Funding from the Federal Government will allow students to participate in study and research experiences abroad.
Dozens of students at Vancouver Island University (VIU) will receive global skills training through two recently announced projects.
software, Crossing Borders: Using the Power of Place to Build Connections, and the International research mobility experience The project will provide students with international job opportunities, as well as study and research experiences to help them unleash their potential through life-changing global skills.
These programs are possible thanks to the Canadian government’s new Global Skills Opportunities (GSO) program.
the The Crossing Borders project will use place-based learning as an innovative approach to work/study abroad experiences that explore the many ways people understand identity. Through interdisciplinary field schools, academic exchanges and internships, VIU students will collaborate with each other and explore who and where they are in terms of land, culture and history, and how their sense of place influences the ways in which they work in the world. An estimated 55 VIU students will benefit from GSO’s $500,000 funding over the next three years to participate in Cross Border.
“This project is a collaborative effort involving students, faculty, and areas of student service,” says Jennifer Sales, director of the Education Abroad Program at VIU. “We draw on existing expertise and resources from within our VIU community, including the Office of Indigenous Education and Engagement, the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Area Research Institute, the Center for Global Recreational Excellence, Student Affairs and Education Abroad, as well as international partnerships in order to provide an empowered experience. entirely for students from start to finish.”
Sells adds that students will “experience profound personal, academic, and professional growth as a result of these opportunities, which will have a direct impact in our classrooms, and of course in our communities.”
VIU students will also benefit from $799,200 in GSO funding awarded to the Canadian and Latin American Research and Exchange Opportunity Consortium (CALAREO), through the International Research Mobility Experience (IRME) project. Consortium members include VIU, Lakehead University, Carleton University, Memorial University, and the Graduate School of Technology (ÉTS).
Along with additional funding from Mitacs ($240,000), a non-profit organization that promotes growth and innovation in Canada by solving business challenges through research solutions from academic institutions, and CALAREO ($40,000), the program will support an estimated 138 students. To participate in medium and short-term research training, as well as faculty-led programs and/or field schools.
“VIU students will gain valuable experience in conducting research within international contexts and with international partners,” says Dr. Nicole Vogues, Associate Vice President of Scholarships, Research and Creative Activity at VIU. “These opportunities will ensure that our students are able to experience the transformative power of international mobility and enable them to become global citizens.”
GSO, the Overseas Student Mobility Program, is expected to enable more than 16,000 undergraduate-level Canadian undergraduate and college students to acquire the global skills that employers want and the needs of the Canadian economy.
“The Global Skills Opportunity is breaking down the financial, social and logistical barriers that have prevented many underrepresented students from participating in global study and work opportunities,” says University of Canada President Paul Davidson. “Through this program, thousands of young Canadians will have a transformative experience abroad.”
Study and work abroad programs “are invaluable learning experiences that ensure students are culturally literate, resilient, adaptable, and ready to succeed in an increasingly globalized world,” says Canada Colleges and Institutes President Denis Ameo.
While the program is open to all Canadian post-secondary students, it targets groups for whom international experiences have been less accessible – specifically Indigenous students, students from low-income backgrounds and those with disabilities. It also aims to diversify the destination countries as Canadian students pursue international learning.
Eric Zimmer, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University
P:250.618.7296 | e: Eric.Zimmer@viu.ca