Sept. 26, 2022

Global learning takes off again

Students return to global learning with new opportunities provided by UCalgary’s Global Learning team
Claudia Leung, Undergraduate in Environment Sciences on exchange in Sweden, and Derek Bowyer, Undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering in Europe
Claudia Leung, left, on exchange in Sweden, and Derek Bowyer, in Europe. Submitted

The COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench into everyone’s travel plans the past couple of years and with this came an obvious decline in travel for academic learning purposes. However, UCalgary’s Global Learning team is supporting a return to pre-covid participation numbers during the 2022-2023 academic year and hope to see numbers increase even further.

We spoke to five UCalgary students who recently took part in Global Learning experiences. Listen to them speak about their programs, what surprised them, and how their adventures abroad impacted their lives.

Upcoming travel opportunities and funding

Applications for spring and summer 2023 Group Study Programs open Oct. 1, with many short-term opportunities such as photography in Hawai'i, engineering in Spain, geography in Argentina, anthropology in Japan, and public health in Uganda.

Applications for 2023-2024 exchanges, research and internship placements open Nov. 15, although limited space is available for winter 2023 programs. Students are encouraged to reach out to an adviser at with questions regarding programs or application processes.

UCalgary International also recently launched the Global Access Fund, established to help address barriers to participation in Global Learning experiences. All students interested in participating in the next 18 months are encouraged to apply.

Uniquely, this funding will be allocated to students before program application deadlines so that students may “shop around” for the opportunities that work best for them given their academic and career interests without having to take cost into consideration as a factor impacting their ability to participate. Numerous other Global Learning funding opportunities exist, including the International Study Travel Grant, Eyes High Exchange Awards and more.

Virtual Global Learning experiences

Although students haven’t been able to travel much the past couple years, UCalgary’s Global Learning team continued its commitment to internationalization thanks to virtual programs, like the Global Community Challenge YYC (GCC). This co-curricular competition was developed to engage students from both UCalgary and partner universities around the world on international and interdisciplinary teams, working together to solve challenges faced by Calgary organizations.

Virtual programs will continue to be offered every semester despite the return of travel-based programs, since they extend valuable intercultural and leadership skill building to students who may not be able to participate in a travel-based program.

UCalgary’s Global Learning team facilitates student travel through international exchanges with partner universities around the world, group study programs led by UCalgary faculty members, and individualized international research and internship opportunities. Programs can range from 10 days to one year in length and aim to align with students’ personal and academic goals within their financial and accessibility needs. Studying abroad is a valuable opportunity for students to broaden their academic perspectives and gain essential personal and professional skills.