The new International Education Strategy, Building on Success, includes the new Outbound Student Mobility Pilot project, with the intention of assisting Canadian colleges and universities to increase opportunities for students to gain international learning experiences.
“Studying abroad is a life-changing experience for students,” said Mark Herringer, executive director of international education at NIC. “It not only allows students to immerse themselves in another culture, but also provides them with many important life skills that serve them well throughout their education and career.”
The value of study abroad experience is also increasingly recognized by employers, according to a report called Global Skills Gap in the 21st Century. The report states that international/intercultural experience has the third-largest positive effect on an employer, especially in North America and the Asia Pacific.
“Study abroad gives students skills like intercultural communication, flexibility and adaptability, resilience, working with ambiguity and also lets students learn a lot about themselves – what they value and what works for them in terms of fit,” said Herringer. “It sets them up for success as they look for employment opportunities and planning their careers.”
NIC currently offers study abroad opportunities to intuitions around the world and is building its international partnerships with several new opportunities in USA (Hawaii), Turkey, France, Germany, Belgium, Ireland and England.
“We are always working to expand the offerings we have for students,” said Herringer. “The potential for federal government support through this new strategy could allow us to broaden and deepen those international learning opportunities.”
One focus of NIC’s study abroad program is increasing the variety of opportunities for students, both in terms of the number of countries, but also the length of stay and type of experience.
“Study abroad can take many forms,” said Herringer. “Everything from instructor-led field studies, to short-term exchanges, to term-long visits and even double degree opportunities. There’s so many different ways students can go global with their learning through NIC.”
Applications for study abroad opportunities are open now. For more information, visit: www.nic.bc.ca/study-abroad.