EU-Canada Study Tour - Helen Ayres
students from 23 countries- apart from Cyprus, Greece, Malta and Luxemburg.
visited major private and public institutions, government bodies, think tanks
After spending four days in Brussels we travelled to Ottawa, Québec, Montréal, Toronto, Vancouver
Outline of study tour/highlights:
the study tour we attended a large variety of lectures on a number of different
topics including: politics, economics, culture, and social policy.
discussed a broad range of subjects from a variety of different angles. There
were a number of different talks on each topic which enabled us to compare and
contrast the information we were given
of the main topics we focussed on is the CETA trade agreement which is
currently being negotiated.
really enjoyed meeting with the First Nations organisations, including a visit
to the Nunavut College and the Assembly of the First Nations. We also had a
number of fascinating talks on the development of the North of Canada,
including a discussion with the Ministry of Natural Resources in Quebec on Le
spent two months in Vancouver working at the Office to Combat Trafficking in
Persons, part of the British Columbia provincial government.
internship allowed me gain greater knowledge of human trafficking issues, which
I had previously developed during my MSc thesis on human trafficking policy
within the UK.
the internship I wrote the stakeholder newsletter and conducted a short piece
of research into child trafficking within British Columbia.
Benefits of the tour:
was very valuable for students to be able to discuss policy areas outside of their
academic field; each presentation had a large amount of time devoted to asking
questions which was a good opportunity to explore further topics of interest.
were also opportunities for those writing dissertations to collect research
materials and for those interested in further study at Masters or PHD level to
gain ideas for possible theses.
example, the student from Romania used her time in Vancouver to research
Japanese Canadian identity
were able to visit institutions which would have been very difficult to access
otherwise; for instance we were able to meet with the Vice Premier of Quebec. On
the other hand, we also had a tour of Insite, a safe injection site for drug
users in Vancouver, and Portage, a drug rehabilitation centre.
has been extremely useful and interesting to network with the other students on
the study tour and Canadian organisations
study tour experience will be useful when applying for jobs, particularly in
the current economic climate.
study tour opened up the possibility of working or studying in Canada in the
example the student from Bulgaria used a contact that he had made to complete a
short placement at an architecture firm in Ottawa (outside the internships with
the programme). He will be returning to Canada in February to continue training
with this architecture firm.
Organisation of trip:
study tour was very well organised, we received all the details in advance and
the application process was clear
day was very busy and time and money were used efficiently to gain the most from
our time in Canada. We also had a few free days throughout the tour in which to
do some sightseeing.
Alexandre Berlin and the other leaders on tour were very knowledgeable and
approachable, enabling us to gain the most from the study tour.
funding from BACs it would be very difficult for many students to participate
in this study tour, therefore in order to select the best candidates who can
most benefit from this experience the
funding is vital
study tour was an extremely valuable experience which enabled me to develop a
greater insight into Canadian culture and politics.