Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

Internationalization

William Leggett receives prestigious lifetime achievement award

Dr. William Leggett.

William Leggett, professor emeritus in the Department of Biology and Queen's 17th principal, has received the H. Ahlstrom Lifetime Achievement Award from the Early Life History Section of the American Fisheries Society for his contributions to the fields of larval fish ecology.

The American Fisheries Society is the biggest association of professional aquatic ecologists in the world, with over 9,000 members worldwide.

"œIt feels good to be singled out by such large group of people who I respect so highly," says Dr. Leggett. "œI didn'™t expect to receive this award so it'™s a big honour and thrill to get it."

Dr. Leggett'™s research focuses on the dynamics of fish populations and his work as a biologist and a leader in education has been recognized nationally and internationally. A membership in the Order of Canada, a fellowship from the Royal Society of Canada, and the Award of Excellence in Fisheries Education are just some of the awards he has received for outstanding contributions to graduate education and marine science.

The Early Life History Section of the American Fisheries Society recognized Dr. Leggett'™s "œexceptional contributions to the understanding of early life history of fishes that has inspired the careers of a number of fisheries scientists worldwide and has led to major progress in fish ecology and studies of recruitment dynamics."

The award was recently presented in Quebec City at the 38th annual Larval Fish Conference held in conjunction with the 144th annual meeting of the American Fisheries Society.

 

Three students earn DAAD scholarships

For Parisa Abedi Khoozani (MSc’13), by receiving a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) she will be able to collaborate directly with her project partners at the University of Giessen while also gaining the opportunity to experience a new set of ideas and viewpoints.

[Parisa Abedy Khoozani]
Parisa Abedi Khoozani, a PhD student in the Centre for Neuroscience Studies, is one of three award applicants from Queen’s to receive a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). (Supplied Photo)

Ms. Abedi Khoozani, a PhD student in the Centre for Neuroscience Studies is one of three award applicants from Queen’s to earn a prestigious study scholarship along with Soren Mellerup, a PhD student in the Department of Chemistry, and Julia Kostin (Artsci’15), who applied after completing her undergraduate degree and is currently pursuing her master’s in sustainable development at Leipzig University.

“Having this level of success, with three Queen’s applicants receiving DAAD scholarships in one year – it’s fantastic, and reflects the excellent caliber of our students,” says Brenda Brouwer, Vice-Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies. “The competition is open to U.S. and Canadian citizens or permanent residents; in other words there’s a lot of competition. A successful applicant demonstrates not only academic excellence, but also leadership potential and a strong plan of study while in Germany. We’re thrilled with the outcome – it’s quite an achievement for these students and for Queen’s.” 

Through the 10-month scholarship Ms. Abedi Khoozani says she will be able to expand and strengthen her collaboration by being able to stay in Germany longer.

Her current research explores how the human brain combines information coming from different sources and how noise can affect this combination process. To expand her understanding, she is aiming to study the effect of noise during obstacle avoidance.

“For me I feel it’s a great opportunity to get more multidisciplinary ideas or different ways of looking at the data, as well as how to interpret it, how to make sense of the underlying mechanisms in the brain,” she says, adding that she will have access to leading researchers as well as various technologies that will allow her to do more advanced modelling. “Honestly, I am very excited because I have an opportunity that I have dreamed about, to have a chance to visit the university, further my research and collaborate with people.”

DAAD is a publicly funded independent organization of higher education institutions in Germany, offering research grants and study scholarships for students with at least a bachelor’s degree to either study or further their research in Germany.

An international learning experience

[Ajay Agarwal]
Ajay Agarwal (School of Urban and Regional Planning), centre, and a group of his students visit Auroville during the SURP 827 International Planning Project course trip to India. (Supplied Photo)

When students from the School of Urban and Regional Planning return to India this year, they will once again be gaining hands-on experience while working on a real planning project.

Queen's In the World

The students of the SURP 827 International Planning Project course will also be gaining valuable international experience, learning the intricacies of working in a new environment, in a cultural setting different from their own.

This experience is what has made the course so successful, explains Associate Professor Ajay Agarwal, who created and continues to deliver the course as it enters a fifth year.

