International education program ‘empowering, transformative’
Julie Snair began coming to the International Educators Training Program (IETP) Summer Institute at Queen’s in 2003 when she was just entering the field of international education. At the time, there was very little training for individuals in the field and many people were simply feeling their way through, learning as they went.
“It was very empowering in the sense that I didn’t feel so isolated anymore,” says Ms. Snair, Coordinator of International Education at Acadia University, who is now an instructor and coordinator at IETP. “I was surrounded for the first time by people similar to me, many new to the profession, who all came to IETP with different pieces of information. The program was like having a group of mentors for a week. It was truly transformative.”
In 2013, the Summer Institute is still going strong and happy to be celebrating its 10th anniversary as an important development program for educators in a field that is fast becoming essential to the Canadian educational context. Its core courses are grounded in the practical skills needed to work in an international and intercultural setting, and are offered at entry and advanced levels.
Over the past decade, professionals from more than 140 different institutions have trained at the Summer Institute. This year, about 150 individuals from about 70 institutions will attend the program.
“We are now seeing more young people, with a good understanding of the profession, coming very consciously and purposefully,” says Alison Cummings, International Training Coordinator in the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC), who has been organizing the Summer Institute since its inception. “It’s a really important week for many educators. We give them the space and time to move through their own learning process and become better professionals.”
This year’s Summer Institute takes place June 3-14 at QUIC. The program includes special guest Stan Chung, a writer and educator who will host a workshop exploring the intersections of identity and culture, and guest instructor Michael Vande Berg, who will lead a workshop called Training Students in International Mobility: A Developmental, Experiential and Holistic Workshop for Faculty and Staff.
The IETP also offers customized training (courses and workshops delivered to a group of participants in a workplace), and the Certificate for International Education Professionals, which combines work at the Summer Institute, as well as online courses offered by the Queen’s Faculty of Education.