Global Skills Opportunity Project Offers Students More International Study, Internship Experiences 

Photo of student abroad working as part of Global Brigades

STU aims to increase the number of students gaining global skills through an International Experiential Learning Program that expands opportunities and provides greater financial support for students participating in international education. 
This new program builds on two successful programs at STU. STU offers exchanges where students can spend a semester or a year studying abroad. It also offers experiential learning opportunities that complement in-class learning with practical real-world experience. These programs are now offering internships and volunteering opportunities in international settings. 
Doubling the opportunities for international experience  

“This program will double the number of opportunities for students to gain international experience, develop personal skills, and learn from different perspectives to ultimately become leading global citizens. I am thrilled that this funding will make international experiential learning a much more accessible option to STU students,” said Clara Santacruz, Manager in the Office of Experiential and Community Based Learning.  
This combination of international work and study opportunities is made possible by the Government of Canada’s Global Skills Opportunity, a national outbound student mobility program. It will be coordinated by STU’s Experiential Learning Office and International Student Office. The funding is for $495,000 over four years and will be used mostly for bursaries to cover travel expenses and other program supports. 

The new program will expand existing opportunities and create new ones. International experiential learning will now be an option for students participating in the travel exchange program. While studying abroad, students can complement their studies with an international work or volunteer experience. As well, internship or volunteering possibilities could be organized to take place during reading weeks in the spring and fall or during summer months. There are also numerous courses in Human Rights, Communications and Public Policy, and International Relations that will have expanded opportunities under the new program. 
International volunteering will count towards STU's Certificate in Experiential Learning and Community Engagement, and work placements will be a part of STU's internships program which fosters professional development and reflection throughout the experience. 

The majority of the funding will be targeted at low-income students, Indigenous students, and students with disabilities and will emphasize non-traditional countries. 
STU Experiential Learning 

Experiential learning, which provides opportunities for students to complement class learning with practical real-world experience, has been a resounding success at STU. Students have numerous opportunities including paid placements with organizations in advocacy and social responsibility, economic development, business, journalism, policy-making, and sustainability, to cite a few. This year, STU has 120 paid internship placements in 100 small-to-medium sized enterprises, start-ups, and not-for-profits. This success is the result of close co-operation with the Provincial Government, which provides targeted funding, and external funding partners.
Global Skills Opportunity 
Compared to similar countries, fewer Canadian students, about 11% of undergraduates, participate in work or study abroad experiences. By empowering post-secondary institutions to implement innovative solutions to participation barriers, Global Skills Opportunity seeks to expand the horizons of students and improve Canada’s competitiveness on the world stage. 

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