For this work, Dr. Agarwal received the International Education Innovation Award, which recognizes excellence in the internationalization of curriculum in programs or courses. It is one of the six Principal’s Teaching and Learning Awards.

The opportunity to travel to India and work on a project with community members has been an important draw for the course and SURP, which was recently integrated into the Department of Geography and Planning, Dr. Agarwal says. Increasingly, planning firms are working on a global scale. While a head office may be located in a city like Toronto, the firm can be working on projects anywhere around the world.

“I personally think that for students who want to practice planning, the course widens their view of the world, because many of our students have always lived and worked in Canada,” he says. “Really, in a global setting, where firms from Canada do projects all over the world including planning projects, it is very important for these students to get outside their comfort zone and face the challenges of working in a foreign environment, which includes language, culture, customs, habits, everything. That gives them the confidence of being able to work on a project that has any magnitude of challenge.”

Through the course students learn to be adaptable and creative in finding solutions and to manage any adversity they may face.

Receiving the award has helped raise the profile of the course and SURP within the university and, on a personal level, has provided some “external validation” for the work he has done over the years, Dr. Agarwal adds.

Through the nomination process, Dr. Agarwal has received valuable feedback about the course from past students, many of whom are now working in international planning. All of those who responded said it was a positive experience and many added that the course has helped them within the job market. This positive reputation has resulted in a growing interest in the course.

“It’s not an exaggeration to say it has become one of the most popular courses we offer at SURP,” Dr. Agarwal says.  “Quite a few students now say that they chose Queen’s over other universities for this graduate program in planning because of that international experience that we offer.”

The Principal’s Teaching and Learning Awards, created in 2015, recognize individuals and teams who have shown exceptional innovation and leadership in teaching and learning on campus. The awards are administered by the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL).

The International Education Innovation Award honours the outstanding efforts of an individual or any combination of faculty, staff, and/or student team who contributes to the creation or revitalization of a course or program of international learning at Queen’s, in alignment with the Queen’s University Comprehensive International Plan (QUCIP).

Nominations for the 2017 award are currently being accepted. All nominations should be sent electronically in PDF form to inforef@queensu.ca no later than Tuesday, Aug. 1, by 4 pm. For more information about the award and the nomination form and process, visit the CTL website.

Special Hong Kong ceremony celebrates Asia-Pacific ties

Justice Kin Kee Pang, Arts’70 (centre), who is a long-time Queen’s volunteer leader and former judge of the Court of First Instance of the High Court in Hong Kong, received an honorary degree at the ceremony in Hong Kong May 20. Chancellor Jim Leech (second from right) and Principal Daniel Woolf (right) presented the honour, along with Queen's Rector Cam Yung and Dean Bill Flanagan (Law). (Photo by Michael Pat)

A special re-convocation ceremony in Hong Kong this past weekend provided the perfect opportunity for Queen’s to reconnect with alumni in the Asia-Pacific region during the university’s 175th anniversary year and to deepen ties with current and potential partners in the area.

Queen's in the World

Several Queen’s senior leaders – including Chancellor Jim Leech, Principal Daniel Woolf, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Benoit-Antoine Bacon, and Associate Vice-Principal (International) Kathy O’Brien – joined alumni from the area for the celebrations.

“Queen’s has a strong presence in the Asia-Pacific region, and with these special celebrations, held to mark the university’s 175th anniversary, we wanted to provide those who have attended Queen’s with an opportunity to reconnect with the university,” says Principal Woolf. “The weekend in Hong Kong was also a chance to strengthen Queen’s presence, and re-affirm the university’s commitment to international initiatives in the region.”

At the ceremony on Saturday, Queen’s presented an honorary degree to Justice Kin Kee Pang, Arts’70, who is a long-time Queen’s volunteer leader and former judge of the Court of First Instance of the High Court in Hong Kong. At the event, 120 alumni re-affirmed their degrees and connection to Queen’s, each receiving a card with a Queen’s alumni pin and a special 175th celebratory pin. At a gala dinner in the evening, Queen’s Professor Emeritus and Nobel Laureate Art McDonald provided a keynote address, and senior leaders spoke about recent Queen’s highlights and goals for the future.

