Almost all Canadian colleges, institutes, and universities offer education-abroad opportunities, including semester exchanges, short-term study tours, and service learning. Yet, only 3.1 per cent of full-time Canadian university students and 2.5 per cent of full-time college students participate in out-of-country learning experiences. These figures are low relative to some of Canada’s OECD counterparts.
Post-secondary education institutions experience several barriers to integrating international mobility into their programs of study. Alberta-based SAIT Polytechnic is making strides in this area through its participation in the Global Education Network (GEN), and by offering a variety of international learning options and financial support for opportunities to study abroad. SAIT Polytechnic’s role in the GEN partnership demonstrates how Canadian colleges can institutionalize strong commitment to international learning experiences by developing formalized, strategic partnerships with like-minded institutions around the world.