Our project focuses on the improvement of targeted outreach and training for students from equity deserving communities, to ensure increased awareness of, and preparedness for, international study and work experiences that are key to obtaining workplace skills and intercultural competencies. Through a multi-pronged project, our team will implement and test approaches to better prepare students to transition to a physical mobility experience, while identifying pathways for program enhancement in relation to student outreach and engagement.
We have learned repeatedly that outreach conducted by peers, particularly peers with similar lived experiences, is key to expanding awareness of and participation in international opportunities. The first part of our project will pilot a Global Learning Peer Ambassador program. Students from equity deserving communities – in particular Indigenous students, low-income students and students with disabilities – who have participated in study or work abroad previously, will be hired to lead the outreach. These student ambassadors will develop a tailored outreach plan based on their communities’ specific needs and engage in various activities and events aimed at increasing awareness of, and participation in, study and work abroad opportunities.
Although pre-departure training and resources are consistently available to Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) students, the method and format of delivery can greatly impact student learning outcomes. Our team is currently transitioning all pre-departure training to an eLearning format that will be available to students via the university’s learning management system. The interactive modules are based on a motion graphics animation style to ensure creative and engaging content for students. Part two of our project will invest resources in hiring graphic designers and animators to advance the creative collateral for the pre-departure trainings, alongside writers and copy editors to finalize the remaining scripts for voice over narration. Beyond improved format and delivery, we are expanding content, including new modules on:
- Identity and Travel
- Privilege, Power and the Politics of Movement
- Skills for Resiliency and Well-being
There is inherent value and learning that comes from engaging in study and work abroad. Complementary training opportunities will additionally enhance student skill development, which is essential to successfully engaging and completing these opportunities. The third part of our project will test innovative experiential learning approaches to topics of cross-cultural collaboration and conflict resolution. We will collaborate with TMU’s Live Actor Simulation (LAS) team to co-create scenarios and integrate them into our virtual and in-person training activities.