Principal Woolf addresses the crowd at the re-convocation ceremony in Hong Kong. (Photo by Michael Pat)

“Queen’s is thriving today, but we need to keep our eye on the future. And the future is global,” said Provost Bacon in his address. “How present and impactful is Queen’s internationally? How diverse and inclusive are we? How are we contributing to solving global challenges in climate, social issues, or food and water? Queen’s is asking these questions today so that we remain a premier destination in the future.”

The trip to Asia provided the opportunity for Queen’s to strengthen connections in China as well. The university has bilateral exchange and study-abroad partnerships with 20 Chinese institutions, and Queen’s continues to explore new academic program opportunities and potential research collaborations.

Following events in Hong Kong, the provost, along with Ms. O’Brien, travelled to Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Qingdao. They met with partners at Guangzhou’s South China Normal University (SCNU), which recently signed an agreement with Queen’s Faculty of Education to collaborate on a dual degree master’s program.

In Shanghai, they met with longstanding partners, Fudan University and Tongji University, renewing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Tongji. The provost also hosted an alumni event in Shanghai. In Qingdao tomorrow, Provost Bacon and Ms. O’Brien will sign a three-way MOU with Qingdao University and the Qingdao Municipal Government to explore areas of mutual interest in mental health research and mental health services in China.

Internationalization is one of the four pillars of the Queen’s University Strategic Framework 2014–2019. The Comprehensive International Plan was launched in August 2015 to help the university build on its international strengths and direct future internationalization efforts. The plan’s goals include strengthening Queen’s international research engagement and creating more opportunities for student mobility through academic exchange and study-abroad programs. The plan also aims to attract high-quality international students to Queen’s and to increase international educational opportunities on Queen’s campus. Learn more on the International website.

 

Film student lands Cannes internship

Queen's in the World

Among the gossip and celebrities and champagne on the French Riviera, Diana Zhao might catch herself to smile into the flash of a paparazzo’s camera when she’s not busy at work this month.

“It’s a great networking opportunity, especially compared to other festivals because it’s more exclusive – Cannes is by invitation only,” says Ms. Zhao (Artsci’17), a political science and film and media student who is participating in the prestigious Cannes Film Festival as a marketing intern for the two weeks of its run in May.

The annual festival is held in the city of Cannes, in the south of France, and is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. It’s an important showcase for international, but especially European, films, and draws hundreds of celebrities associated with cinema, including famous actors and directors.

Diana Zhao (Artsci'17), a political science and film and media student, is working at the Cannes Film Festival as a marketing intern. (Supplied photo)

Asked whether she’s excited to meet such Academy Award-winning luminaries as Sofia Coppola and Leonardo DiCaprio, who are expected at the event this year, Ms. Zhao humbly concedes, “It’s a great opportunity to meet people in the industry.”

Ms. Zhao has been interested in film since high school, when she attended an arts intensive school, but she also thought about going into journalism. Fortunately, her time at Queen’s allowed her the opportunity to explore different avenues of education and career development.

“Queen’s lets you try out different courses in first year, so I felt like I had an extra year to decide what to do,” she says. Ms. Zhao says she was more inclined to journalism and writing than acting, but was unsure whether the film industry offered such opportunities for people like her. “Before being exposed to the industry, I thought if you want to be in film you have to be either an actor or director. I didn’t know there were actually so many career options.”

In particular, FILM450, a special topics course designed this year by instructor Alex Jansen around “The Business of Media,” was a formative experience for Ms. Zhao and opened her eyes to the many ways she could get involved in the film industry, as well as to how she could apply her skills.

Among the course’s many lessons, Ms. Zhao says “it taught me how to network, how to break into the industry, how to contact someone from the industry, and how to write a profile.” One beneficial assignment required tapping into the Queen’s alumni network and contacting two recent graduates of the film program, both of whom had a similar educational background to hers and are now successfully working in advertising and PR companies.

