Back in Canada – Maria Church
Back in Canada now, I am reflecting on the past 10 day trip to Singapore with mixed feelings of success. I found out a lot from the three ladies I profiled (see former blog posts) but I have yet to fully connect the dots to Canadian students. While I learned about some incredible incentives countries such as Singapore use to encourage international students to study there and about the importance of an education system to encourage students to widen their education overseas, I’m still left wondering what Canada is missing. Why are we more unwilling to travel when compared to other globe trotting nationalities (ie. Australian, American and pretty much any country in the EU).
It hardly makes sense to lump all Canadian students into a category of unwillingness because there are so many reasons one makes or does not make the decision to study abroad. But, from what I can see, it is not for want of financial and educational incentive that Canadian students are choosing not to. There are several websites the Canadian government maintains to provide information about studying abroad (here is one listing international scholarships by country http://bit.ly/rJqJvQ) and almost all universities in Canada encourage exchange programs.
Perhaps it is a lack of awareness? One thing I noticed in Singapore was an overwhelming amount of advertisement for schooling abroad. One subway train became basically a mobile poster for a university in Ireland, with nearly every surface covered in pictures of the ‘emerald isle’ and information about choosing Ireland as a post secondary destination. That was something you don’t often see in Canada.
Perhaps Canadian students are just taking their time when it comes to capitalizing on the increasingly globalized world. It seems to me, with greater than ever access to international news and increasing awareness of the global events as they apply to Canada, it won’t be long until the rush of international fervour breaks like a wave on our igloos and forces us from the comfy bubble of “eh”. Or not. Perhaps this is just the musings of a strung out international junkie who has let her passion for travel lead her to an unfortunate state constant itchy feet, bordering on Canada cabin fever-ish derangement. I’ll leave that one up to you.
The bow out: Chances are if you are reading blogs from Study and Go Abroad, you are already pumped about an upcoming trip or have aspirations of future international travel so I hope you are even more inspired now to make the trip. Maybe someday there will be enough of us venturing abroad that a resounding “take that!” will be heard by those who doubt our collective international wanderlust. Good luck on your future adventures!