Learning Beyond Borders:
A National Conversation on Learning Abroad

Canada’s education institutions are essential to inspire #LearningAbroad.

Become a champion for change and sign-on your institution by January 31st:

I promote learning abroad opportunities and scholarships at my institutionI support students who go abroad with pre-departure and/or reintegrationI contribute to my institution’s learning abroad strategyI don’t work in learning abroad but I want to be involved!Other

Canada’s Global Engagement Challenge

Canada faces a great challenge: getting more students to undertake learning experiences in other countries in order to become global citizens.

What can we do to develop Canada’s leaders of tomorrow, the individuals who will negotiate, analyze, connect and engage in meaningful ways at the international level?

Making learning abroad a reality for a critical mass of Canadian students requires a culture shift

Learning abroad must not be viewed as a luxury but rather accepted as an integral part of Canada’s high quality education for the 21st century. Students and families need to better understand that learning abroad opportunities are personally enriching and lead to concrete learning outcomes that enhance career prospects and career development; institutions need to address barriers that research shows reduce the impact of their efforts to engage Canadian students in learning abroad; business, political and thought leaders need to join institutional leaders in speaking out about the necessity for Canada’s young people to engage with the world.

Canada’s education institutions are essential change agents in realizing this culture shift

Other countries are making huge advances in internationalizing their next generation, Canada has not approached the internationalization of its talent pool as a national imperative. It is time to leverage the leadership role of education institutions in a concerted and coordinated effort to give our young leaders the knowledge, skills and global outlook they will need to thrive in our interconnected world.

The students themselves have told us how to start

CBIE’s new research findings, based on a survey of some 7,000 students across the country, confirm that financial support for Canadians to undertake learning abroad remains a key barrier: 86% of student respondents said they are interested in participating in a learning abroad experience, but 80% require financial assistance to do so.

But money is not the only barrier. Attitudes, institutional policies and practices, effective promotion of existing opportunities and supports, as well as lack of awareness of the important benefits of learning abroad are also significant obstacles.

Championing the conversation

CBIE invites institutions representing all levels of education, including universities, colleges, polytechnics, cégeps and K-12 school boards, to get involved in the national conversation on learning abroad and become champions for change. In the form above we have asked you to identify your role in #LearningAbroad at your institution. We will follow up with you to determine where you can make a difference .
Learning abroad innovation zone

In the learning abroad innovation zone institutions commit to identifying and addressing internal barriers to learning abroad and to participating in peer discussions with institutions across the country that are tackling similar issues and challenges.

In February-March 2017, institutions will convene key stakeholders, including students, in a structured dialogue to assess the most important barriers to learning abroad in their particular institutional context.

By March 31 2017 they will have developed an action plan to address 3-5 key issues that will catalyze institutional change. They will prepare a summary of lessons learned to date for discussion at a special roundtable event and workshops during CBIE’s 51st Annual Conference in Halifax.

Learning abroad promotion zone

In the learning abroad promotion zone institutions commit to contributing to a national communications campaign to promote the value of learning abroad to students and other stakeholders by creating and disseminating shareable content on the impact and outcomes of learning abroad.

Specifically, institutions will develop a minimum of five new pieces of value added content that will target the key audiences of students, business and political thought leaders, and local community influencers.

By end of February 2017, each participating institution will have developed a communications action plan outlining planned activities and anticipated timelines with respect to the above-mentioned commitments.

Launching of the national conversation on learning abroad

Sign-on to the conversation on behalf of your institution by completing the form above before January 31, 2017.

A formal reporting back on the progress of the Learning Beyond Borders campaign will be provided at CBIE’s 51st conference in Halifax in November 2017.

Working together we can address Canada`s global engagement challenge and begin to catalyze a culture shift. Through cooperation, collaboration and networking we invite all of you to lend your voices to the national conversation on learning abroad.