Japan and Belize Summer Programs

Japan and Belize Summer Programs

Interested in Japan?  Belize?  Indigenous cultures?  Intercultural Learning?

BISHOP’S UNIVERSITY IS PART OF A NATIONAL PROGRAM TO MAKE INTERNATIONAL LEARNING EXPERIENCES MORE ACCESSIBLE TO STUDENTS

Bishop’s University is proud to have been selected to take part in the national Global Skills Opportunity program that will give thousands of Canadian post-secondary students access to life-changing international study and work opportunities.

While open to all Canadian post-secondary students, the program targets groups for whom such experiences have traditionally been less accessible – specifically Indigenous students, students from low-income backgrounds and those with disabilities. It also aims to diversify destination countries where Canadian students pursue international learning.

Bishop’s received funding for two innovative projects, one to Japan, and one to Belize!

Global Skills Opportunity Logo

Japan Summer Program – May 2023, May 2024

Communicating Across Cultures: Building Intercultural Competencies and Lasting Partnerships in Japan Using an Indigenous Wholistic Framework.

Detailed information and application criteria - Japan Program

Detailed information and application criteria

Communicating Across Cultures: Building Intercultural Competencies and Lasting Partnerships in Japan Using an Indigenous Wholistic Framework.

Program objectives:

The objective of the Japan Summer Program (2022-2024) is to offer an enriching experience that facilitates intercultural learning and effectiveness, as well as cultural self-understanding by bringing Indigenous and non-Indigenous Japanese and Canadian students together in a variety of activities and spaces. From in-class learning to site visits that foster deeper understanding, participants will develop their capacity to understand other worldviews and contribute to a sustainable, globalized world.  This experience is meant to be a reflective and profound personal and academic journey; it is for anyone who seeks to engage insightfully and impactfully with the world.

Itinerary Highlights:

Participants will be spending three weeks between two cities/regions (Hokkaido and Kyoto), using an Indigenous Wholistic Framework (anchored in respect, responsibility, relevance and reciprocity) to engage with their environment, develop meaningful personal and professional connections, and learn culturally astute ways of thinking, being and communicating with the world.

In collaboration with Hokkaido University’s Center for Ainu and Indigenous Studies, students will gather in talking circles, attend lectures and engage in meaningful dialogue and activities to grow as individuals and intercultural communicators.  Learning will be facilitated both inside and outside of the university setting, with experiences that will foster a greater understanding of Japanese and Ainu history, nature and cultures.

Highlights of the Program:

  • Seminars and visits with Hokkaido University’s Center for Ainu and Indigenous Studies in Sapporo.
  • Visit to Upopoy National Ainu Museum and Park and Ainu communities in Hokkaido.
  • Intercultural training and welcome to Japan session with local intercultural communications expert and researcher.
  • Tea Ceremony, Temple, Gardens and Shrine Visits, Forest and nature walks, Seasonal festivals and market visits with discussions, journaling and reflection time.
  • Visit to Kamuy Lumina and meeting with Quebec-based Moment Factory staff who worked with the Ainu in Hokkaido, learning about Ainu storytelling traditions.
  • Activities and conversations with Japanese high school and university students, related to the following topics: relationship between nature, seasons, environment and culture in Japan.
  • Meetings with Quebec and Canada government representatives (Quebec Delegation and Canadian Embassy, Tokyo).
  • Predeparture meetings with Consulate General of Japan in Montreal and other Japanese community members and experts.

Program Details

  • Location: Japan
  • # of Students per year: 12
  • Program Dates: 20-21 days in May 2023
  • Language Requirement: none
  • Pre-requisite course: none
  • Academic Credit: Credit may be granted for this program. This is still to be confirmed.

Application and Selection Process

  • Application Period: September 23, 2022 –October 23, 2022
  • Interview Period: November 2022
  • Selection Announcement: December 2022

Japan Summer Program Pre-Departure Process

  • January – April 2023 (various in-person workshops and information sessions for participants).
  • April – July 2023 (some virtual sessions will be held).

Program Dates

  • TBD

Program leaders for 2023:

Annick Corbeil, Manager, Bishop’s International and Student Life
Vicky Boldo, Special Advisor, Indigenous Student Support
Shawna Chatterton Jerome, Mentor, Indigenous Student Support

Applicant Profile & Eligibility Criteria

To be considered for the Japan Summer Program, students should meet the following criteria:

  • have completed at least one semester (full-time or part-time undergraduate program) at Bishop’s University
  • be in good academic standing at the end of the fall 2022 term (not on academic probation).
  • express interest in learning about Japan within a framework rooted in Indigenous values and perspectives
  • be interested in learning about and, if it applies to them, sharing their Indigenous culture, teachings and ceremony with other participants in the program.
  • stand to represent their home university and their home community well while participating on the program.
  • students who identify as one or more of the following groups will be given priority selection:
    • Indigenous
    • Low-income (student who currently receives either federal and/or provincial non-repayable student financial assistance in the 2022-2023 academic year, or can provide information to demonstrate that they require financial support in order to study or work abroad)
    • Living with a disability (student who is registered with Student Accessibility and Accommodations Services for one or both semesters of the 2022-2023 academic year with a long-term physical or learning disability and/or experiences a limitation in their daily activities)
    • Please note that students who are not part of these groups are still encouraged to apply, but a smaller number of spaces are available for these students.

