’Life-changing‘ exchange programs offered

Upcoming information session will showcase opportunities

The University of Winnipeg (U of W) is hosting an outbound exchange information session on Monday, Sept. 30 from 12:30 to 2:10 pm in room 2M70. This is an opportunity to learn about what the university offers for students looking to study abroad for a portion of their degrees.

Jennifer Michaluk, co-ordinator of international admissions at the U of W, manages the exchange opportunities.

“Studying in another country offers students the unique opportunity to attend a university for a month, one or two terms, while retaining their student status at UWinnipeg,” she says. “UWinnipeg has partners all over the world, such as Australia, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Germany, France, Norway and (the) UK.”

Carling Douglas, a U of W student, participated on an exchange.

“This may sound cliché, but this past year in my exchange in Tours, France was the best year of my life,” she says. “Doing an exchange and living or studying in another country really changes your outlook on life and how you are as a person and where you fit in the world.”

Douglas talks about the extracurricular benefits of her exchange.

“Experiencing living on my own is something I valued so much and am so grateful for, as I feel I’ve become so much more independent and confident,” she says.

“My French improved a lot, and I met so many other French and international students who have become great friends.”

Michaluk explains that there are numerous benefits to participating in an exchange program.

“Studying abroad enriches an educational experience, (helps a student) develop cultural competencies, increases employability and provides unique experiences,” she says, noting that “some of the programs have been set up specifically to increase language skills.”

According to a 2014 Léger Marketing survey conducted for Universities Canada, “(m)ore than 80 per cent of employers that hire graduates with international and intercultural experience say these recruits enhance their company’s competitiveness.”

The survey also found that “72 per cent of the employers that hire recruits with international and intercultural experiences believe that these graduates perform better in their job than do others without these experiences.”

Douglas suggests that “doing an exchange in second or third year also really helps to break up your four- or five-year degree.”

“When you get back from the exchange, you have so many more experiences, which then translates into energy you can put into your studies to finish your degree,” she says.

For more information on outbound exchange opportunities at the U of W, visit uwinnipeg.ca/study-abroad/index.html.

Published in Volume 74, Number 4 of The Uniter (September 26, 2019)

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