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Education Without Borders 2013

Melissa - As I am about to embark on this amazing opportunity I cannot help but reflect back on how I got here. I could say it was my persistence, determination, or my dedication. While I am sure that these things played a role, I know one of the largest factors to my success has been the professors I have encountered in my 3 years at Seneca College.

Every professor, from the ones you instantly adore, to the ones who are not on your most favorite list (let’s face it we all have at least one professor that we do not love) have played such a major role in this achievement. It’s not the in class lessons but the life lessons that I contribute to my success.

Some knowingly, some unknowingly these professors have helped shape who I am. They are the ones who provided that tough feedback (let’s not talk about that… I said it was tough), to feedback that made me rethink common things like how you should stand during a presentation (hint: hands behind back is a penguin, hands clasped in front is a waiter. Stand tall with your hands at your side, as your presence will be observed as more confidant... Try it, it’s harder than you think to do) to the uncommon things like what to do if you have sweaty hands and need to shake someone’s hands (Hint: Use an alcohol wipe or sanitizer prior to your meeting).

I cannot begin to express my gratitude to them, nor can I list them all (I will certainly forget someone, and misspell many… especially since I have spent the entire night packing… it’s now 6:30am). If they read this or not, my gratitude is immeasurable and I thank each and every one of you! I also thank Seneca as a whole, from the students, to the faculty, to the sometimes sarcastic....Tim Horton’s lady. Every aspect within Seneca has changed me, shaped me, and granted me this opportunity.

I look forward to representing Seneca at Education Without Borders 2013.

Education Without Borders.
Pictured from left to right, are Daniel Atlin, Vice-President of Strategy and College Affairs; Joy McKinnon, Vice-President Academic; Katelyn Forgione; Melissa Toth; Christine Blake-Durie, Dean of Students; Yvonne Tierney and Maurice Platero, Faculty of Business Professor.

Katelyn, March 25, 2013. It has been quite the amazing experience so far - landed here 2 days ago and from the moment I walked in I was greeted with open arms. The organizing committee has been amazing and has planned some incredible events.

The first night was my adventure - we were going to a local 'club' with the organizing committee and ended up driving around Dubai for 2 hours - the roads are so difficult to navigate around even for some of the locals. Yesterday I started the day off with a morning work out to try and get my body in Dubai time; we then went to the Women's College to view our area where we would be presenting and set up our presentations - this experience was amazing! The College is beyond beautiful and I was seriously speechless (as many people know there are not many things in life that leave me without words).

After we finished we rushed back to the hotel in order to catch another bus to the Grand Mosque, which I do have about 75 pictures of and will send as soon as I can upload them. It was definitely a site that will never be forgotten. We came back to the hotel to grab dinner and head out to Global Villages, which is a marketplace but with a shop from everywhere around the world. I have videos and photos that I will upload as well.

The friends that I have made thus far will be lifetime friends - I can not put words on how much this experience has already changed my perspective on global education and the importance of the relationships that we make with others.

I am rooming with a woman from the United States, who studies at John Hopkins and another from the UK studying at DeMontford University - they are incredible women with even more incredible minds. Today we leave for the Festival of Thinkers followed by Opening Ceremonies at the Gala Dinner.

Melissa, March 26 2013 - During a trip to Old Dubai, we were able to experience first hand how the beautiful beading is created in the textile market.

Seneca - Education without borders. 

We had the astonishing honour of being addressed by the H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayah in which he advised that "thinking about thinking has its rewards", that although "contemplation may just be star gazing that requires no action in the end we sometime come to some of the best conclusions." That is does not matter if you have the "power to make a decision, because in the end you will have made a decision." One of the things we must go forth and do is "let our thoughts be tested in the market place of thinking."

Tony Blair - Education without Borders 2013.

Tony Blair provided the Festival of Thinkers an inspiring speech in which he discussed how human capital is the single greatest resource of a country, and how educating these resource is more important than ever before. In the words of Tony Blair "thinking Is a constant process of mere contemplation, innovation and creativity."

Swami Parthasarathy at Education Without Borders.

Swami Parthasarathy opened everyone's mind into the thinking process of how we are all born in captivity, from birth we are captive to our parents as they dictate the terms that we must follow. But "humans are not designed for yes and no, we are designed for reason." He ended his key note by stating that while schools can teach you all the intelligence and knowledge, they are unable to teach you intellect.

Festival of thinkers - Education without borders 2013.
A group shot at the Festival of Thinkers 2013,

Yvonne, Melissa and Suzy at Education Without Borders 2013.
Yvonne, Melissa and Suzy are room mate, who is an international student. In front of the Higher College of Technology, Sharjah Womens College.

Sheikh Zayed Rd. as seen from our hotel.

Katelyn. This experience has changed my life! The relationships that I have made with fellow presenters, World Student Organizing Committee Members, delegates, international professors and Nobel Laureates will last a lifetime and have changed the way in which my the few years of my life will play out. This opportunity has given me the chance to put my thoughts and knowledge on a global scale; I could not have done any of this without the support and assistance from my fellow peers and faculty at Seneca College.

Opening Ceremonies
Opening Ceremonies

- At the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi
At the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi

our bus ride back to the hotel from the Desert Safari
Our bus ride back to the hotel from the Desert Safari


Updates will also be provided on Twitter. Search for hashtag #EWB #Seneca