$1M federal funding increases accessibility for UVic students going abroad

UVic political science and gender studies student Kaylin Arason (left) exploring Bangkok, Thailand with a friend during her six-month CAPI internship in 2019 with Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women, which was funded through a previous national student mobility program.

Thanks to federal funding of $1 million through the new national “Global Skills Opportunity” (GSO) Outbound Student Mobility Pilot Program, 120 UVic undergraduate students will be able to embark on life-changing international experiences.

A major feature of the new program is increasing international opportunities for Indigenous students, students from low-income families and students with disabilities—groups for whom such invaluable personal and professional development experiences abroad have not always been as accessible.

The funding was awarded to two projects at UVic, one put forward by the Office of Global Engagement and the other by the Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives (CAPI) in partnership with Co-operative Education Program & Career Services (Co-op + Career). 

This is an incredible opportunity for students who often face barriers to participate in such programs to travel abroad and play a role in helping address some of the most challenging problems we are facing today.

—Karima Ramji, associate director of International, Indigenous and Strategic Initiatives with UVic Co-op + Career

A variety of opportunities

The student placements, set to run from 2022 to 2025 (public health conditions permitting), will comprise a range of short-, medium- and long-term experiences including field schools, internships, student exchange and co-op terms, delivered through the three lead units in collaboration and consultation with a variety of other campus partners.

The focus will be on engagement in “non-traditional” destinations such as countries outside of the US, UK, France and Australia.

Life-long benefits

Experiential learning opportunities are a key component to ensuring student success, leadership development and enhanced employment outcomes. “We are so excited to start rolling out our programming with the support of Canada’s new GSO funding,” says CAPI student internship manager Robyn Fila. “We know from years of running international programs how enriching these opportunities are for students’ personal growth, professional development and broader sense of community and global citizenship.”

Graphic logo of government GSO program
GSO is the Government of Canada’s new Outbound Student Mobility Pilot Program.

The placements will be open to undergraduate students across all academic disciplines who might be interested in pursuing international experiences as part of their education.

In addition to the amazing opportunity to financially support deserving UVic students to pursue international mobility experiences, this also serves as an occasion for the university to reflect on and demonstrate how we can address the non-financial barriers that are still present for so many.

—Marc Bavin, director of UVic’s Office of Global Engagement

Find out more

GSO is the Government of Canada’s new outbound student mobility program, funded through Employment and Social Development Canada. It is a component of the federal government’s five-year International Education Strategy, “Building on Success” (2019-2024).



In this story

Keywords: International, Global Engagement, Co-operative Education Program & Career Services, Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives, study abroad, funding

People: Karima Ramji, Mark Bavin

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