Program Fees:

Bursaries covering between 75%-100% of Japan Summer Program costs will be offered to all student participants. If 100% of costs are not covered, the group will work together to fundraise and ensure that all students are able to cover the entire cost of the trip (lodging, meals, travel to Japan and within Japan, insurance, pre-departure and re-entry activities).

Selection Criteria:

  • 12 undergraduate students will be selected to participate in the program each year.
  • This experience is meant to be a reflective and profound personal and academic journey; it is for anyone who seeks to engage insightfully and impactfully with the world. Applicants will be asked to explain how this experience will allow them to grow personally, academically or professionally.
  • This program is ideally suited for students entering their second, third or final year of studies. The selection committee will prioritize returning students for this experience but graduating students may still apply.

Application Process:

Students should apply using the application form that can be found on the Bishop’s University website. The application deadline is October 23, 2022. Selected participants will receive an email inviting them to an interview.

Wholistic Indigenous Framework Explained1

The Indigenous wholistic framework provides guiding principles to ensure post-secondary institutions become accessible, inclusive, safe, and successful places for Indigenous students as follows:

Respect

  • Encompasses an understanding of and practicing community protocols.
  • Honours Indigenous knowledge and ways of being.
  • Considers in a reflective and non-judgmental way what is being seen and heard.

Responsibility

  • Is inclusive of students, the institution, and Indigenous communities; also recognizes one’s own connections to various communities.
  • Continually seeks to develop and sustain credible relationships with Indigenous communities. It’s important to be seen in the community as both a supporter and a representative of the institution.
  • Means understanding the potential impact of one’s motives and intentions on oneself and the community.
  • Honours that the integrity of Indigenous people and Indigenous communities must not be undermined or disrespected when working with Indigenous people.

Relevance

  • Ensures that curricula, services, and programs are responsive to the needs identified by Indigenous students and communities.
  • Involves Indigenous communities in the designing of academic curriculum and student services across the institution to ensure Indigenous knowledge is valued and that the curriculum have culturally appropriate outcomes and assessments.
  • Centers meaningful and sustainable community engagement.

Reciprocity

  • Shares knowledge throughout the entire educational process; staff create interdepartmental learning and succession planning between colleagues to ensure practices and knowledge are continued. Shared learning embodies the principle of reciprocity.
  • Means Indigenous and non-Indigenous people are both learning in process together. Within an educational setting, this may mean staff to student; student to student, faculty to staff; each of these relationships honours the knowledge and gifts that each person brings to the classroom, workplace, and institution.
  • Results in all involved within the institution, including the broader Indigenous communities, gain experience in sharing knowledge in a respectful way.
  • Views all participants as students and teachers in the process.

Through this model, front-line staff, advisors, and student services professionals can begin to see the depth and breadth of relationships to support the whole student.

Indigenous Wholistic Framework.

Indigenous wholistic framework © M. Pidgeon is licensed under a CC BY (Attribution) license.

1. State of Aboriginal Learning in Canada: A holistic approach to measuring success: http://www.afn.ca/uploads/files/education2/state_of_aboriginal_learning_in_canada-final_report,_ccl,_2009.pdf
2. Pidgeon intentionally uses the “w” in holistic for the Indigenous wholistic framework to reference the whole person. Absolon (2009) and Archibald et al. (1995) also intentionally use the term “wholistic.”

Application form

Belize Summer Program – May 2023, May 2024

The Maple League of Universities (Acadia, Mount Allison, Bishop’s, and St. Francis Xavier) has come together to offer the following program in Belize: “Nation to Nation: Building Indigenous Knowledge Across International Borders.”

Detailed information and application criteria - Belize Program

Detailed information and application criteria

Program Summary & Applicant Profile

Member institutions of the Maple League of Universities have received a Global Skills Opportunity grant to develop and launch a program for Indigenous students to participate in an international experience together. The program is called “Nation to Nation: Building Indigenous Knowledge Across International Borders”.

Students from Acadia University, Bishop’s University, Mount Allison University, and St. Francis Xavier University will come together to have a short-term study abroad experience in Belize through Galen University in the spring 2023 term focusing on sharing their Indigenous experience and learning about other indigenous cultures abroad.

In May 2023, students will attend Galen University to have an immersive two-week experience that combines in-class teaching, field trips, community engagement, and group and individual reflection. Students will receive academic credit for their experience. The group will travel to multiple locations around Belize to learn about the Yucatec, Mopan, Garinagu and K’eckchi cultures of Belize. Guest speakers and visits to cultural sites will form the basis of this immersive learning journey.