Leaping into festival work

The jump from FILM450 to the Cannes Film Festival is shorter than might be expected. Ms. Zhao’s résumé already includes an internship as a marketing assistant with the Kingston Canadian Film Festival in 2016, in which position she designed promotional material, managed social media platforms, and handled communications with sponsors and film producers.

While still enrolled in the course, she heard about opportunities to get involved with major film festivals from a few other former Queen’s film students, and filed an early application to the Creative Mind Group, a U.S.-based foundation that is dedicated to developing the next generation of film and television professionals and building their networks. They connect students and young professionals like Ms. Zhao to entertainment festivals and markets all over the world. At Cannes, she has been assigned a variety of administrative duties, which will include greeting clients as they arrive and running such errands as delivering premier tickets to clients before shows begin.

Ms. Zhao, who spent a semester studying at Tsinghua University in China during her degree, is also gearing up for her involvement with an entrepreneurial start-up this summer through the Queen’s Innovation Connector Summer Initiative (QICSI) program and is also preparing for her master’s of management degree at UBC, which she will begin in September.

“I’m interested in working in PR, marketing, and working with distribution companies. After talking to industry professionals for FILM450, it’s definitely an industry I’m interested in. Once I get my MA in management, I’ll be ready to enter.”

 

 

Faculty of Education, Chinese institution partner on new dual degree

A delegation from South China Normal University visited Queen's in early May and met with several Queen's representatives, including Brenda Brouwer, Vice-Provost and Dean, School of Graduate Studies (fourth from right) and Don Klinger, Associate Dean, Online Grad, Undergraduate Studies, in the Faculty of Education (third from left). (Supplied photo)

Queen’s will welcome this fall the first group of students from South China Normal University (SCNU) participating in a dual-degree program offered by Queen’s Faculty of Education and SCNU’s School of Foreign Studies.

Queen's in the World

The dual degree is a three-year program that gives SCNU and Queen’s Master of Education students the chance to study at both institutions, gaining valuable international experience and diverse teaching and learning opportunities.

“We are excited to be embarking on this partnership with SCNU, one of the most highly ranked teacher education programs in China. The dual-degree program builds on the strengths from each existing graduate program,” says Rebecca Luce-Kapler, Dean, Faculty of Education. “Bringing international students to our campus and sending our students abroad supports the goals of our international strategic plan to enhance our international mobility through the development of new international academic programs and diversifying our student mobility programming. This partnership also opens up the possibility for research collaborations.”

Students spend their first year focusing on course work at their home institution, second year doing course work at the partner institution, and third year, which includes thesis and internship completion, at the institution of their choice, either SCNU or Queen’s. The first group of Queen’s M.Ed. students enrolled in the dual degree will begin their second year at SCNU in September 2018.

South China Normal University, located in Guangzhou, China, was founded in 1933 and is now one of the three top teacher education universities in China. A university with comprehensive programming in fields such as economics, business management, law, literature, philosophy, history, science and engineering, SCNU is particularly strong in education, pedagogy, and psychology, making it an excellent partner for the dual-degree program.

The Queen’s-SCNU dual degree program was initiated in 2016. Dr. Luce-Kapler, along with Brenda Brouwer, Vice-Provost and Dean, School of Graduate Studies, visited SCNU last fall, and a delegation from SCNU visited Queen’s to discuss the partnership further in both December 2016 and May 2017.

Queen’s Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Benoit-Antoine Bacon will visit SCNU next week during travels to Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Qingdao. The provost will also travel to Hong Kong this weekend, along with Principal Daniel Woolf and other senior leaders, for a 175th anniversary celebration and re-convocation ceremony for alumni in the Asia-Pacific region.

Internationalization is one of the four pillars of the Queen’s University Strategic Framework 2014–2019. The Comprehensive International Plan was launched in August 2015 to help the university build on its international strengths and direct future internationalization efforts. The plan’s goals include strengthening Queen’s international research engagement and creating more opportunities for student mobility through academic exchange and study-abroad programs. The plan also aims to attract high-quality international students to Queen’s and to increase international educational opportunities on Queen’s campus. Learn more on the International website.

