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Interview with Emily Keijzer, Office Coordinator of The University of Winnipeg Global College, about International Student Programs

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Courtesy of The University of Winnipeg

The University of Winnipeg Global College


by Melisa Kaya

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Global College was a unique idea of Lloyd Axworthy, former University of Winnipeg President, and was successfully established with partnerships between University of Winnipeg, Menno Simons College, and the University of Manitoba. Despite being a newly established college, Global College has the only undergraduate Human Rights BA program in western Canada.

I talked to Emily Keijzer, Office Coordinator of Global College, to learn more about The University of Winnipeg Global College. I think she is the right person to get clear information about foreign student opportunities, studying and social life at Global College. Emily Keijzer graduated from Global College with a 4-year degree in Human Rights, thanks to this feature, she told us about Global College with the view of both a student and a manager. I hope that you will enjoy this Q&A Interview about The University of Winnipeg Global College.

The University of Winnipeg Global College

Emily Keijzer, Office Coordinator of Global College

Could you tell us about The University of Winnipeg Global College and its history?

The inspiration for what became Global College came from former University of Winnipeg President Lloyd Axworthy’s Convocation address in 2004. He called for the creation of a “Global Peace and Security Institute” to augment existing partnerships between the University of Winnipeg and Menno Simons College, and between the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba. This idea resonated with various members of the faculty and administration, and interested individuals began working to bring this vision into reality.

On December 9, 2004, the University officially announced the formation of the Global College and Dialogue Centre. The operational launch for the Global College and Dialogue Centre followed during February 2005, combining high profile events open to the whole University and the broader community. A high profile group of Global Advisors was appointed, along with a local Advisory Board. The mission statement of the new entity proclaimed:

“The newly established Global College provides a place for research, dialogue, and action on issues of global significance affecting our local and international communities and offers valuable resources for participating students, faculty, community members, and visiting scholars.”

In February 2008, the Acting Principal of Global College, Geoff Scott, announced a new Thematic Major comprised of course offerings from across the curriculum. In 2014, the HRGS program was renamed the Human Rights program, and updated to include a few new requirements, including 6 credits of language courses (or a proven ability to speak a second language), and a practicum requirement, providing students with work experience before graduation.

This BA is one of only four undergraduate programs in the country with a focus on human rights, and the only one in western Canada. As of now, 74 students have graduated with a BA in Human Rights, and we have 97 students with a declared in Human Rights.

The University of Winnipeg Global College

Global College

Meanwhile, there was ongoing planning for an MA in Peace and Conflict Studies, offered as a joint degree by UWinnipeg and the University of Manitoba. As with other joint graduate programs offered by the two universities, the program is administered by a Joint Discipline Committee composed of three faculty members at each university. The Joint MA in Peace and Conflict studies began in 2010, with nine students enrolled in the first year. Approximately ten students have entered the program each year, selected from 40 or more applications received annually.

What are the most important features of The University of Winnipeg Global College for international students?

One of the best things about Global College is the class size. Our classes offer a great student-professor ratio, meaning that the professors will know who you are, have more time to offer advice on assignments, and be available outside of class hours. Additionally, we regularly offer field courses. These courses offer a mix of in-class and field experiences, and are great opportunities for students to see firsthand the material they’re learning about. We have run field courses to South Africa, New York, Israel/Palestine, Colombia, and will be running a new one this summer to Botswana. Students doing our 4 year major are required to do a practicum. This can be done locally with organizations in the city, or internationally. The choice is up to the student. The students get to decide what issue they would like to focus on for their practicum, and either work with an organization we have an existing relationship with, or approach a new organization. These practicums are a great opportunity for students to gain work experience before graduation.

The University of Winnipeg Global College

Global College

Could you tell us about the Winnipeg, MB for foreign students who want to study at The University of Winnipeg Global College?

Manitoba has some of the lowest tuition rates in the country, which is a big factor for a lot of international students. Housing in Winnipeg is also quite affordable when compared to other cities in Canada. These two factors combine to make Winnipeg a really attractive option for international students. I should also mention the weather. From about November to March, there’s snow on the ground. Depending on where the students are coming from, it’s likely that they will not be accustomed to the kind of cold weather we get during our long winters. We’re not called Winterpeg for nothing. Purchasing a good quality winter parka and some long johns is essential. But Winnipeg also has a thriving music scene, a lot of great restaurants, and plenty of heat in the summer to make you forget the cold months. Summer in Winnipeg is a blast. From Jazz Fest in June, to Folk Fest in July, and ManyFest in September which includes over 30 food trucks competing for the top spot, international students are bound to find something to do.

