University of Calgary

AUCC Brazil Mission 2012

UToday HomeMay 4, 2012

President Elizabeth Cannon with a professor of chemical engineering at Brazil’s Universidade Federal Fluminense during the AUCC mission to Brazil.President Elizabeth Cannon with a professor of chemical engineering at Brazil’s Universidade Federal Fluminense during the AUCC mission to Brazil. Photo courtesy of the AUCCGabriel Fiorenzano of Sao Paulo, Brazil, decided to study at the University of Calgary after visiting the campus as part of a student-exchange program while he was in high school. Fiorenzano, now in his third year, is studying international relations and economics and says he hasn’t looked back.

“It’s so great to have international experience,” says Fiorenzano. “It’s a huge add-on to your resume and it will also benefit society back at home.”

It’s these student and academic experiences that the University of Calgary is aiming to foster through a wide variety of international partnerships.

“International engagement benefits the University of Calgary and the broader Calgary community. It’s also an academic priority and area of strategic focus for the university,” says President Elizabeth Cannon.

From April 24 to May 2, President Cannon was among a contingent of 30 Canadian university presidents, the Governor General of Canada and federal government ministers as part of an historic mission to Brazil to open up new collaborations and opportunities for students and academics. Brazil is an economic powerhouse. It’s the world’s sixth largest economy, ranked just after France.

“This trip was really unprecedented. It was the largest delegation of Canadian university presidents that has travelled internationally,” says Cannon, who was there as part of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada mission. “We visited universities, private sector companies, funding agencies and spoke with government officials. We really got a first-hand look at the country’s history, its strengths, its people and its culture.”

The focus on internationalization has been re-energized at the University of Calgary through broad campus consultations that resulted in the university’s Eyes High vision and strategic direction and the new Academic Plan.

The plan describes why internationalization is an academic priority and what needs to be in place for our university to be a “global intellectual hub” working closely with scholars, governments, industries and non-governmental organizations around the world. The overall goal of this priority is to develop an international strategy for the University of Calgary, including identifying and developing new international opportunities for students and faculty.

Internationalization is about mutual partnerships: creating goodwill on both sides. The University of Calgary will be collaborating on programs, research and service for the benefit of all. Students and staff will have a better understanding and appreciation of cultural differences and diversity. Those students that return home will take the lessons they learned here home with them, hopefully improving things in their home countries.

For opportunities available at this time through the University of Calgary to study abroad and to learn about the university’s support for international students, please contact UC International.