 

Forum brings together academics, Asia-Pacific diplomats

Diplomatic representatives, including a number of ambassadors and high commissioners, from the Asia-Pacific region were hosted by Queen's University during the annual Ambassadors' Forum on Friday, May 5. (Photo by Bernard Clark)

Diplomats from a dozen countries in the Asia-Pacific region gathered at Queen’s recently for the annual Ambassadors’ Forum, an event that began in 2003 and provides a venue for academics and diplomats to come together and share ideas and perspectives.

Queen's in the World

“This forum serves as a model for how academics and diplomats can work together on an ongoing basis to further international dialogue, diplomacy, and action,” said Principal Daniel Woolf at the May 5 event. “There is tremendous potential for all of us – establishing more outreach programs to engage our citizens, building on collaborative efforts for mutually beneficial solutions, and enhancing international dialogue and understanding.”

This year’s forum, which included a special luncheon and discussion, featured a talk by Frank Milne, BMO Professor of Economics and Finance at Queen’s, on the “Global Economy in the Trump Era.”

“The audience was captivated,” said Professor Emeritus and former director of the School of Urban and Regional Planning Hok-Lin Leung, the organizer of the event. “One thing came across loud and clear: Be calm; don’t be distracted by all the noise and forget the structural issues that have fuelled as well as plagued globalization all these decades.”

(Photo by Bernard Clark)

For Queen’s, the meeting of ambassadors and high commissioners provides a chance for the university to directly inform the visitors about a range of new and ongoing initiatives, particularly on the international front. The diplomatic officials at this year’s event came from Indonesia, China, Japan, Thailand, Mongolia, and Nepal, among other places.

In addition to the principal, Queen’s representatives at the forum included Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Associate Vice-Principal (International) Kathy O’Brien, and Interim Vice-Principal (Research) John Fisher.

Internationalization is one of the four pillars of the Queen’s University Strategic Framework 2014–2019. The Comprehensive International Plan was launched in August 2015 to help the university build on its international strengths and direct future internationalization efforts. The plan’s goals include strengthening Queen’s international research engagement and creating more opportunities for student mobility through academic exchange and study-abroad programs. The plan also aims to attract high-quality international students to Queen’s and to increase international educational opportunities on Queen’s campus. Learn more on the International website.

Smith international program offers diverse dynamic

Queen's in the World

Angela James knows first-hand and through years of watching students come and go on international exchanges that “growth happens on the fringes, when you’re pushing yourself and being challenged.”

Ms. James, Director of the Centre for International Management in Smith School of Business, felt it herself when she backpacked through Europe, and throughout her career in international education, which began at the University of Waterloo working in recruitment and as an academic adviser, a job that saw her welcoming and sending out exchange students.

“I was really shocked to see the transformation of students, both those who had gone on exchange overseas or who came to Canada to study. I thought, ‘this is something we can’t teach in the classroom,’” she says.

The Centre for International Management team includes, from left to right, Aileen Dong, Giovanna Crocco, Tenay Bartzis, Jacoba Franks, Angela James, Alison Darling, Alison Doyle, Kerri Regan, and Alina Jumabaeva. (Missing from the photo is Emily Mantha, who is on leave until 2018.) The staff members bring a wealth of expertise, including fluency in French, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Russian, and Spanish.

Now at Smith, Ms. James provides support, along with a team of eight others, to about 1,200 incoming and outgoing students every year (the largest international mobility program for exchange at Queen’s).

Within the Centre for International Management, there are two units, one providing support to the Commerce program and another supporting the school’s graduate and professional master’s programs, including the Master of International Business (MIB), the MBA, the Master of Finance-Beijing, and the Saudi Industrial Development Fund program.

Since Ms. James began as director 12 years ago, and through focused goals set by Dean David Saunders, the centre has gradually increased the number of students participating in exchange and the number of schools Smith partners with around the world.

“When I started, it was just me and one other person. We were solely doing Commerce exchange and we were exchanging just over 200 students, with about 30 partners. Now, we have close to 120 partners in 35 countries, supporting about 1,200 students,” explains Ms. James, who worked at the Bader International Study Centre in the U.K. in admissions before joining Smith.

