An introduction to studying abroad through Douglas College
By Matthew Fraser, Editor in Chief
Studying abroad is more than a vacation opportunity or a chance to break the monotony induced by COVID, it offers benefits both tangible and intangible.
After a year of lockdown and separation, the debut of in-person classes to Douglas College indicates that normalcy will make its return. As the lockdowns meant a travel ban, it is likely that many students are itching for the opportunity to leave the country and explore the world. The Other Press spoke with Luke Harris, Mobility Program Coordinator for Global Engagement to get the scoop on the study abroad opportunities available for Douglas College students.
One of the first questions a prospective student might ask surrounds the accessibility of this program for low-income or disabled students. Harris pointed first to the scholarships and awards Global Engagement has made available to students. He highlighted awards up to $6000 for programs extending past a single semester, and $4000 awards for programs that run only one semester in length. Harris also hinted at further funding focused on Indigenous students as well as low-income or disabled students that could be available in the coming months.
If funding is secured, where can a student plan to go? As Global Engagement offers exchanges and field schools in roughly 30 countries and regions across the globe, the options are numerous. However, Harris says that: “Some of the most popular destinations with students for exchange programs have been Australia, France, Japan, South Korea, and Spain.” Additionally, he points out that instructors from Douglas college will be leading field schools in Scotland, Iceland, and Uganda come summer 2022. If that’s not enough, Douglas is a member of University Mobility in the Asia-Pacific (UMAP) consortium, meaning that there are an additional 200 study destinations available across the Americas, Asia, and the South Pacific.
But studying abroad is more than a vacation opportunity or a chance to break the monotony induced by COVID, it offers benefits both tangible and intangible. The first benefit that Harris mentions is the chance to step outside of one’s comfort zone and build self-confidence. The next is to experience new cultures and form lifelong and diverse friendships.
On the tangible side, Harris points to resume boosting international experience and language skills. It also doesn’t hurt that study abroad experience can be applied to the Global Competency Certificate; a 15-credit, first-year credential that can be completed in conjunction with any other degree.
However, COVID has forced some adjustments on the health side for prospective students. Students must now have health and travel insurance that covers COVID infections and related treatments. Additionally, students must be vaccinated. Despite Global Engagement’s optimism and excitement for a return to activities, they do adhere to governmental and Douglas guidelines, as well as to the limitations imposed on international travel.
There will be a Study Abroad Fair held October 26-28 in the concourse of the New West campus with a companion fair on October 28 in the Atrium of the Coquitlam campus. Students are also invited to ask questions at the New West campus office located in room S2805. For those seeking information online, they can follow @studentlifedc on Instagram and by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.