By Antoinette Mercurio
November 23, 2011
Studying abroad has long been a path for students to gain broader educational experiences.
Ryerson International is hosting a reception Nov. 23 in the atrium of the George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre to celebrate students who have recently been engaged in international activity, including exchange students currently studying at Ryerson.
International education continues to be one of the university’s highest priorities and the number of students who participate is growing. About 150 Ryerson students have studied abroad in the past academic year and the equivalent number have made their way to Ryerson for exchange opportunities.
Students who have been involved with exchange programs and those who have volunteered, interned, competed or undertaken research activity abroad will attend the event. Also present will be consular representatives of 10 to 12 partnering countries and representatives of the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU).
Speakers include Alan Shepard, provost and vice president, academic, consular and MTCU representatives and two student exchange participants. Alumna Hailey Coleman will talk about how her European backpacking trip inspired her Damn Heels business, a venture that markets ballet flats to women who want a quick change from high heels.
Ryerson has partnerships with institutions in more than 30 countries including Australia, Belgium, China, Denmark, England, Finland, India, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago and the U.S.
Fourth-year retail management student Meghan Youmans studied fashion merchandising at the University of Westminster in London, U.K. from January to July of this year. She chose the U.K. because she figured the transition would be easier without a language barrier.
“My parents instilled the travel bug in me from a very young age so the thought of studying abroad has always captivated me,” Youmans said. “My exchange trip has definitely broadened my perspective on the world, especially in terms of business and retail. I’ve been able to use some of the knowledge I gained about European retail operations in my assignments and in class discussions.”
Ryerson International helps facilitate the academic travel activity of students, faculty and staff. The office coordinates internal funding programs, identifies external funding opportunities, supports the community with proposal development, advises on international education issues and trends and serves as a liaison with partner institutions.