and students, including a tourism student who has been selected to apply for an ELAP scholarship to do an exchange at NSCC, we had an amazing lunch with Luis in the Gastronomy program restaurant.
We have many opportunities to discuss with our colleagues at NSCC when we return after the long day trip back home tomorrow (leaving at 9 am, hope to be home by midnight!). I hope we will be able to open some doors and create pathways for our students and staff to take advantage of the unique learning experiences that are here in Peru, Colombia and Ecuador.
- Katie Orr
Director, NSCC International