International Relations

You are in Halifax to study at one of its many universities, but these local schools can also be a gateway to academic adventures across the planet. Here are a few of the possibilities.

For the student suffering acute big-wide-world curiousity, a passport is the most useful tool to carry into this school year. Earth Sciences your thing? Why not travel to the Bering Sea to study its subduction zones? Want to know more about living under communism in Latin America? There’s a Cuba program for that. Still not sure exactly what it is you’re most interested in? Find a professor with an unusual or shared obsession, and ask to tag along on the next research trip. Spend your summer semester studying with a sister college in China, or apply for an entrepreneurial internship in Vietnam. Opportunities abound---you just need to know where to look for them. Here's a taste of what Halifax’s schools have to offer this year.

Saint Mary’s University The Gambia

Geography professor Cathy Conrad has a passion that she hopes to share with others through a field course she’s piloting this coming semester. In November, seven students will have a chance to travel to The Gambia to build on research into the impacts of climate change on the people who live in the tiny West African nation. One group of students will develop an environmental educators’ curriculum to be given a test run in three Gambian schools, while a second team will work on researching forestry practices, traditional medicinal uses of trees and plants and issues related to deforestation. For more information on this and other SMU initiatives, contact Rayna Preston in the International Activities Office at 420-5260.

Nova Scotia Community College Tanzania

In 2010-2011, two NSCC projects will come together in Tanzania. The first is a program that sends students and faculty to Tanzania to work with partner organization Kimara on developing outreach programs for those affected by HIV/AIDS, visiting homes and sharing healthcare information and knowledge. Students from any of NSCC’s 13 campuses are welcome to apply. The second is a three-year-old program that sends Applied Arts and New Media students off around the world to document other students’ international projects. This year, they’ll travel to Africa, where they will be assessing Kimara’s communication needs, and creating relevant marketing materials in a range of mediums. Visit for details. 

The University of King’s College Russia, Mexico, USA

King’s College students can apply for any number of Dalhousie’s huge variety of international projects, but for King’s J-schoolers exclusively, there are a couple of notable opportunities. The first is an ongoing exchange with St. Petersburg University. Every year, one or two students travel to St. Petersburg to study and work, gaining hands-on experience in Russian media outlets. The second is Project Vital. Students work with Mexican and American journalism schools with a unique focus on all things water, and contribute to a site that takes a critical look at the resource, reporting on how nations are using (or abusing) it, the latest research findings and current scientific theories, among other issues. Find links to both projects here:

Nova Scotia College of Art and Design Germany

NSCAD has exchange agreements with several schools in Germany. This summer, two MFA students spent time at the Kunsthochschule in Berlin, developing a series of independent projects, and taking in the experience of studying in an institutional setting completely different from their own back in Halifax.  

Mount Saint Vincent University Brazil, Tanzania

A stand-out in the myriad international opportunities at MSVU is a food security project based in an orphanage and youth drop-in centre in Mwanza, Tanzania. Now in its second year, the project puts students to work on children’s gardens and nutrition education. Challenges include learning how to prevent hippos from rampaging the crops. This year, the Mount is also sending a student to work on an urban food security project in Fortaleza, Brazil. Both undergrad and graduate students are invited to apply. Contact Ardath Whynacht in the Research and International Office at 457-6467.

Dalhousie University The Gambia

In September 2007, Gambia Technical Training Institute and the University of The Gambia admitted its first class in a building and design program created in part through funding by CIDA and Dal. Over the next year and a half, the School of Architecture and Planning will offer ten students the opportunity to travel to Africa to learn and share knowledge with Gambian students and faculty, and to explore design solutions that are responsive to a place and culture beyond the bubble of the studio. For more information visit

Finally, something else to consider---Nova Scotia schools do a lot in partnership with two national agencies:

Canadian International Development Agency, Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada,

You might be better off going directly to the source of the money to take you new places.

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