Discovering Peru: The Beyond Borders Experience

wil schmorMy name is Wil Schmor, and I am in my second year at UWaterloo, studying Global Business and Digital Arts.

When I started attending workshops for the Student Leadership Program and enrolling in RS170 in Winter 2013, I never imagined that it would lead me to preparing for a 90 day trip in Peru this summer.

When attending a workshop on global intelligence for the Student Leadership Program, I was interested in extending what I learned beyond the classroom. After expressing my interest to the facilitator, she mentioned that I check out the Beyond Borders program at St. Jerome’s University. I had never heard of the program before, but it sounded really cool, so I checked out the website. I saw the application, but decided to sit on the decision for a bit.

That same term, I was taking RS 170 “Religion And Pop Culture” at St. Jerome’s University. During one of my classes, Beyond Borders Student Program Manager, Elissa Cressman came to the class to talk about international service learning programs, specifically Beyond Borders. Once I heard about the program for a second time I knew it was the right decision to apply, so I filled out the form the next day and handed it in. I later had an interview, and was accepted into the 2013-2014 cohort.

To participate in the Beyond Borders program, the students take two required classes, then apply their learning through an international placement. I discovered in November that I will be living in Chiclayo, Peru for 90 days, volunteering at Café Femenino, a non-profit coffee organization that empowers women to grow coffee as a means for living. While on my placement, I will be helping with business and brand development.

I am now using my planned experience in Peru to get my Global Exchange Certificate through Waterloo International. I am excited to be recognized for my efforts to gain a global perspective— something I think every university student should be encouraged to do.

If you are interested in supporting my journey please visit my Tumblr to learn more information or donate.

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