Nov 18, 2021

Vancouver, BC – More than 156 snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ Langara College students will be gaining global skills through the newly launched Langara College Global Skills Development Project (GSDP). This offering has been made possible through $500,000 in funding by the Government of Canada’s new Global Skills Opportunity program. 

This valuable study opportunity will unlock students’ endless potential through life-changing global skills and experiences. Available to all students, program funding will prioritize support of low-income students, Indigenous students, and students with disabilities. 

The program offers three supported pathways to increase global skills development by offering virtual and physical mobility options for students to build transferable work skills and intercultural competence. The three pathways include: 

  • Work Integrated Learning Global Virtual Internship (GVI): students will connect with one of four organizations supporting global virtual internships. 
  • Global Outbound Mobility: Collaborative Online Intercultural Learning-Virtual Exchange (COIL-VE) is well established with twelve Langara departments collaborating with international partners in nine countries. 
  • Global CO-OP: offered to students ready for a longer-term Work Integrated Learning (WIL) experience which can be virtual but likely a physical mobility experience of 4 or 8 months. 

For example, Langara students in a COIL course would learn and exchange information virtually throughout the academic term. With the Global Skills Development Project, funding is provided for Langara students to travel to select COIL partnership countries and deepen their relationships and intercultural experience for short term visits. 

“One of the unexpected benefits of COIL-VE initiatives at Langara during COVID-19 is the engagement of faculty with virtual mobility partners and, in turn, strengthening relationships between institutions,” said Heather Workman, Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Abilities Coordinator at Langara. “As restrictions on travel are lifted, we will continue developing and maintaining these partnerships. Our aim through these partnerships is to deepen relationships leading to multiple opportunities including virtual and physical mobility.” 

Compared to similar countries, fewer Canadian students – only about 11% of university undergraduates and 3% of college students – participate in work or study abroad experiences during their studies. The new program stands to change that. By empowering post-secondary institutions to implement innovative solutions to barriers to participation, Global Skills Opportunity will expand the horizons of Canadian students from coast to coast and improve Canada’s competitiveness on the world stage. 

About the Global Skills Opportunity program 

Global Skills Opportunity is a national outbound student mobility program that is expected to enable more than 16,000 Canadian college and undergraduate-level university students from across the country to acquire the global skills employers want and the Canadian economy needs. A key component of the Government of Canada’s International Education Strategy, Global Skills Opportunity is funded by Employment and Social Development Canada and is administered jointly by Colleges and Institutes Canada and Universities Canada.  

While open to all Canadian post-secondary students, the national program targets groups for whom international experiences have traditionally been less accessible — specifically Indigenous students, students from low-income backgrounds and those with disabilities. It also aims to diversify destination countries where Canadian students pursue international learning.  

“Global Skills Opportunity is breaking down financial, social and logistical barriers that have prevented too many underrepresented students from participating in global study and work opportunities. Through this ambitious and ground-breaking program, thousands of young Canadians will have transformational experience abroad. Their newfound global perspective and skills will inform the way they live and work for decades to come.” 
— Paul Davidson, President, Universities Canada 

 “Study and work abroad programs are invaluable learning experiences that ensure students are culturally literate, resilient, adaptable and ready to succeed in an increasingly globalized world. This is perhaps more important than ever, which is why we are so proud to work with our partners to deliver Global Skills Opportunity. This groundbreaking program will allow more Canadian students to access these opportunities to develop the skills they need to gain a foothold in today’s global marketplace.” 
— Denise Amyot, President, Colleges and Institutes Canada 

About snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ Langara College 
Located in beautiful Vancouver, B.C., Canada, snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ Langara College provides University, Career, and Continuing Studies education to more than 23,000 students annually. With more than 1,700 courses and 130 programs, Langara’s expansive academic breadth and depth allows students of all ages, backgrounds, and life stages to choose their own educational path. Langara is also known as snəw̓eyəɬ leləm 'house of teachings', a name given to it by Musqueam, on whose unceded traditional territory the College is located.   

Learn more.
Mark Dawson
Manager, Public Affairs
Langara College