Okanagan College Internationalization

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Internationalization Project Team 
Why We Exist

Multiculturalism, diversity, international perspectives and global citizenship are a reality in the world today. The development of an international or global consciousness is a fundamental aspect of any modern education. Students, graduates, employees and the College itself must possess an enhanced global awareness in order to succeed in this increasingly integrated world. 

Who We Are 

The Internationalization Project Team was established in 2016 as an outcome of the College’s Strategic Plan 2016-2020, which directed the College to “implement an internationalization plan so that students better understand the world around them.” Read an infographic about OC's Internationalization strategy here.

Assembled in summer 2016, the Project Team is composed of College employees from across the four College regions.

What We’ve Done

Over the 2016-17 academic period, the Project Team undertook a work plan that 1) established a set of goals and parameters for the work, 2) explored initiatives at other institutions across Canada, 3) developed a series of questions for use in consultation sessions, 4) formulated different approaches to consultation, and 5) carried out consultations across campuses and within the community. The group engaged in different forms of consultation, including focus groups, town halls, and more informal engagement tables. The Project Team undertook 15 separate consultation sessions, involving upwards of 320 employees, students, and community members.

The group was excited by the responses received, and has been compiling and analyzing the input to create a distillation of the results. These activities have now laid the groundwork for further in-depth conversations about the meaning, direction, and purpose of internationalization at Okanagan College.

Early feedback

Responses clearly indicated that the Okanagan College community supports efforts to be a leading institution that fosters the values of global citizenship. Read more about how students have been impacted by their international experiences.

One of the main discussions of the past year focused on the need and desire to increase international awareness and activity to all regions and all academic disciplines. An expanded strategy would facilitate a broader internationalization perspective that would include all students and employees of Okanagan College and its surrounding communities. The need to value and celebrate diversity and international perspectives was a common thread, as was the need to ensure that all College regions were involved in internationalization. 

In addition, in order for all students and employees to develop a truly global perspective, it became clear that there were two very specific areas to be addressed: how to reach and provide opportunities for individuals staying within the College area (Internationalization at Home) and how to provide opportunities for individuals and groups to travel internationally to gain experiences (Internationalization Abroad). Both groups have the same goal of developing a global citizenship perspective, but recognition is made that not all individuals will be able to go abroad and develop this perspective, so Okanagan College must ensure that this new perspective is included in College classrooms, program curricula, events and activities in all regions.

The results to date are represented in our Beliefs Statements/Goals:

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2017 Online Survey and Consultation Sessions

In 2017, Okanagan College's Internationalization Project Team completed extensive consultations throughout the region about how to support and enrich the student experience for international and domestic students alike. To all who provided feedback, thank you for your interest in the Internationalization Strategy at Okanagan College. The survey is now closed, and with the tremendous response and valuable feedback received, we look forward to rolling out the Internationalization Strategy in the near future. 

How You Can Get Involved 

It's not too late. If you'd like to provide input please contact one of the members of the Internationalization Project Team or contact Leanne Foster, ext. 4502, for more information.