All students offered admission to Western University for the 2015-16 academic year got an interesting item in their information packages: a “boarding pass” redeemable for $1,000 to help them finance an international learning experience.
The new Western International Learning Award is available to full-time undergraduates in second year who are planning an international learning experience in their third year of study. To be eligible, students must have a cumulative 80-percent average with a full-time course load at the end of year two.
Eligible pursuits include: an academic exchange, summer study abroad (before or after year three), curriculum-based international field courses, “Alternative Spring Break” activities, international community service learning, internships, international research, or other university-led experiences. “They broaden students’ perspective by expanding their awareness and understanding of different cultures, historical contexts and belief systems,” says Western President Amit Chakma.
A new report by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada found that just 3.1 percent of full-time undergraduates participated in an international experience in the 2012-13 academic year, and even fewer did so for credit.