DC receives more than $472,000 from Global Skills Opportunity to support faculty-led learning abroad for students

In the current Canadian context of urgently needed Reconciliation, Durham College (DC) has been awarded more than $472,000 in funding from Global Skills Opportunity, the Government of Canada’s Outbound Student Mobility Pilot Program, for an innovative international learning opportunity designed to engage with Indigenous and traditional communities around the world.

Offered through DC’s Faculty-Led Classroom Abroad (FLCA) program, FLCA@Home and Away will begin with virtual activities, followed by future global travel opportunities to participating countries.

“We are very excited to be offering this program to students,” said Janine Knight-Grofe, manager, International Education at DC. “Based on previous education abroad experiences between the college and communities in Guatemala, we’ve gained valuable insights into the rich learning and transformation that takes place when we engage in authentic interactions with Indigenous peoples. FLCA@Home and Away is a timely extension of that work, which will allow students to interact and exchange knowledge and skills with these groups from other countries. It is through these experiences that students develop a foundation for Reconciliation at home.”

By taking part in the FLCA@Home and Away initiative, students will increase their knowledge of intercultural competencies and hone their professional networking skills while demonstrating cultural awareness, adaptability, resilience, creativity, and self-awareness, particularly in understanding the unique perspectives and contributions of Indigenous peoples. They also will learn to respond positively to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures respect of cultural differences, while developing the ability to recognize and interpret cultural perspectives without bias. In addition, demonstrating respect for the diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others will be emphasized as they cultivate transferable skills for their personal and professional development.

FLCA@Home and Away was designed in collaboration with DC’s International Education Office, faculty, the First Peoples Indigenous Centre, the Access and Support Centre and the Career Development Office.

The first offering, FLCA@Home: Storytelling will take place virtually over the winter 2022 semester for students from the college’s School of Media, Art & Design. Future projects are also being planned for students across the college’s other academic schools.

More information about FLCA@Home and Away can be found at www.durhamcollege.ca/flca.

Details about the Global Skills Opportunity program are also available online.