2023 Annual Report

Education Abroad Professional Learning Community (EA-PLC) October 2023

Message from the Co-chairs

2023 has been another eventful year in the field of education abroad and the importance of being able to connect, collaborate, and support each other through our PLC cannot be understated!

We are so fortunate to be able to benefit from the knowledge and expertise within our PLC community. Over the past year, the Education Abroad PLC and its sub-groups have offered numerous knowledge-sharing presentations and webinars, covering important topics in the field, including expanding access, diversity and inclusion; pre-departure, re-entry and wraparound supports; innovative virtual education abroad opportunities; benchmarking and measures; and building intercultural competence. Our events, including our Education Abroad PLC Breakfast at CBIE 2023 gave us the opportunity to continue building important networks.

We could not do what we do without the dedication and leadership of each of our sub-group co-leads. Thank you so much for your commitment and for so generously giving of your time and expertise. We also want to thank all of our members for their active engagement in, and contributions to, our monthly meetings, the Hub, our annual conference, regional meetings and more. Your participation helps us all to learn and grow and keeps important conversations moving forward, further enhancing our field.

We look forward to continuing our learning and connection in 2024 and hope that our PLC continues to be a safe and inclusive space to celebrate successes, share challenges, and engage in meaningful connection and conversation. We’re grateful for your dedication and support and look forward to another year of growth and accomplishments together.

Colleen and Janine


The Education Abroad Professional Learning Community (EA PLC) provides a forum for professionals in the fields of education abroad and global learning to share resources, ideas, successes, and challenges in a supportive environment. It also aims to identify and work to address the needs of those facilitating education abroad at our respective institutions.


Facilitate the role of education abroad professionals at educational institutions across Canada, create an informed and effective support network and forum of discussion amongst education abroad professionals Speak on behalf of the Canadian education abroad community and their institutions for the purpose of providing information to CBIE that supports its advocacy efforts.


The goal of the Education Abroad PLC is to:

  • Establish tools and resources that encourage the free exchange of ideas and information between professionals involved with education abroad (EA) programs at different institutions/organizations
  • Encourage the sharing of resources and best practices within the EA PLC community
  • Develop and/or promote education and training for education abroad professionals
  • Support research activities in the field of education abroad
  • Work cooperatively with agencies supporting student mobility
  • Identify and work to address the needs of those facilitating EA at our respective institutions
  • Initiate discussion on the development of support services for EA programs in Canada
  • Collect and disseminate information that aids with advocacy for financial support for EA initiatives
  • Support and promote the internationalization of Canadian campuses through EA programs
  • Raise education abroad in Canada to a high-profile issue within our institutions and organizations, including CBIE and its partners

Steering Committee

Janine Knight-GrofeJanine Knight-Grofe

Janine Knight-Grofe
International Education,
Durham College

Colleen PackerColleen Packer

Colleen Packer
Global Learning,
University of Calgary

Zhi JonesZhi Jones

Zhi Jones
Associate Director,
Education Abroad (Services),
University of Alberta

Shabnam (Shay) IvkovicShabnam (Shay) Ivkovic

Shabnam (Shay) Ivkovic
International Strategic Initiatives,
Co-Operative & Experiential Education,
University of Waterloo

Mila SokolyanskayaMila Sokolyanskaya

Mila Sokolyanskaya
Global Education Coordinator,
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

Karima RamjiKarima Ramji

Karima Ramji
Associate Director,
International, Indigenous & Strategic Initiatives,
University of Victoria

Rebecca TrautweinRebecca Trautwein

Rebecca Trautwein
Education Abroad,
University of Calgary

Elissa CressmanElissa Cressman

Elissa Cressman
Safety Abroad,
University of Waterloo

KK (Kristina) MillerKK (Kristina) Miller

KK (Kristina) Miller
International Mobility Coordinator,
Seneca College

Ada LeeAda Lee

Ada Lee
Global Development Manager,
Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Eunjung RiaukaEunjung Riauka

Eunjung Riauka
International Learning,
Western University

Overview of Membership

366 Members

From 300 members in 2022 to 366 members in 2023, the EA-PLC membership has steadily increased, with 66 new members joining in the past year

Institution Type
18.3% Colleges, 14.8% Polytechnics & Institutes, 66.9% Universities
Role Type
Advisors/Officers/Coordinators: 148, Directors: 40, Faculty: 7, Managers: 71, Other (Assistants, Fellows, Secretaries, etc): 87
Members by Province/Territory
Alberta: 37, British Columbia: 77, Manitoba: 12, New Brunswick: 4, Newfoundland & Labrador: 7, Nova Scotia: 15, Ontario: 176, Prince Edward Island: 1, Quebec: 23, Saskatchewan: 11, Yukon: 3

Events & Initiatives

hosted virtual eventshosted virtual events

hosted virtual

welcomed guest speakerswelcomed guest speakers

welcomed guest speakers from senior leadership positions, industry and academia

presented at CBIE2022presented at CBIE2022

presented at

Special Thanks

Thank you to our co-leads past and present for sharing your knowledge, to our members for your engagement, to the CBIE staff, especially Sophie Jodouin and Melissa Payne, for your support, and to Larissa Bezo for your leadership.

Thank you to Global Skills Opportunity and the Canadian Higher Education Travel Safety Network for your continued collaboration.

Finally, thank you to Janine Knight-Grofe for your many contributions to our PLC and to the field of international education over the years.