One thing that we learn from the COVID-19 Pandemic is how important it is to have people who are trained to understand global issues and events. BGInS students learn to address questions of why an event like this pandemic happens, how it is spreading, and what effects it is having on people and societies around the world. More than ever, governments, economies, and citizens need people who ask these questions and provide valuable research and analysis that allow us to intelligently respond to global events.

During this period of self-isolation, the BGInS Program will be offering all of its classroom-based courses as usual. A key feature of the program is its international experience requirement. Although students will not be able to travel overseas for the next few months, our program is offering two types of experiences that will allow students to engage internationally.

Beginning in June 2020, we will offer virtual international work placements in which students will work for overseas organizations including governments, non-governmental organizations, and other agencies. Students can choose to intern for either six weeks (GINS 3900) or twelve weeks (GINS 3901) and will learn valuable workplace skills while working remotely. Either of these work terms will fulfill the international experience requirement. Bursary funding is available.

Beginning in May 2020, the BGInS Program is offering two courses that involve international engagement. In GINS 3300A students will work to produce a country report on Haiti for Global Affairs Canada. At the end of the course, the report will be presented to officials at GAC. GINS 3300B is a humanities-oriented course that involves studying art movements in Switzerland and southern France. Through engaging with the literature and art produced in the Alpine region and interacting with experts located in the region, students will learn about the art movements from this unique area that inspired contemporary notions of the body. These courses will also fulfill the international experience requirement.

University exchanges have been cancelled for the Fall 2020 semester until further notice. However, BGInS will continue to offer the international experience option of GINS 3100 in which students will work alongside partners in other parts of the world on development projects. Another section of GINS 3100 will be offered in the Winter term as well.

It is our hope that over the course of the coming academic year, the pandemic will be brought under control and students will be able to venture abroad again. In the meantime, we will take all possible precautions to ensure that our students remain safe and healthy while continuing to develop their knowledge and skills in the crucial area of international and global studies.

Take care,

The BGInS Staff and Faculty