BY KELSEY DUNBAR
A grant of $4,000 is available to students who wish to gain experience working in small- to mid-sized companies abroad. The Global Edge Program works with students and helps them make international connections.
Taylor Petrie, co-ordinator of the program at Conestoga College, has been busy marketing it and actively recruiting for the spring term.
In previous semesters Conestoga has sent two female students to Ecuador for work terms.
Breanna Hartwick, a third-year international business management student, wrote in a report about her experience:
When planning for the trip I had no idea what to expect. I hadn’t even met my employer yet! I had researched the company prior to my phone interview and I had an idea of what the business would be like, but all my expectations were exceeded once I arrived.
The Ontario Global Edge grant of up to $4,000 is to ensure that the students will not have to pay for their travels out of their own pockets.
The work placements are six to 18 weeks and the students can apply to any job in any country abroad. One requirement is that the country is safe to travel to. All countries are researched online at the Canadian government travel website, www.travel.gc.ca, to ensure travelling is safe for the students.
There is two ways to apply to the Global Edge program.
Petrie said the students are encouraged to find job listings abroad and make their own international connections. However, students may also apply to jobs, posted by Petrie on the My Careers co-op and careers database on the Conestoga website.
“An ideal candidate would be a student who has previously travelled abroad or has their own international connections and speaks the language of where they would like to travel … In the end they are an ambassador of the college and the program; we want to make sure they fit all the requirements,” Petrie said.
The time spent abroad can count toward a co-op placement if one is needed to graduate. It may also be used as a way to gain work experience for a resume.
Before departure the students selected to travel must complete the Going Global: pre-departure training provided by Conestoga College. The international support services officer, Janet Parrish, will meet with the students and provide them with training on what to do when they arrive, how to be safe, water diseases, how to get health insurance before they leave, health travel tips and much more.
“It is a way to keep track of the students and where they are going and keep them as safe as possible while they are abroad,” Parrish said.
When the travelling students return home they are required to make three presentations about their travels. One must be external, possibly to the K-W Chamber of Commerce, and two internal. One can be either in a class or a booth set up in the halls of the college and one must be in a meeting with soon-to-be travelling students and other Global Edge staff.
This program is very competitive. If a student is not chosen to travel the first time he or she applies, Petrie encourages them to try again in the following term after strengthening their international connections.
BY KELSEY DUNBAR