The topics that will be covered in the course titled “Indigenous Cultures of Belize: Preserving Indigenous Culture and Heritage through Decolonizing the Narrative” are:

  • Language Preservation (Ancient Maya Hieroglyphs, Garifuna, Yucatec, Mopan & K’ekchi)
  • Cultural Heritage & Education
  • Food
  • Indigenous Governance & Land Rights
  • Environment & Health
  • Indigenous Innovations

Some highlights of the program will be:

  • Meeting the Governor General of Belize, Froyla Tzalam (Mopan Maya)
  • Visiting the Institute of Archaeology and the Institute of Social and Cultural Research to learn about the mandate of safeguarding Belize’s Indigenous cultures
  • Hearing from guest speakers, Christina Coc, Tim Mesh and Filiberto Penados that will discuss the Maya of southern Belize land rights case that won at the Caribbean Court of Justice again the Government of Belize
  • Workshops with local traditional healers
  • Visits to local farming communities to learn about staple crops, cacao and corn
  • Visit to the fishing community of Hopkins where students will snorkel and learn about fishing rights

22 students from the four universities will be selected to participate in the program.  They will be accompanied by an Indigenous faculty member and an Indigenous Elder.

The application period will open on September 23, 2022 and will close on October 23, 2022.

For more information about or instructions on how to apply please see below.

Program Details

  • Location: Belize
  • # of Students: 22
  • Program Dates: May 1-14, 2022
  • Language Requirement: none
  • Pre-requisite course: none
  • Academic Credit: 3-credits in Indigenous Studies

Application and Selection Process

  • Application Period: September 23, 2022 –October 23, 2022
  • Interview Period: November 2022
  • Selection Announcement: December 2022

Pre-Departure Preparations

  • • January-April 2023 (various workshops and information sessions for participants)

Weekend Retreat

A weekend retreat for all participants will occur in March 2023 at the Tatamagouche Centre. Participants will travel together from each of the four universities and will come together over the weekend to meet one another and learn more about the program and receive important pre-departure information.

Program Dates

  • TBC

Applicant Profile & Eligibility Criteria

To be considered for the ML GSO Program, students should meet the following criteria:

  • have completed at least one term of studies at their home university
  • be in good academic standing at the end of the fall 2022 term
  • be interested in adding an international experience to their degree
  • be interested in sharing their Indigenous culture, teachings and ceremony with other participants in the program as well as learning from other participants about their Indigenous culture, teachings and ceremony
  • be interested in sharing their Indigenous culture, teachings and ceremony in Belize
  • stands to represent their home university and their home community well while participating in the program.
  • In addition, to be considered for the ML GSO Program, students who identify as Indigenous will be given priority selection.  Please note that students that do not identify as Indigenous may still apply. Students who identify low-income (someone who currently receives either federal and/or provincial student loans in 2022-2023) or is a student with a disability (someone who is registered with their home universities Accessibility Office in the 2022-2023 academic year as having a physical or learning disability) will be given priority selection next.

And the following considerations should also be kept in mind:

  • This program will prioritize applicants that identify as Indigenous.
  • This program is ideally suited for students entering their second, third or final year of studies.  Graduating students are still able to apply but returning students will be prioritized.
  • Previous international experience is not a requirement, nor will students with previous international experience be disadvantaged.
  • There will be some moderate to strenuous walking and hiking on the program so participants should be in good physical health prior to departure
  • Participants should be aware that accommodations will almost always be double or triple occupancy.

Program Fees:

There are 20 full bursaries to cover the entire program fee for students that identify as Indigenous. In addition, there will be 2 partial bursaries to cover the program fee for students.

The program fee will be inclusive of the following expenses:

  • tuition for one 3-credit course
  • return airfare to Belize
  • accommodation in Belize for 14 days
  • meals (3 meals per day for 14 days)
  • insurance
  • in-country transportation and other program-related fees
  • Weekend retreat in March at the Tatamagouche Centre

Selection Criteria:

  • 5 students from each of the Maple League universities will be selected to participate in the program.  A total of 22 students may be eligible to attend the program.
  • this program is ideally suited to a student that is looking to gain knowledge and have an impactful experience.  Applicants will be asked to explain how this experience will allow them to grow personally on their journey
  • this program is ideally suited for students entering their second, third or final year of studies. The selection committee will prioritize returning students for this experience but graduating students may still apply.

A supplemental application form will be available for students to apply for additional funding to cover costs such as dependent care, passport applications, vaccinations, other.

Application Process:

Students should apply through the home university by using the application form that can be found on this page starting on December 6th. Students can apply between September 23, 2022 and October 23, 2022. Each university will have a selection committee to interview their own internal applicants. The committee will recommend up to 5 internal applicants to the program.

Acceptance letters will be sent out by late January to selected participants.

Application form

This short documentary is a contribution by Bishop’s Professor Genner Llanes Ortiz to the digital book ‘Resistant Strategies‘, edited by Marcos Steuernagel and Diana Taylor, of Hemispheric Institute of Politics and Performance.