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Mapping Out My Future 🗺️

Studying abroad is something I have always dreamed of doing. I love travelling and new places, but there’s something different about living in another place, even temporarily. You can’t gain the true experiences and the culture that you would get from studying or working abroad by simply checking out a new city and staying in a hotel for a few days. It’s these off-the-map adventures that have me considering going global this summer!

Last year, I learned about the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship, which are paid internships in commonwealth countries with a variety of focuses including literacy, research, Indigenous advancement and social issues. The internship I was eyeing specifically was at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. New Zealand’s Māori people account for 15% of their population where the impacts of colonialism mirror that of many Indigenous peoples across the world. The Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga / New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence hosts the International Indigenous Research Conference and the internship consists of analysis, collection and gathering of abstracts whilst learning about various Indigenous cultures, social issues, language and history. While this particular opportunity is only available to First Nations (Status, non-Status, Treaty), Métis, Inuit, or North American Indian, there are a multitude of other options in the field of Indigenous advocacy that take place in New Zealand, Australia, Belize and Guyana. There are also field placements for other research focuses in Kenya, the UK, Rwanda, India, South Africa and other Commonwealth countries. To apply, an individual has to be in second-year or higher, registered in the Faculty of Arts & Science, and a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada and must be willing to complete the internship of at least 90 days. The scholarship value is worth $6,000 and U of T offers a supplemental $1,000 scholarship. If this sounds interesting to you, check out the link below.

(Click here for more information on the QES Diamond Jubilee Scholarship)

This isn’t the only opportunity to study abroad, however! The Centre for International Experience is an extremely helpful resource to look at the variety of opportunities if you’re looking to shake up your school year. There are opportunities for Summer Abroad, where you gain a full U of T credit for taking a 3 to 6 week course at one of the offered universities, which include Germany, China, Grenada, China, Ireland, South Africa, etc. There are also student exchange programs, postdoctoral opportunities and internships across the globe. There are many information sessions and fairs held across campus throughout the year, so check them out, ask questions and meet other students who have studied abroad.
To check out all of the possibilities, head over to the Centre for International Experience at the link below.
(Click here to visit the Centre for International Experience)

Some things to consider when you’re studying abroad:

  • Cost of the program
  • Scholarships and financial help available
  • Housing/transportation – Stay in a dorm? Rent an apartment? Bike, drive or public transportation?
  • Leaving jobs/family/relationships/pets for an extended period of time
  • Language and culture of the country
  • Does this work for your life, mental health and finances at the moment?
  • What you want to get out of this experience?
  • What makes you want to study in one country over another?
  • How does this fit into the larger picture of your studies?

Camera, polaroids and a notebook with a pencil on a map

I think it’s important to weigh your options before jet-setting but I know that adventures are waiting and I’m hoping to get the chances to experience them. As I am finishing my second year next semester, I am hoping I’ll learn about Indigenous cultures on a global scale and context and use that to round out my experiences in the Indigenous Studies program. Maybe I’ll see some of you halfway around the globe! 🌍