Niagara College students are embracing an opportunity to fuse their academic learning with practical work experience abroad. Last week, nine second-year students, in the Bachelor of Applied Business-International Commerce and Global Development program and the Business Administration-Marketing (Co-op) program, departed to complete a two-month co-op work-term in Brazil, South Africa and Peru.
Drawing from a project base that expands to more than 30 countries, and a global network of over 200 partnerships, Niagara College and its International Education and Development Division (IEDD) is well positioned to facilitate exceptional international opportunities for students. Working in conjunction with host organizations, co-op students will apply existing theoretical knowledge while assisting with business plan development, marketing and promotional plan development and international market research.
Prior to departure, students participated in a six-week applied research training program, where they were exposed to the principles of research integrity, fundamentals of conducting applied research, work plan development, working professionally with clients, and presentation and networking skills.
Additionally, students took part in a three-day intensive pre-departure training seminar, provided by Niagara College, designed specifically to prepare students for both personal and professional success overseas.
“Preparing students for an international experience is truly a team effort, “said Jos Nolle, Director of International Development, Niagara College. “From the initial interviews, to the pre-departure training, to the organization of travel logistics and co-ordination of job duties by host organizations, there is collaboration on all fronts both interdepartmental and international.”
Niagara College’s international co-op education work-terms are financially supported by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), as well as the Ontario Global Edge program, an initiative of the Entrepreneurship Branch, Ministry of Economic Development & Trade. The aim of each funding organization is to mobilize young Canadians and to enable opportunities that lend a broader awareness of entrepreneurship within a global context, as well as enhance academic knowledge through practical-based learning applications.
For two weeks in May, South Africa will also become a home-away-from-home for another group of Niagara College faculty and students. A team of Broadcasting-Radio, Television and Film (BRTF) students, along with program co-ordinator Bill Boehlen, will set-off to produce a documentary that will capture the ’transformative’ journey for a selection of students embarking on an inaugural trip to South Africa as part of the College’s new six-week general elective program titled “Go Global, Live Local”. Along with faculty member Lora Miani, the students will complete a two-week placement with either an international or local organization and participate in various projects that emphasize important global issues like health care, education, culture, and social and community development.
Niagara College’s IEDD is committed to the internationalization of Niagara College staff, students and the surrounding community, with more than 500 international students, representing 60 different countries, studying at the College. IEDD focuses on promoting change in a sensitive, action-oriented manner and is constantly addressing new ways to ensure that Niagara College fits into the global picture. Niagara College, through IEDD, is very active in publicly and privately-funded development projects around the world – projects that exemplify the College’s enthusiasm and commitment to providing international development opportunities for students, citizens and communities worldwide.
Niagara College is one of Ontario’s 24 publicly-funded Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology. With 8,000 full-time students, Niagara College offers more than 90 diploma, baccalaureate degrees and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Falls and St. Catharines. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, applied health and community safety, and the College is home to the globally-recognized Niagara Culinary Institute and Niagara College Teaching Winery. In 2008, Niagara College launched an unprecedented $90 million campus redevelopment project, which is scheduled for completion in 2011. For more information, visit www.NiagaraCollege.ca.
For more information, please contact:
Director, International Development
Niagara College Canada
905-735-2211, ext. 7737