Mount Allison launches two new international field schools in Scotland and Italy 

28 Apr 2023
Field school experiences are federally funded through the Global Skills Opportunity program.

SACKVILLE, NB — Two more international field schools are being held for Mount Allison University students in Summer 2023. Through the federally-funded Global Skills Opportunity program, the University is launching two new field schools in Scotland and Italy for students in a variety of disciplines. Full and partial funding has been made available through the Global Skills Opportunity for students to be able to participate.

Drama and Screen Studies and Popular Culture students will be attending a portion of the renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival and will also visit the British Film Institute in London during their 11-day adventure in August 2023.  

“We are so fortunate to have faculty, staff, and administrators who are visionaries and supported this initiative at every stage,” says Director of Drama and Assistant Professor of Drama and Screen Studies Dr. Sarah Fanning. “I think it is going to be incredibly gratifying to see students have this once in a lifetime global experience. To see them be inspired by so many remarkable artists will be wonderful and it will be amazing for them to learn about their craft outside of the classroom and our theatre.”

As part of this three-credit course, the students who will be attending will have to complete primary research for an experiential learning project upon their return. They will have access to the National Library of Scotland archives to view items like first folios of Shakespeare plays and theatre archives that they wouldn’t be able to access anywhere else. Screen Studies students will complete their research at the British Film Institute (BFI) to find things like original scripts from Hollywood films, marketing material, and original movie posters.

“It really is the Olympics of theatre,” says Fanning. “A convergence of global arts and culture, where we will see well-known people in TV, film, theatre, and emerging artists, as well as book, comedy, and dance festivals.”

Dr. Ilaria Battiloro will be leading the other field school experience in Torre Mordillo (Cosenza), Italy in May 2023. For several years, she has taken students to Pompeii to carry out archaeological investigations on the site of the Sanctuary of Venus.

The newly-launched program of archaeological research aims to explore the site Torre Mordillo, a settlement in southern Italy occupied by Indigenous communities since the 2nd millennium BCE and located in close connection to the coastal city Sybaris, which was founded by the Greeks at the end of the 8th c. BCE. Because of its strategic location close to natural routes that connected the inland areas with the coast, this site plays a crucial role in understanding the dynamics between Greek colonizers and Indigenous communities of southern Italy and the way new cultural entities and identities resulted from these encounters. The daily field work will consist mostly of archaeological ground survey and working on processing, analyzing, and interpreting archaeological artifacts.

“The opportunity to participate in international archaeological research has invaluable educational and formative value for students,” says Battiloro. “The archaeological fieldwork experience will equip students with important transferable skills for the workforce, ranging from analytical thinking and research methodology; to technical, computer, and digitalization skills; to interpersonal skills and cultural awareness. The multicultural and multi-linguistic environment surrounding Torre Mordillo is also extraordinary and inherently impactful.”

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.

Learn more about the Edinburgh Fringe Field School.

Learn more about the Torre Modillo Field School.

Other Global Skills Opportunity-funded international field schools through Mount Allison University in 2023 are happening in Belize, the Galápagos Islands, Japan, and the Netherlands.


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