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Going places in an era of global connectivity

New funding rolled out by President Jamie Cassels has increased support for UVic students to engage in rich and meaningful learning experiences well beyond the campus.

The President's Beyond Borders Fund-with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region and on study and co-op opportunities within Canada-augments existing programs at UVic and offers additional opportunities for students to study abroad or in other parts of Canada.

"With this fund, I'm aiming to increase two-way mobility opportunities for students to broaden their knowledge, cultural understanding and educational experiences-opportunities for domestic students to get to know Canada better or experience another part of the world and opportunities for international students who come here and enrich our campus environment," Cassels explains. "I'm grateful to the donors whose support provides more access for students who might not otherwise be able to participate in such programs."

At a total of $449,000, the funding is available for the next four academic years (2015/16 to 2018/19). Financial support will stream from the President's Excellence Fund and Asia Partners Fund, which are targeted funds to UVic from donors.

Funding for three initiatives

The President's new student mobility initiatives fall into three categories:

  • Two-way student mobility initiatives focused on the Asia-Pacific region: internships, field schools and co-op placements in the region, undergraduate tuition support for students from the region and graduate student support for students studying the region;
  • Initiatives designed to increase student mobility within Canada: travel funds for a term at another Canadian university or for a co-op term elsewhere in the country, as well as subsidies for community co-op or internship at a non-profit organization in Canada; and
  • Indigenous community work opportunities for students, e.g. subsidies for community co-op term or internship in Indigenous businesses, communities or community groups in Canada.

A world of opportunities

Each of these categories is proof that learning opportunities know no borders. And the following six students are great examples among many of how UVic students are immersing themselves in journeys of discovery.

Political science undergraduate student Kip Jorgensen has long held an interest in climate-change related migration. He worked in Bangladesh in 2014 as part of a six-month Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives (CAPI) internship with the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit. More on Jorgensen's experiences in Bangladesh

Biochemistry undergraduate student Jessica Round aspires to be a physician. She was in Uganda last summer for a 12-week co-op placement with the International Christian Medical Institute, volunteering for a children's rehabilitation centre, a health administration education course and a rural HIV education program. More on Round's experiences in Uganda

Political science undergrads Siobhan Davis and Yasmine El-Hamamsy are current CAPI interns working with a refugee organization in Malaysia, primarily with refugees from Syria, Palestine, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan in a health clinic and a school connected with the centre where they work. More from CAPI interns

Business student Natasha Marshall (Nuu-chah-nulth) spent two co-op work terms as a mental health supervisor assistant and youth support worker for the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation Tribal Council. She co-facilitated suicide prevention workshops and led an outdoor leadership summer camp for teenagers. Master of Education student Jason L'Heureux (M&e#180;tis) arranged a co-op work term near his home in Saskatchewan. He worked as a coach for a Bantam boys hockey team, in line with his ideal career as a hockey coach. More on co-op stories from Indigenous students

Cassels adds, "Our students are going places, bringing the world and the rest of Canada to UVic and emerging from our campus as engaged citizens ready to flourish in an increasingly connected world."

Dynamic learning well beyond campus

As a student, imagine being able to join the next UVic field school to India. Travelling across the Pacific for internships in Nepal, Malaysia or Bangladesh. Or journeying as a co-op student to a region you've never visited before in Canada for a community work opportunity.

The increased support rolled out this spring ensures that more UVic students will do more than imagine-they'll find dynamic learning opportunities across Canada and around the world.

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  • Tara Sharpe

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