CNA students get to leave their footprints in the sand of Qatar
By Lynn Daley
Students from the College of the North Atlantic in Stephenville will get the opportunity in the third week of March to attend a cultural festival in Qatar.
Global Village, a massive exposition, will host 30 different nations displaying aspects of their culture.
Students from three CNA programs will represent Canadian and Newfoundland culture Global Village: music industry and performance students Samantha Burke, Brad LeRiche, Taylor Roberts, Steve Andrews and Shannell Lewis; recording arts students, Chris Reid and Brandon Boyd; and Journalism student James Churchill.
Churchill, a second-year journalism student, who has done very little travelling, was advised yesterday that he was chosen to go.
“The farthest I have travelled in my life was New York and the fact that I get to travel half way across the world – I’m excited beyond words,” Churchill said.
The very unique opportunity has all of the students motivated and is bringing out the best of their abilities.
Good attendance, marks and a demonstrated drive to succeed in one’s program were just some of the criteria used to choose the students.
“It wasn’t just the “top” people in the class who were considered,” said recording arts student Chris Reid. “If the instructors saw that you had a drive to succeed, then that put you up on top of the list for sure.”
Even though the opportunity has an array of great gains, it also puts students outside of their comfort zones. Students will be forced to overcome very natural fears; the language barrier seemed to be a common one.
“I have no understanding of the language. When we go over there, are we going to be able to communicate just simple things like ordering food?, are they going to understand?” asked Reid.
“I don’t know the language they speak and the culture is really different from here in Newfoundland and Labrador. I’m a frequent Newfinese speaker,” Churchill said with a chuckle.
You can feel and see the excitement among the students.
“I am really excited! It’s probably an opportunity I will never get ever again in my life,” Reid said.
“The fact that this opportunity was granted to me, I am absolutely floored. I’m just really really excited to go,” Churchill said.
When we are able to experience different cultures and see different parts of the world, what we take away from those experiences is something beyond the books and the classroom.
“The experience itself is huge. It’s journalism work in a different country and that opportunity doesn’t present itself every day. It’s good for my portfolio, demos reels, public relations experience and will improve all of my journalism skills,” Churchill said.
“I will be meeting a lot of new people. A lot of what we are going to be doing out there is meeting new people from all over the world,” Reid said.
Reid has some advice for future CNA students that may also get a chance to go overseas.
“Definitely go for it. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! When I first found out that there was a chance we could be going to the Middle East, I didn’t even really believe it,” Reid said.