Celebrating 21 Years In The Student Travel Industry
21st Birthday Celebrations
So, how did we celebrate such a mammoth occasion? With a good ol’ fashioned cook-off of course! In honour of the 5 countries that ImmerQi currently operates in, Marketing Coordinator Jodi Yang, and daughter of general manager Joanne Wong, Christine Wong, organised a fantastic competition that involved ImmerQi staff separating into teams and cooking dishes native to Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Australia and, of course, China!
The event was held in a gorgeous Yunnan style restaurant, tucked away in a Hutong behind the Forbidden City, called Hani Gejiu. Upon arrival, attendees were greeted by a glimpse into the evening’s events; 5 separate tables, each containing various ingredients and cooking instructions. After a few brief speeches by company founders Alan and Joanne Wong, it was time to team up, put on our aprons and start cooking.
The aim of the competition was to impress Judge Joanne with a dish from your designated country. Each team was to be graded on several categories, including teamwork, presentation and taste, with only 45 minutes of cooking time!
Team Thailand were instructed to prepare a spicy papaya salad, team Vietnam made some traditional spring rolls, team Malaysia cooked up a creamy curry, team Australia got fruity with a juicer and team China put together some ‘fusion’ dumplings.
Eager to win, each team worked hard on their dishes, ensuring that every member was involved with the cooking and preparation process. Knives chopping and juicers juicing, the ImmerQi kitchen was really hotting up with the competition.
With limited ingredients, teams were thinking creatively of ways to make their dishes taste and look unique, all the time being observed by the watchful eyes of Judge Joanne.
After 45 brief minutes, it was time to present the dishes to the judge, who had the very difficult task of deciding a winner. Team Thailand eventually emerged as the victors, with their super spicy papaya salad. All other teams were also congratulated on an extremely close battle.
There were plenty of left overs, so each team took the opportunity to taste their competitor’s dishes. What a wonderful way to celebrate ImmerQi’s 21st birthday and the tantalizing dishes that the East has to offer.
A few more speeches, toasts and photographs later, it was time to leave the comforts of Hani Gejiu and continue the celebrations elsewhere; to bring ImmerQi’s 22nd year in with a bang!
So here’s one final toast, to ImmerQi staff, to partners and participants, past present and future and of course, to Joanne Wong, managing director of ImmerQi – thank you for making this amazing company what it is today, and we look forward to many more years of success! Cheers!
ImmerQi History Lesson
In the 21 years since its founding way back in 1992, ImmerQi (formally known as IES Global) has seen the student travel industry change drastically. From its humble beginnings as a Sydney based organisation providing Chinese students with study opportunities in Australia, to the leader in various cultural exchange programs that it is now, ImmerQi has changed thousands of lives, opening up new worlds to individuals who otherwise may not have had the chance to explore Asia.
21 years has seen the development of various programs, aimed at providing all kinds of people with varying experiences to suit them. The Teach and Travel China program was ImmerQi’s first official program to attract intrepid travellers from around the globe, and has since become one of the most prestigious and popular teaching programs in the East, as well as branching into various other countries including Thailand and Vietnam.
The China Internship Program, coupled with the Mandarin and Culture Program soon followed, when ImmerQi listened to the demands of the masses, who were interested in gaining valuable work experience in a country that was developing quicker than any other.
One of ImmerQi’s most recent ventures is Volunteer Program China, which provides participants with life-changing experiences whilst also giving Chinese NGO’s the help they so desperately need.