What type of programs and courses do you have for international students? What are the requirements for joining these programs?

Students are welcome to join either of our academic programs and the courses they contain. Global College has an undergraduate degree program in Human Rights, which results in a Bachelor of Arts degree. Students have the choice of doing a three or four year degree. As long as students have been admitted to the University of Winnipeg and have a GPA of at least 2.0, they are eligible to major in Human Rights. We also have a Peace and Conflict Studies Masters of Arts degree that is run jointly by Global College and the University of Manitoba. Admission to this program requires that applicants have a four-year Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) earned in either (a) peace & conflict studies; or (b) another related discipline.

The University of Winnipeg Global College

Global College

Do you have scholarship opportunities for international students?

Global College offers a handful of bursaries and scholarships. One of these, the Norman J. and Gwen Axworthy Peace Education Fund Bursary is specifically for a student coming from a refugee or war affected background. Additionally, the University of Winnipeg has a number of scholarships and bursaries that are specifically for international students.

What kind of facilities do you offer in terms of accommodation, social life, part-time work etc?

The University of Winnipeg offers a variety of accommodation options to suit a variety of living situations. McFeetors Hall offers single and double dorms for students looking to live close to campus, and comes with a meal plan. McFeetors Hall has two beautiful large lounges on the 3rd and 5th floors with full kitchens, a study area with sofas, and large screen televisions. For students with families, McFeetors Hall also offers 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments. The University of Winnipeg also has a selection of neighborhood character homes for student living. These houses are ideal for students who are looking for a shared house living situation, and who appreciate a familiar environment.

The University of Winnipeg Global College

McFeetors Hall

Student social life at the University of Winnipeg is thriving. With over 50 student groups, there are many opportunities for students to get involved, meet new people and connect with peers who have similar interests. International Student Services has a Facebook page to keep students connected and in the loop about academic and social opportunities. Global College itself has a student group (Global College Student Advisory Council) that meets on a bi-weekly basis, organizers fundraisers and social events. As the name suggests, GCSAC also has an advisory role, providing feedback on the academic programs offered. There is also a mentoring program, where early years students are paired with senior students for advice.

There are plenty of part-time work opportunities on campus. Whether it’s as a University of Winnipeg Student Ambassador, at the University of Winnipeg Students’ Association’s InfoBooth, or through the Work-Study Program, part-time work is available for students.

How much are the total annual expenses of undergraduate and postgraduate programs for students?

This depends on how many courses the students take. International students are required to maintain full-time status, which is a minimum of three courses. A full course load is considered five courses, so students could enroll in 3-5 (or more!) courses to meet this standard. Tuition for 30 credits of Arts courses (5 classes for both Fall and Winter Terms) costs $12,852.00, plus fees of $1,331.10, totaling $14,183.10. These fees include the Fitness Centre membership, the UPass (Universal Bus Pass), and the Student Union fee. Tuition differs depending on the faculty the course is from, so the above figures would differ if students enroll in courses from faculties other than Arts.

Do you have courses that focus on language learning that you have offered for professionals who have completed postgraduate studies in their home country?

Not Global College specifically, but the University of Winnipeg does. The English Language Program at the University of Winnipeg offers high quality programming to international (and domestic) students seeking to enhance their English proficiency. ELP delivers a variety of English language programming, including customized programming for professionals, teaching English as an additional language, business (with or without a work placement). ELP also offers one on one tutoring in any of the following areas: language test preparation (IELTS, CanTest), speaking and pronunciation, academic writing, reading, listening, and grammar and vocabulary.

Does The University of Winnipeg Global College have a support program in the process of getting a job for your active or graduate students?

Again, not Global College specifically, but the University of Winnipeg does. Career Services at the University of Winnipeg offers a wide range of supports to students and recent graduates of The University of Winnipeg. They offer tips and tools on how to assess yourself, explore different fields, decide on a career path and then make it happen. They have also compiled resources on occupations, graduate schools and pre-professional admission testing (MCAT, GMAT, etc.), and ways to get experience through internships and volunteer positions.

Does The University of Winnipeg Global College have any short-term courses for the professionals who want to improve themselves?

Global College doesn’t, but the University of Winnipeg Professional and Applied Continuing Education (PACE) department does.

In your opinion, What is the greatest investment that students can do for their future while they are still a student?

Get involved during your undergraduate years! There are so many extracurricular opportunities that can add to your resume. Check out your Students’ Union, and see if there are opportunities to volunteer, run for a position, or join a committee. Not only will the experience be great to have, but you will meet wonderful people and make long-lasting connections.

Thank you Emily.

For more information, please visit website of Global College