At Champlain Lennoxville we are convinced that taking part in an education abroad opportunity will allow you to learn from new perspectives, develop intercultural skills, and make new friendships. Students who have participated in education abroad programs have reported developing their self-confidence and autonomy, finding new motivation in their studies and career path, and feeling more connected to the world as global citizens.
Each year, you will have the opportunity to apply to participate in an education abroad opportunity that is led by faculty/staff, usually offered after the Winter semester. Keep an eye out on Omnivox for the dates of information sessions offered in the Fall.
The Mae Sot Education Project (MSEP) is a community project in Lennoxville, with close ties to Champlain. It was developed in 2003 to help migrant and refugee youth from Myanmar (Burma) living on the Thai-Burmese border to access education and build futures by engaging Canadian student volunteers to go to Mae Sot, Thailand to assist them in learning English, an important vehicle for their success. The project welcomes applications to volunteer from Champlain-Lennoxville students.
After a period of intense preparation involving ESL-teacher training, learning about the background of the Burmese refugee-migrant situation and fundraising, volunteers normally spend six months immersed in Burmese migrant/refugee learning centres (informal schools) in Mae Sot. In 2022, MSEP began also accepting applications to volunteer for three months to accommodate students with demanding academic programs. This overseas experience offers a unique opportunity to have a deep intercultural experience and develop leadership skills while contributing to the lives of marginalized children on the other side of the world. Volunteers return to Canada and share their newfound knowledge with Canadians, thereby strengthening their commitment to international cooperation and human rights. Community-building, based on sharing between children and youth from two communities, each striving for a healthy future on opposite sides of the planet, is at the core of this project.
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It has been over twenty years that a group of ten to fifteen Bishop’s University and Champlain College – Lennoxville students, staff and faculty have sponsored refugee students, young people forced to leave their homelands who wish to continue their education (and their lives) in security. Each year the group, with the help of all the students, faculty and staff on campus, the BU and CRC administrations, and many people in the community, brings two students to our campus and supports them for one year (and sometimes beyond) both materially and emotionally while they adjust to life in Canada. To date, the committee has helped more than thirty-five students (and one young child) restart their lives. For additional information, go to the Refugee Sponsorship webpage.
International Studies is an Enrichment Option at Champlain-Lennoxville for students in any program of study. It principal aim is provide students with opportunities to deepen their understanding of the world’s many peoples and cultures, discuss pressing international issues, and develop a perspective that attends to the intersection of global and local concerns. Each year, International Studies students themselves choose an “international theme.” Over the course of the academic year, they organize a series of activities that address in different ways the theme they have chosen, culminating in the annual International Studies Symposium. The Symposium usually takes place in late March or early April.
There are two components to International Studies at Champlain College, one curricular and the other extra-curricular. The curricular component requires that students take two courses with “international content” during their time at the College, and the extra-curricular component requires students to participate in International Studies events throughout the year, including the organization of the International Studies Symposium.
In order to receive a Certificate in International Studies, all participating students take at least two courses with “international content.” At the beginning of the semester, students will meet with the Coordinator of International Studies in order to identify the courses in their program of studies that will meet this requirement.
All students participate in IS activities throughout the year. The activities are connected to the theme students have chosen, thus preparing the groundwork for annual International Studies Symposium–a day-long event with guest speakers and audience members from our campus and local communities. Students are required to participate in the organization of the Symposium. Normally, there are two activities in the Fall semester and two activities in the Winter semester.