International program opportunities at Laurier 

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Photo by: Sadiya Teeple

Studying abroad is an opportunity of a lifetime. Laurier offers abroad programs at up to seventy different accredited institutions across the world?   

I had the pleasure of interviewing the Laurier Student Abroad Advisor, Allison Donahue, on the importance of exchanges through Laurier,  

“It’s something they can do as part of their Laurier degree that helps them engage with the world. They can learn so many new skills such as how to adapt, learn about new cultures, learn a new language and network within the country they travel to.”  

As a student going abroad next term, I found any information Donahue could give on the subject important, especially since I was unaware that Laurier offered this program until it was almost too late for me to apply.  

Most people tend to hear about Laurier’s abroad program through other people that have gone or friends who are planning to go.  

Getting out there and seeing the world has not always been so accessible and easy. The exchange program was almost entirely unavailable during the brutal COVID-19 years.  

“Covid-19 greatly impacted the exchange program,” Allison said.  

“For two years we were unable to send Laurier students out on exchange. A lot of students missed out on this opportunity during this time. I think that helped students really value the opportunity to go and study abroad, and a lot of them even told me that after their exchange they went on to travel abroad or visit abroad, so they really recognized the value of engaging in their culture.” 

”There were some hidden benefits that came with COVID-19, “we are very robust on our safety procedures that are even more enhanced, and it has raised students’ awareness of being healthy and safe when they go abroad.”  

So how is a semester abroad a positive experience for students?  

Donahue shed light on the subject: 

“The number one thing I hear from students is that it’s fun to go on exchange. But there’s also career benefits. I hear from students that when they go on exchange, they learn so much more about their subject area, or see their subject area from a different point of view that sometimes helps them determine where they want to go in their career. Students are really challenged when they go on exchange, and it offers a lot of personal growth as well.”

The deadline for the 2024/2025 year is next January.  

For more information, check out the Laurier Outbound Exchanges website at Outbound Exchanges or email exchange@wlu.ca


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