15:08 PM

Mohawk announces a new project to help students gain career-boosting international study experience

Global Skills Opportunity funding to support learning in Italy, New Zealand

Mohawk College students will have access to global learning opportunities in Italy and New Zealand through two new projects, funded by the Government of Canada’s new Global Skills Opportunity program.

With more than $600,000 in funding, Mohawk will be able to provide global learning for students, intended to unlock student potential through life-changing global skills and experiences, increasing their intercultural competencies and giving them new and in-demand work skills.

Over the next three years, three cohorts of 15 to 20 students in the Business-General Program, with the support of two professors, will have the opportunity to study for two weeks at the CUOA Business School in Vicenza, Italy, learning about the influence of culture and innovation on business model performance within an intercultural setting. As well, supported by staff and faculty in the Indigenous Initiatives, Education, and Student Services (IIESS) and the General Arts and Sciences program, 16 Indigenous students from across the college will experience traditions, thought and practices from Māori culture with Māori scholars, knowledge-keepers and Elders, will visit sites of cultural and historic significance, and participate and share in gatherings and ceremonies for three weeks in New Zealand in 2023. In advance of these trips, participating students will prepare for these transformative experiences from safety and intercultural development perspectives.

Global Skills Opportunity is a national outbound student mobility program that is expected to enable more than 16,000 Canadian college and undergraduate-level university students from across the country to acquire the global skills employers want and the Canadian economy needs. A key component of the Government of Canada’s International Education Strategy, Global Skills Opportunity is funded by Employment and Social Development Canada and is administered jointly by Colleges and Institutes Canada and Universities Canada.

While open to all Canadian post-secondary students, the national program targets groups for whom international experiences have traditionally been less accessible — specifically Indigenous students, students from low-income backgrounds and those with disabilities. It also aims to diversify destination countries where Canadian students pursue international learning.

Compared to similar countries, fewer Canadian students – only 3% of college students – participate in work or study abroad experiences during their studies. The new program stands to change that. By empowering post-secondary institutions to implement innovative solutions to barriers to participation, Global Skills Opportunity will expand the horizons of Canadian students from coast to coast, and improve Canada’s competitiveness on the world stage.

Over the next four years, Mohawk College will be one of 54 colleges and institutes and 56 universities that will be implementing a total of 124 GSO-funded projects in collaboration with international partners in more than 100 countries and to the benefit of tens of thousands of students.

“Mohawk College is proud to have been selected to participate in the Global Skills Opportunity program and to be a part of this first-of-its-kind initiative in Canada. This program will provide our students with life-changing, transformative intercultural experiences and skills critical to succeed in the global workplace and our faculty with opportunities to further enhance their intercultural teaching competencies and internationalize the curriculum.”
- Anuraj Bajwa, Dean, International & Partnerships, Mohawk College

“Study and work abroad programs are invaluable learning experiences that ensure students are culturally literate, resilient, adaptable and ready to succeed in an increasingly globalized world. This is perhaps more important than ever, which is why we are so proud to work with our partners to deliver Global Skills Opportunity. This ground-breaking program will allow more Canadian students to access these opportunities to develop the skills they need to gain a foothold in today’s global marketplace.”
- Denise Amyot, President, Colleges and Institutes Canada

The project is funded by Global Skills Opportunity, the Government of Canada’s Outbound Student Mobility Pilot Program.