The government of Saskatchewan launched the Saskatchewan Student Ambassador Program on March 28 as part of the International Education Strategy. The program will provide specialized training to promote Saskatchewan as an international destination
The Government of Saskatchewan launched the Saskatchewan Student Ambassador Program on March 28 as part of its International Education Strategy.
The program will provide specialized training to promote Saskatchewan as an international destination to study, live, work, and raise a family.
Shirley Zhou, an international partnerships specialist at the University of Saskatchewan, said, “This exciting collaboration between the government and post-secondary sector gives domestic and international students opportunities to be global and cultural ambassadors. By expanding their horizons, participants will be positioned to succeed in the global economy and develop leadership the world needs.”
The program will have two key pathways:
- Outbound mobility: Saskatchewan students studying abroad will receive cultural expectation training, Saskatchewan-specific promotional teachings, and access to promotional resources.
- Inbound mobility: international students studying in Saskatchewan will receive academic and cultural experiences, campus tours, and historical teachings, as well as the same promotional resources as the outbound pathway.
“The Saskatchewan Student Ambassador Program supports Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan by building the province’s brand around the world,” said Gene Makowsky, Minister of Advanced Education. “These experiences can be used to innovate and grow Saskatchewan’s economy.”
Students who become ambassadors will receive a certificate for their training. The Ministry of Advanced Education said in an emailed statement that having the certificate and the experience of participating would give students a competitive advantage on their resumes.
“Having students with intercultural competence will give employers talented and skilled employees that thrive in a global market,” the statement added.
Randi Jones, a business diploma student at Parkland College, said during the media scrum following the announcement that the program helped her learn the benefits and advantages of staying local, leading to her staying at Parkland College rather than moving to Saskatoon.
Jones added that she is soon going to Mexico through the program. She will be learning about Mexican culture and bringing what she learns back home, as well as promoting Saskatchewan while there.
The program supports existing mobility and study abroad programs at educational institutions throughout the province.
Livia Castellanos, executive lead for international education and jurisdictional initiatives at the Ministry of Advanced Education, told the media that students travelling internationally already serve as ambassadors of their institutions and of Canada.
“This program aims to close that gap (between institution, nation, and province) and uses these already existent opportunities as a launch for the Saskatchewan Student Ambassador Program,” Castellanos said.
Students will learn about the economic benefits of studying, living, and working in the province and the details of the various support programs which exist for young people.
“Our students represent the very best of our university and province and have long served as informal ambassadors beyond our provincial borders both during their studies and after graduation,” said Dr Jeff Keshen, University of Regina president and vice-chancellor.
“This timely and multi-faceted program will build on this tradition by broadening domestic and international students’ educational experience, expanding their skills, and helping the province and its post-secondary institutions develop meaningful and lasting partnerships internationally for the benefit of all.”
Dr Larry Rosia, Saskatchewan Polytechnic president and CEO, and Mark Hoddenbagh, Saskatchewan Colleges Alliance representative and president and CEO of Cumberland and Parkland Colleges, also made supporting statements.
“The Student Ambassador program will provide our learners with the tools necessary to share the learning and working opportunities that exist in our great province including those in rural and remote regions,” said Hoddenbagh.
Interested students should inquire with their post-secondary institutions about joining the program.
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