International experience award funds are available to University of Waterloo graduate students who participate in:

  • an academic exchange
  • a study term abroad related to research or an academic requirement
  • work, or volunteer experience in another country.

These students used their award funds for 2019 travel, and kindly shared some photos.

Adnan Ali, MA student in political science

Adnan was selected as a Junior Professional Consultant (JPC) for UN Women Regional Headquarters, based out of Istanbul, Turkey. Adnan will learn how foreign development resources are mobilized and how collaboration between actors at different levels of governance is achieved in realizing the SDGs. More specifically, Adnan will be acquainted on how gender equality is being attained in the Central Asian, Western Balkans, and Eastern European Regions. Enabling women and youth to participate in decision-making and have equal access to resources is important to Adnan. 

Amal Dirie, Master of Architecture student

Amal is investigating the complex interweaving of a fragile ecological system and intermittent water supply with the oral culture and temporary architecture of Somali nomads. She gathered data from interviews conducted with tribes and families affected by drought in East Africa, informing design proposals for communal and infrastructure interventions.

Kathy Luu, MSc student in public health and health systems

Kathy’s research explores healthcare access and use among individuals experiencing extreme poverty in rural communities. Working with International Care Ministries in the Philippines, she conducted interviews with both recipients and providers of healthcare to understand their perspectives on the challenges of healthcare delivery in low resource contexts.

Faiza Omar, PhD student in geography and environmental management

Faiza’s research applies the evolutionary economic geography (EEG) lens to understanding tourism development in rural Ghana. She collected primary data through surveys and interviews, connecting with key informants and with entrepreneurs in the retail, accommodation, and food sectors. Faiza’s is the first study to apply the EEG perspective to tourism research in Africa.

Laura Robinson, MA student in global governance

Laura travelled to Guatemala as a Human Rights Co-operant volunteer with Breaking the Silence Maritimes. She supported the Rabinal Legal Clinic, a group working on a case representing 36 Indigenous women who experienced sexual violence during the genocide. Laura gained experience in an area that she has been studying: post-genocidal political systems and society.

Justine Salam, PhD student in global governance

Justine is volunteering as a teacher with Yayasan WINS Indonesia, supporting their mandate to empower youth through global education, environmental stewardship, and leadership. By immersing herself in this foreign culture, she is developing the intellectual agility to see the world through the eyes of others. Justine will also sharpen her teaching, mentorship, and leadership skills.

Kayleigh Swanson, MA student in global governance

Kayleigh’s field placement is with the United National International Development and Diplomacy Internship Programme (IDDIP) in Hanoi, Vietnam. This is an opportunity for professional exposure to the work of the United Nations relevant to her graduate studies in migration, social politics, and environmental sustainability. Kayleigh will gain knowledge and experience that supports a more comprehensive perspective, through which to critically evaluate governance concepts.

Kavitha Thiyagarajah, MPH student

Kavitha was an intern with the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, focusing on the Quality of Care Network initiative with the Maternal, Child  & Adolescent Health department. Her practicum project involved coordination, implementation and monitoring of quality of care activities at the national, district and facility level in target countries. The experience helped build Kavitha’s knowledge of global health challenges, while connecting her with leaders in the field.

Nina Wang, MArch student

Nina visited the sacred island of Miyajima, Japan to investigate the free-roaming Sika deer, in order to question the idea of urban citizenship. In the context of rapid urban development and mass tourism, this field work will help her to redefine the 'city', and design for interspecies territories inclusive of all those who exist (and have historically existed) alongside us.

Sophie Wang, MA student in global governance

As an intern with the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative division of UNICEF in New York, Sophie developed policy and advocacy materials, and designed and implemented advocacy events. The insights she gained into global social policies on girls’ education will help inform her research on developing and evaluating gender-responsive macroeconomic policies.