Diverse dynamic

The benefit of such a well-developed international program is the diversity of people and perspectives in the classroom, with upper-year classes almost 50 per cent exchange students and a big push within the school to keep bringing in a more diverse faculty complement.

“Professors and students both love the dynamic this creates and they are insisting on making it more diverse,” says Ms. James.

For international students, she explains, Smith and Queen’s are very attractive options. Many of them come from top business schools found in large city centres around the world, and they love the small size of Kingston, the community spirit at Queen’s, and small class sizes at Smith. There is also great opportunity to interact and make friends with Canadian students through group work and through a student-led Exchange and Transfer Committee, which organizes events with the goal of integrating exchange students into life at Queen’s.

For domestic students, going out on exchange is an opportunity to launch themselves away from the safety net of Queen’s (and the busy social life) and gain new perspectives on the world, politics, and global affairs. Every student who comes to Smith is guaranteed a spot on exchange if they want it, and because international education is an integral part of the MIB program, it is integrated into each student’s experience, either through exchange or one of 11 double degree programs.

“Change happens tenfold on exchange. Often, they are living in a big city centre and experiencing culture shock and missing home. They are able to better define who they are as a person,” says Ms. James. “They come back with a new sense of self-confidence and independence. And we help them verbalize the change they’ve gone through and translate their experience so they can include that on their resume. The international experience remains vivid for a long time – it lingers longer, with students reflecting on it for years to come.”

***

The Centre for International Management recently ran a photography contest for students on exchange. View their impressive photos on the Smith Facebook page.

Internationalization is one of the four pillars of the Queen’s University Strategic Framework 2014–2019. The Comprehensive International Plan was launched in August 2015 to help the university build on its international strengths and direct future internationalization efforts. The plan’s goals include strengthening Queen’s international research engagement and creating more opportunities for student mobility through academic exchange and study-abroad programs. The plan also aims to attract high-quality international students to Queen’s and to increase international educational opportunities on Queen’s campus. Learn more on the International website.

 

Bound for BISC

Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Benoit-Antoine Bacon has announced the appointment of J. Hugh Horton as vice-provost and executive director, Bader International Study Centre (BISC) and Herstmonceux Castle Enterprises (HCE) for a five-year term effective July 1, 2017.

[Hugh Horton]
Hugh Horton has been appointed vice-provost and executive director, Bader International Study Centre (BISC) and Herstmonceux Castle Enterprises (HCE).

“I am very pleased that Dr. Hugh Horton has accepted this appointment,” says Dr. Bacon. “Hugh has extensive international experience as well as an impressive academic and leadership record. Hugh has a deep understanding of both the BISC and Queen’s and will bring tremendous personal integrity, conscientiousness and commitment to this role.”

Dr. Horton is a professor of chemistry and is currently serving as the interim vice-dean in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Over the past seven years, he has held a number of leadership positions within the faculty, including associate dean (studies) and associate dean (international).

In his current role, Dr. Horton is responsible for six academic departments while retaining responsibilities for the international portfolio of the Faculty of Arts and Science. He has worked as the academic liaison between the BISC and Arts and Science, notably leading the development and launch of the first-year science program at the BISC. He has led several Queen’s delegations to China to negotiate 2+2 programs and study abroad agreements. He was also responsible for introducing the Queen’s Undergraduate Internship Program in the Faculty of Arts and Science. 

Dr. Horton will work with the current BISC management team, who will continue in their respective roles, towards building on their remarkable accomplishments over the past few years.  

2+2 program gives Chinese students best of both worlds

Queen's in the World

Peiwen Li and Ying Chen agree that it’s great to have the best of both worlds – studying both at their home university, Tongji University in Shanghai, and here at Queen’s – through a 2+2 program between the two institutions that began in the fall of 2015.

“We get to experience both universities, receive degrees from both universities, and spend a long period of time in another country,” says Ms. Li, who, along with Ms. Chen and three others from Tongji, will graduate from the program this spring. “It is really useful to be here long enough to learn more about the culture and learn the language fully.”

