Mount Allison Global Skills Opportunity programs see four international field schools for 2023
SACKVILLE, NB — Four international field schools will be available to Mount Allison University students next spring. Through the federally funded Global Skills Opportunity program, the University will be holding field schools in Belize, the Galapagos Islands, Japan, and Netherlands, available to students in a variety of disciplines.
“We are so thrilled to launch two additional field school opportunities — in Japan and the Galapagos Islands — for Mount Allison students this summer with the support of the Global Skills Opportunity program,” says Robin Walker, International Affairs Coordinator and logistics lead for the Mount Allison GSO programs. “Following a successful first summer with students travelling to Utrecht, Netherlands, and Belize, it is wonderful to continue these programs and build on them with the new schools focusing on religious studies and biology.”
In 2022, 20 Mount Allison students participated in the initial GSO programming, with 16 travelling to Utrecht for a two-week course on cross-cultural sexuality with psychology professor Dr. Lisa Dawn Hamilton. Four Indigenous students participated short-term study abroad experience in Belize through Galen University together with a larger group from the Maple League of Universities.
This spring, along with the Utrecht and Belize field schools, programs will be held in Kyoto, Japan with Religious Studies professor Dr. Susie Andrews and in the Galapagos Islands with Biology professor Dr. Andrea Morash.
Morash, whose research focuses on comparative and environmental physiology says this kind of field experience gives students a chance to learn first-hand about the climate/environmental challenges in both Canada and Ecuador, and to see how the physiological responses in animals to climate change can be used to help with conservation management.
“The Galápagos Islands are a mecca for animal biologists; there is such diversity and truly unique environments to explore,” says Morash. “I’m excited to be able to share this experience with our students and for them to collaborate with Ecuadorian students on global issues like biodiversity conservation.”
Thea Button participated in the Utrecht field school in 2022. She says the experience was an integral part of her Mount Allison degree.
“This course exceeded my expectations and is something I will hold close to my heart as my most memorable experience while studying at Mount A,” says Button. “Although it was only two weeks in length, I felt that I returned to Canada as a more self-sufficient and patient student.”
Global Skills Opportunity (GSO) aims to empower post-secondary institutions to increase the participation of young Canadians — especially underrepresented students — in international learning opportunities both at home and abroad. As an integral component of the Government of Canada’s International Education Strategy, Global Skills Opportunity is funded by Employment and Social Development Canada, administered jointly by Colleges and Institutes Canada and Universities Canada.
Full and partial funding is available through the Global Skills Opportunity for students to be able to participate.
With a continued focus on accessible, universally-designed experiences for these global opportunities, a staff member from the University’s Meighen Centre or Wellness will also be travelling to assist students with documented physical learning disabilities during the field schools. This additional resource is supported by the Johnson Family Foundation.
Applications are open from Nov. 14- Dec. 4. Additional information about the programs, including prerequisites and financial aid opportunities for full and partial funding, can be found at: https://mta.ca/current-students/experiences-and-career/international-experiences/global-skills-opportunity-mount
Photo caption: Mount Allison students, along with Director of Accessibly and Wellness Matt Maston, far left and psychology professor Dr. Lisa Dawn Hamilton (in the Mounties shirt) in Utrecht for a two-week course on cross-cultural sexuality funded in part by GSO in 2022.