Portage Receives Nearly Half a Million Dollars for International Study and Work Experiences for Students
February 15, 2022

Portage College students will soon be travelling the world with a project funded by Global Skills Opportunity (GSO), the Government of Canada’s Outbound Student Mobility Pilot Program. The College was one of the post-secondary institutions from across the country selected to participate in the GSO program, which provides students with the opportunity to study and work overseas. Portage received a total of $498,000, to cover travel expenses and study and work opportunities for students for the next four years. The GSO program marks the first time that international study opportunities have been available to Portage students.

“We are grateful that Portage College has been successful in securing funding that will support international experiences for our students,” said Robin Tizzard, Dean of Health and Human Services, and Business at Portage College. “These learning opportunities will create memorable, impactful experiences that will enhance the post-secondary education for our students.”

The GSO program is administered through the partnership between the Government of Canada, Colleges and Institutes Canada, Universities Canada, and Canadian post-secondary institutions to provide students with international experiences through study and work. The overarching objective of the program is to increase the number of Canadian students studying and working internationally.

Portage is currently focusing on Japan and South Africa as destinations of interest, given tie-ins to College programs (specific study opportunities are identified below). For the coming year, however, the College will focus on virtual connections, due to COVID travel restrictions. 

“Virtual learning will allow for students to learn about the region they will be visiting, build initial rapport, bring forward concerns or questions, and assist with planning for when international travel resumes,” said Vice President Academic Dr. Donna Feledichuk.

The program is expected to have benefits that reach far beyond College walls.

“I praise the work done by our faculty and staff to obtain this grant for our students,” said Nancy Broadbent, President and CEO of Portage College. “International learning opportunities have not yet existed for students at our institution. This program could positively impact rural growth and economy, remove barriers for learners and allow for different employment pathways.”

Specific Study Opportunities:

  • Print making in Japan influenced the print making style and techniques used by the Inuit in Canada which is studied within the Arts programs at Portage. Intercultural competencies and professional networking skill can increase within the College’s Native Arts and Culture and Fine Arts programs. In these programs students investigate the origin and cultural relevance of different art forms. Print making in Japan influenced the print making style and techniques used by the Inuit in Canada. Students will have opportunity to study traditional Japanese print making processes, enriching their experience and growth in this form of art. Further opportunity will be provided to study traditional use of natural materials such as the making of rice paper which is a foundational component of many artistic works in Japan. Rice paper is still imported from Japan and used by the Inuit in their printmaking practices today.
  • South Africa is a destination that many programs can learn from. Environmental Studies’ students can further develop their knowledge of nature preserves and developing communities within South Africa. Currently in programs like Practical Nurse (PN) and Community Social Work (CSW) there are no opportunities to be exposed to practices that take place in other nations. Opportunities where PN and CSW students could interact with clinic practitioners in Africa would greatly enrich their intercultural competencies and professional networking skills. After these experiences, students may have the increased confidence and choose to pursue opportunities to travel and provide community service in these types of locations. When they return to their home communities they will bring intercultural knowledge and competences that would positively impact their practice.

Media Inquiries: 

Jaime Davies
Portage College, Corporate Communications Manager

We acknowledge that Portage College’s service region is on the traditional lands of First Nation Peoples, the owners of Treaty 6, 8 and 10, which are also homelands to the Métis people. We honour the history and culture of all people who first lived and gathered in these lands.
Facebook Instagram Linkedin RSS Twitter YouTube TikTok