Sept. 6 marked the beginning of my eighth year at Grenfell Campus. For the past four years, I have been in the position of co-ordinator, international programming — in other words, I am the exchange co-ordinator at Grenfell Campus. One of my primary duties is to co-ordinate exchange opportunities for Grenfell students who want to go away for one or two semesters, and to also co-ordinate those opportunities for students from partner institutions who want to come to Grenfell Campus for a semester or two.
It has been quite the privilege so far to have worked with so many wonderful students over the past four years.
This fall, I welcomed 21 students to Grenfell Campus. These students have come from all over the world to experience the view from here: from the United States of America, Puerto Rico, South Korea, Belize, Costa Rica, Taiwan, Denmark, Germany and Sweden. These students help add to the diversity of the Grenfell Campus student body; they help to enrich our campus community for the short time they are here, and provide “internationalization at home” experiences to our Grenfell students who are not able to travel abroad. While it would be preferred for all Grenfell students to travel abroad at some point in their degree program, the reality is that this is not possible. But having the opportunity to interact with students from all over the world does provide meaningful experiences to all Grenfell students, staff, and faculty.
I have also said “see you later” to six Grenfell students since June, who have decided to embark on international adventures. Currently there are two students in Australia, one in the United States (Texas), one in Japan and one in Ireland.
I also had one student participate in a month-long summer program in South Korea this past summer. These students are thriving in their new environments and have expressed to me how valuable this experience is to them now and into the future. I hope to continue to increase the number of outbound students annually.
And to any Grenfell student who wants to go on exchange: You will not be disappointed!
Nicole Watson is the coordinator for international programming at Grenfell Campus.