A Global Skills Opportunity project is helping University of Lethbridge undergraduate students have more options for international learning.
The program was designed to give students a chance to engage in international learning and develop intercultural skills.
“The GSO funding helps many ULethbridge students realize their lifelong dream of travelling abroad during their undergrad, for either a shorter or longer period, allowing them to immerse themselves into the culture and their academics, while worrying less about money,” says Gizelle Tiponut, education abroad coordinator with ULethbridge International.
The program is funded through the federal government and allows studying and working abroad a more accessible options for various students. For exmaple, the first Indigenous group will be travelling to Mexico in May to experience Mayan culture. They’ll take part of traditional festivities like dances, costumes, and food and share their own cultures with Mayan students.
“The University is committed to educating individuals who will become global citizens with international and intercultural skills and knowledge to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world,” says Paul Pan, executive director of ULethbridge International.
“We want to provide our graduates with global perspectives to enter a highly diverse and competitive job market. The funding will enable our students to experience the world around them and develop the global and intercultural competencies that employers are seeking and that will help them succeed beyond graduation and throughout their careers.”
Some of the study aboard experiences that are available include faculty-led programs, semester exchanges and short term study aboard programs. There are also virtual exchanges and work-integrated placements like co-ops, applied studies courses, internships and work-study programs.
Multiple students at the University received GSO awards last fall and 14 more will be heading out on their own adventures in the spring. Victoria Lopez recently returned from South Korea and says that students will learn various things to improve themselves.
“It was an enjoyable, valuable and educational experience that not many people can do,” says Lopez.
“If someone is considering studying abroad, I would definitely recommend they do it and experience the GSO opportunity. Personally, I feel I’ve become more mature and independent. I’ve gained confidence and grown to appreciate meeting new peoples from all over the world.”
More information about the program is available on the University of Lethbridge website.