Projects are administered by post-secondary institutions so the exact start date will vary from school to school. Some projects will begin as early as Fall 2021, many are launching in Spring 2022.
In spring 2021, Colleges and Institutes Canada and Universities Canada put out a request for proposals for post-secondary institutions across the country to submit innovative project proposals. Respective selection committees reviewed the proposals and chose successful applications. Fifty-six universities and 54 colleges have received funding to run projects until 2025.
Global Skills Opportunity is funded by the Government of Canada through Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).
The program seeks to diversify study/work-abroad destination countries. ‘Non-traditional countries’ refers to all countries other than the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Australia, where many Canadian students already opt to work and study.
In 2019, the Government of Canada launched its five-year International Education Strategy, Building on Success, which highlights the importance of international experiences that offer students exposure to new cultures and ideas in destinations for work or study abroad that are key global markets. The Global Skills Opportunity program is designed to drive innovative solutions that will bring more international learning experiences to campuses across the country.
Each participating institution will have their own eligibility requirements based on their individual project(s). That being said, Global Skills Opportunity projects are open to all Canadian post-secondary students but will prioritize underrepresented students (Indigenous students, low-income students and those with disabilities).
- Student participants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents, registered at a provincially recognized Canadian post-secondary institution.
- Students must be in good standing as defined and determined by the post-secondary institution to which they are registered.
- Students must be 18 years of age or older.
International students are ineligible for funding.
Individual student funding is to be determined by each Canadian post-secondary institution, based on financial needs and destination costs. Consult your school’s website for the most relevant information.
Funding is meant to make outbound mobility more accessible and can cover direct expenses related to a Global Skills Opportunity experience, like international travel and accommodations related to the specific experience and is not a replacement for typical costs associated with student financial assistance (e.g., tuition, books and supplies, shelter, food, local transportation, etc.). It is at the discretion of each post-secondary institution to determine how funds are disbursed. Consult your school’s website for the most relevant information.
Visit your post-secondary institution’s website for more information about the Global Skills Opportunity project available on campus. To see a list of all participating post-secondary institutions, see Funded Opportunities.
The Global Skills Opportunity program funds projects run by post-secondary institutions; students’ participation in the program must be through their institution.
Students’ safety — as well as that of any accompanying faculty or support person — is paramount. Participating universities must have in place rigorous security protocols that address region-specific health and safety considerations, and include evacuation procedures (including emergency medical evacuation).
These plans respect local customs and laws, and are based on international best practices. Whenever possible, they are developed in accordance with consular procedures followed by the Canadian Embassy in the destination country.
The 2021 Global Skills Opportunity Call for Proposals has closed. There may be future calls in the coming years. All eligible Canadian post-secondary institutions will be contacted directly with news of any future calls for proposals.
For more information about the benefits of participation for your institution, please visit Global Skills Opportunity and post-secondary institutions. If you’d like to know more about your institution’s approved project(s), please visit their website.
For general information about the Global Skills Opportunity program, see our Learn More page.
To compete in the global marketplace, Canada needs a globally aware workforce. You can help. By partnering with GSO, you’re making international learning experiences more accessible for Canadian students, allowing them to develop in-demand global skills, and fortifying Canada’s international networks.
We’re seeking industry leaders across sectors to support Global Skills Opportunity through sponsorship, endorsement, work-integrated learning opportunities, and by providing services at special rates for participating students.
Travelling During the COVID-19 Pandemic
No, not all Global Skills Opportunity projects require travel outside of Canada. GSO is purposefully flexible to encourage institutions to innovate virtual international experiences for students. In response to the pandemic, many post-secondary institutions created or improved tools and approaches to offer students innovative virtual mobility programming adapted to COVID-19. Virtual mobility experiences have been proven effective at developing students’ global competencies and are much more accessible to underrepresented students.
Funded projects are specific to each institution. Visit your institution’s website to learn more about their Global Skills Opportunity project and reach out to their international office.
Any GSO project that involves travel abroad will prioritize safety by complying with government travel restrictions and recommendations. Physical mobility will not be permitted in countries (or regions within countries) with travel advisories from the Government of Canada recommending the avoidance of all travel or non-essential travel.
Please refer to http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories for more details.