Peiwen Li and Ying Chen will graduate this spring from the 2+2 program offered through Tongji University in Shanghai and Queen’s. Both will continue with graduate work at Queen’s this fall. (University Communications)

Students enrolled in the 2+2 program first spend two years at Tongji’s College of Environmental Science and Engineering and then, two years in Queen’s School of Environmental Studies. Upon graduation, they are awarded a degree from both universities.

“It has been a really good experience that has broadened our horizons,” says Ms. Chen, who has most enjoyed the field work at the Queen’s University Biology Station (QUBS) and an international field course in Mexico offered by Professor Stephen Lougheed, as well as a field course offered through Trent University in Hong Kong and Taiwan. “It’s been interesting to see the differences in the two education systems and the ways of teaching and learning. Knowing both academic worlds will likely help us with our work in the future.”

Ms. Chen and Ms. Li say the focus at Tongji was more on engineering, while at Queen’s, courses have centred on the social sciences. At Queen’s, they’ve had more flexibility in the courses they can choose, and they’ve enjoyed the longer summer break, which gave them the opportunity to seek out different experiences and spend time thinking about future possibilities (in China, students typically only have about two months off). They both have really appreciated the support from faculty members and teaching assistants, who have understood the challenges associated with studying in a second language and were able to direct them to resources across campus, such as the Writing Centre.

“The Tongji 2+2 program offers exciting opportunities for Chinese students joining us at Queen’s and it enriches teaching and learning experiences for all Queen’s students, staff and faculty who benefit from exposure to diverse and global perspectives,” says Alice Hovorka, Director, School of Environmental Studies. “Ultimately, such international programs promote cross-cultural understandings between our respective institutions and contexts.”

Ms. Li spent last summer working with Dr. Lougheed in a lab on campus – performing DNA extraction from fish samples – through the Summer Work Experience Program (SWEP), which she says was an excellent way to gain exposure to lab work. She also visited QUBS several times throughout the summer to attend seminars and the field station’s annual open house – all valuable experiences for Ms. Li.

“The Tongji 2+2 program offers exciting opportunities for Chinese students joining us at Queen’s and it enriches teaching and learning experiences for all Queen’s students, staff and faculty who benefit from exposure to diverse and global perspectives”
~ Alice Hovorka, Director, School of Environmental Studies

Also in her first year at Queen’s, Ms. Li received the Charles Baillie Environmental Studies Scholarship, awarded on the basis of excellence to students entering fourth year of any undergraduate degree program in the School of Environmental Studies.

“It was an honour to receive the award. It felt very encouraging,” says Ms. Li, who will continue with graduate work at Queen’s, beginning a PhD next fall with Dr. Lougheed studying Arctic ecosystems. Ms. Chen will also be staying at Queen’s and working on a master’s degree with Dr. Lougheed – but while Ms. Li loves the detailed focus of lab work, Ms. Chen loves being outside and in the field. Her graduate work will focus on frog phenology – looking at how different biological factors and cycles, such as temperature and humidity, affect their behaviour.

Four other Tongji students are currently enrolled in the first year of the two-year program and will complete their degrees in 2018.

The 2+2 program is one of several collaborations between Queen’s and Tongji University. In 2013, Queen’s and Tongji established the Sino-Canada Network for Environment and Sustainable Development, which provides a platform for research collaboration between faculty members at both institutions, and opportunities for exchange and training. In 2015, Queen’s began collaborating with Tongji on the International Research Laboratory of Yangtze River Ecology, or Intelab-Yangtze.

Internationalization in one of the four pillars of the Queen’s University Strategic Framework 2014–2019. The Comprehensive International Plan was launched in August 2015 to help the university build on its international strengths and direct future internationalization efforts. The plan’s goals include strengthening Queen’s international research engagement and creating more opportunities for student mobility through academic exchange and study-abroad programs. The plan also aims to attract high-quality international students to Queen’s and to increase international educational opportunities on Queen’s campus. China is a region of focus within the plan. For more information on the Queen’s-China Connection and Queen’s international program overall, visit the International website.

 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Internationalization