Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Have you graduated and want to expand your career options outside of Canada?

Want to make a difference in the world, but are not sure how to go about it? Want to learn to travel ‘off the beaten path’, but do it safely?

Loyalist College is planning a one year, post-graduate certificate program starting this fall as an International Support Worker (ISW). The goal of the program is to prepare skilled and knowledgeable staff and volunteers to work in international development organizations anywhere in the world.

Canada has played a unique role in international development, and although there are a few university programs teaching about economic or political theories of development, there are few opportunities to learn how to travel safely, and the practical options for development.

The range of skills needed in developing countries is limitless. Therefore, students with any Diploma, or Degree will be eligible for admission. A Nursing grad might assist in public health in a clinic; a Business grad might contribute to developing Fair Trade; a Media grad might help with ‘telling the story’; a DSW grad might help with literacy or support services in another country; etc. The program is limited to 20 students.

This limit is mostly for safety reasons because the students will spend four weeks in Southern Mexico exploring development options and talking directly to people who live in dire socio-economic and political situations. We have to be safe about this.
Students will also be expected to do a month-long individualized internship where they will blend their previous training with their new skills to support people in another country.

You can view some videos on Youtube:


expenses of program:

sample of exploring development:

Any questions, please contact Gary Warren at

Gary Warren
Coordinator, ISW Program
Loyalist College

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Final reflection and thoughts of Quest 2010

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“I’ve learned more about my country in the last two weeks being here in Mexico than I have living my whole life in Canada.” – Holly Hoekstra, DSW Student


“It’s easy to turn the chancel at home about a commercial on poverty but to see it first hand is a completely new experience.” – Mia Howes, DSW Student


“I had few expectations for the Quest Trip but not all of them were met. I did have a great time during my two weeks stay and I am still processing all that I did and saw. Side note - The Mexicans are crazy drivers! … and I loved the restaurant Mananitas!” Charity Peeling, Nursing Student


“Change begins with each and every one of us. This emotional roller coaster that we have all been on has been an eye opener and life changing experience for me. Thanks to Quest, Gary, Niel and Sarah for it all. My favourite memory would have been meeting the Lopex family, not because it was the happiest but because it was the most ‘real’ for me as far as seeing the fight for survival.” Kyle Austin, DSW Student


“If I were to bring anything back to Canada from going on this Quest it would have to be friendship. The friendships made with the people on this trip, sharing the journey with me and the friendships in the people we met. I am grateful to have been able to come to Mexico and am definitely a changed person. This experience was amazing! I recommend discovering the culture of Mexico to anyone.” Martie Cannon, Child and Youth Worker Student


“Are lives are so much more than the sum of our experiences. I am so grateful for this opportunity. I love being given enlightenment and purpose that would never be attained in a classroom. I bring so much back with me that I will carry for life. I will miss you Mexico and the wonderful friendships I have made…….”All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle. “” Kirsten Hanson, Photo Journalism Student


“Quest was a chance to experience a new country, culture and make friends. I loved everything I’ve learned and the new opportunities I’ve found to apply to my field. I’m not sure where I will go from here but I do know the things I’ve experienced and learned will be reflected.” Kaitlyn Cooper, Child and Youth Worker Student


“I am not sure what my personal Quest was before I came, but I can say I finished the trip feeling emotionally, spiritually and intellectually fulfilled. It has been an honour to take steps in this journey alongside each person and I look forward to coordination Quest 2011.” Sarah Hopper, Child and Youth Worker Faculty


“Quest is more than a trip, it’s an experience of a lifetime. The friendships you make last forever and the experiences you have are life changing. You can’t learn this is a classroom or on your own. It takes a group of people working together to make it happen and give you amazing memories to remember.” Ashley English, SSW Student


“This experience has forever changed my life. I do not yet know what I will do with my new found knowledge and passion but am excited to begin my new Quest alongside the amazing people I’ve met and will never forget the experiences we have been through together, thick and thin. Overall this trip was amazing, difficult and beautiful!” Alex Kiru, SSW Student


“Can’t believe it’s all over for another year. I’m still amazed at how much you can learn in just two weeks and the relationships you can strengthen and build. I’m excited to see what the new leg of my journey will bring. No matter what happens I know I’ll have people who support me every step of the way. Vivo.Rio.Amor*“ Caila Widdifield, DSW Student


“I have never experienced a journey quite like this before. The experiences I have been privileged enough to go through have forever changed my life for the better. Not only did I learn about the culture of Mexico and the wealth of its people but I’ve learned so much about myself as well. I will carry these lessons with me for the rest of my life. I hope that I will be adequate able to teach these lessons to everyone at home so these lessons can influence them in even a small part as they did me.” Mikala Labelle, Accelerated SSW Student


"On this trip I have had so many wonderful experiences and met so many great friends. A special moment for me was when the sisters (nuns) told me how pleased they were that I showed up for a lot of their mass' and prayer time. They game me a gift which I will hold close to my heart forever. I also feel this trip has changed me in a way that will make me a better father and a better man. Thank you all for the time we have shared." Andrew Wiggins, DSW Student