Experiential Learning

There are lots of ways to add some hands-on experience to your PACS academic program and earn course credit!

See below for a list of these options. If you have any questions or want to talk further about these opportunities, contact Ndagire Brendah, the PACS Academic Advisor.

Internships | Conflict Resolution Skills | Travel course | UWaterloo Exchange | AIESEC | EDGE | Funding

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PACS 390 - Internships in Peace and Conflict

Internships give you the opportunity to complete a volunteer or work experience in the area of peace and conflict for course credit. Through internship placements, you will be able to gain valuable experience and apply PACS course concepts outside of the classroom.

For more information, visit the Internships page.

PACS 391 - Conflict Resolution Skills

Interested in pursuing a career in mediation or gaining practical conflict resolution skills? Then consider completing conflict resolution workshops to earn course credit. The Certificate Program in Conflict Management is a professional development training program connected to the PACS department and runs workshops to train practitioners in conflict resolution skills. If you are registered in a PACS major or minor, you may participate in these workshops for course credit.

For more information, visit the Conflict Resolution Skills page.

PACS 395 - Peace and Conflict Studies Travel Course

This course is open to all Waterloo students embarking on a travel experience of at least 10 days that in some way relates to PACS themes. Students will complete additional academic work prior to departure, during the travel experience, and upon their return. Travel destinations and itineraries should fit within the following criteria:

  • Travel locations and itinerary must focus in some way on peacemaking, peacebuilding, or conflict (ie: visiting a country recovering from conflict, or that has an active peace movement, or struggles with significant injustice)
  • Travel plans must include an educational component where the cultural, social, economic, and political dynamics of the destination are explored

For more information, download the PACS 395 Syllabus (PDF)

Occasionally the PACS department organizes a travel opportunity for students that will specifically fit this course. Previously students have travelled to Namibia and South Africa to participate in community development projects, work with civil society organizations, listen to a variety of speakers, and of course travel and immerse yourself in the region. These department-led trips will use a modified syllabus.

Waterloo Academic Exchange programs

The University of Waterloo and PACS encourages you to consider an international exchange program for a term of study. A study abroad term is a great opportunity to learn from different professors and immerse yourself in a new culture, gaining excellent cross-cultural skills.

The Faculty of Arts International Exchange website has lots of helpful information and a clear outline of how to get the process started!


AIESEC is an international network that provides both paid internship and volunteer placements for youth. AIESEC Waterloo facilitates such experiences, and information on placements is found on the AIESEC Volunteer page. If the type of work to be completed fits within the criteria for a PACS Internship (PACS 390) this can be used for academic credit by PACS students. These positions can also be used as co-op placements for students registered in Waterloo's co-op program.


EDGE is an opt-in experiential education certificate program for undergraduate students in traditional (non-co-op) programs of study. Students who complete EDGE will develop their professional skills, explore their career options and learn how to market themselves to employers. This is an excellent program for students not in a co-op program. Visit the EDGE website for more information.


If you are interested in the above experiential learning opportunities, you are encouraged to apply to the Faculty of Arts Undergraduate Student Experiential Learning Fund. There is also some funding available through the PACS department to assist with some of these experiences. Contact Ndagire Brendah, the PACS Academic Advisor, to learn about PACS specific funding opportunities.