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UR International announces launch of the Global Skills Opportunity Program

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: November 24, 2021 4:00 p.m.

The Global Skills Opportunity Program will support domestic undergraduate students at the University of Regina with international mobility experiences.
The Global Skills Opportunity Program will support domestic undergraduate students at the University of Regina with international mobility experiences. Photo provided by UR International

This afternoon, UR International announced the launch of the Global Skills Opportunity Program at the University of Regina, which will benefit Indigenous students, students with disabilities, and low-income students, in particular. 

The Global Skills Opportunity (GSO) Program is a scholarship program facilitated jointly by the University of Regina and Universities Canada. It will begin in the Winter 2022 semester and run until the Winter 2025 semester. The GSO Program will see a combined $1 million in total funding from both the University of Regina and the Government of Canada to support domestic undergraduate students at the University of Regina with international mobility experiences. This includes international exchanges, internships, practicums, field work, study tours, and research programs. 

Scholarship funding with the GSO Program will be managed by the UR International Study Abroad & Global Mobility office and has significant funding allocations prioritized for students who have traditionally been less represented in international education experiences, specifically Indigenous students, students with disabilities, and low-income students. The Program also aims to diversify destination countries where Canadian students pursue international learning, by emphasizing non-traditional destinations, such as countries outside of France, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States. 

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“Global Skills Opportunity is a national outbound student mobility program that is expected to enable more than 16,000 Canadian undergraduate students from across the country to acquire the global skills that employers want and the Canadian economy needs,” says Haroon Chaudhry, Acting Associate Vice-President (International). “Internationalization starts at home, and we hope to empower our campus community as a whole, by making international opportunities more accessible to our students. Through this program, UR International will be at the front line of opening the global door for students who have been traditionally less represented in the international education arena.” 

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Jacques Charrier has completed exchange
programs in Japan and South Korea as
well as virtual exchange programs at
partner schools in Japan and Mexico.
Photo Provided by Jacques Charrier.

U of R student Jacques Charrier is in the faculties of Education and Arts, completing a double degree in Secondary English Education and a Bachelor of Arts in English (Honours). He is also a registered student with the Centre for Student Accessibility and identifies as having a disability. 

Charrier completed exchange programs in 2018 at Tokyo Metropolitan University in Japan and in 2019 at Ulsan University in South Korea. Additionally, he completed virtual exchange programs this past spring at partner schools in both Japan and Mexico. 

“I believe that offering these scholarships to people with disabilities, low-income backgrounds, and Indigenous roots will give students the opportunity to go abroad and experience things that they wouldn’t be able to otherwise. says Charrier. 

University of Regina President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Jeff Keshen spoke at this afternoon’s event and highlighted the impact that international students have at the University of Regina, as well as the value that international education can bring to a domestic student’s life. 

“I am a firm believer in the value of experiential education, and having an international experience as part of one’s education is an important form of experiential learning,” says Dr. Keshen. “I have always believed that it takes a lot of courage to undertake studies in another country – and this is doubly the case for students with disabilities, or whose families may not have had the means to travel internationally in the past. A university education is about creating opportunity for students, and I’m excited that this program will do exactly that.” 

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Taylor Marshall, Manager, Study
Abroad & Global Mobility with
UR International speaking at the
Global Skills Opportunity Program
launch event. Photo: UAC

Student Success and Internationalization are part of the Discovery area of focus in the University of Regina’s 2020-2025 Strategic Plan kahkiyaw kiwȃhkomȃkȃninawak – All Our Relations. Discovery includes the development and dissemination of new knowledge, as well as the personal insights that arise from active learning. An empowering education provides our students with the skills and self-confidence required to navigate the world around them throughout their time at the University of Regina and beyond. 

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