Douglas College is a growing community college in New Westminster BC, a satellite city to Vancouver. It is a great place to study at as it has many programs, university transfer programs and collaborative programs with major universities in Canada. It also has good work programs such as Coop work experience and internships that are part of its degrees and programs. This is a big advantage to international students who want to work in Canada after studying in Canada.
But Douglas College also comes with a heart; a heart for its learners, its community and the world. This is evident as Douglas College received the Internationalisation Excellence Award for 2011. This award is given to a college or institute that shows leadership in internationalising its entire institution for the benefit of all.
Douglas College’s international students make up 10% of its student body and these students come to study at Douglas from over 40 countries, including Pakistan. Furthermore, each year students who study at Douglas College can participate in overseas programs such as practicums, work experience, cultural and academic study exchanges and internships. As part of their studies in Canada, participating students get credit or recognition for their involvement in these overseas work programs.
One of Douglas’s ongoing internationalisation programs is its Uganda Development Program. It started as a practicum in 2006 and has become the catalyst that has moved Douglas College to pursue internationalisation as an important goal. The Uganda Project started out as part of the college’s Community Social Service Work program and the Co-occurring Disorder’s Program and now has extended the project to hospitals, libraries and aid centres. Students studying at Douglas are eligible once they have finished their course work and can apply for field learning placement in Africa.
There is a two-aim agenda to this project; one is to contribute to improving people’s quality of life and the second is to give students who study at Douglas and take part in international work projects like this, international experience that will help them in their careers back in Canada.
The Uganda Project now includes the Uganda Endowment Fund which was created to fund projects in Uganda that support sustainable development for children, youth and families. As part of this fund, last year Douglas provided scholarships to three financially impoverished girls so they could study in high school.
It is encouraging to see a college that not only provides quality programs where a student can study their program of choice, but they also are sensitive to cultural diversity and development, nationally and internationally by providing work experience programs in projects such as the Uganda project that teach the students how to be other focused rather than self-serving. It is this kind of college where, I believe an international student would want to study. So if you are thinking about studying in Canada, think about Douglas and call their Canadian Representative in Pakistan.