The School of Social Work offers innovative Experiential Learning in a variety of ways, including:
Canada-Mexico International Learning Experience (CMILE)
An intercultural learning experience at home and abroad: DUE TO COVID 19 TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS, THIS COURSE IS CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE*
Get a first-hand look at the diverse peoples and social issues in both societies!
Renison University College invites you to participate in an international learning experience on the interconnectedness of Canadian and Mexican cultures. Taking place in Waterloo region and the heart of the Mexican landscape, this experience promotes awareness of cross-cultural issues and a deeper understanding of issues of social justice. The program is shaped around the interests of the participants to create a shared itinerary for the international experience. The trip is rigorous, filled with long days, and packed with activities, but the end result is a life-changing narrative worthy of retelling.
The experience is not restricted to university students. Though the experience can be taken for credit from Renison University College, the cross-cultural journey is open to the community, and adults of all ages are welcome. The program may appeal to individuals taking Spanish language courses or those interested in the culture, but speaking Spanish is not a prerequisite as there will be translators present.
This program will provide an opportunity for learning from a new perspective, in a group setting, through experience and reflection to re-examine personal values and assumptions about the world. Through interaction with the land and its inhabitants, you will enrich your understanding of such issues as education, health, women’s issues, street children, gay and lesbian issues, and faith in the international community.
The program fee is $2600 per person.
Included in the program costs are the initial seminar; Canadian urban, rural and indigenous experiences; round trip airfare; in-Mexico accommodation, meals and snacks, transportation, admission to cultural sites, activities, and language translation; and the post-trip seminar.
Transportation to and from the Toronto International Airport is not included; participants also bring spending money for souvenirs, etc.
Note: Tuition is not included in the program fee. Please refer to the appropriate tuition fee schedules and enrolment terms for the corresponding costs.
Undergraduate Tuition Schedule
- For undergraduate students taking the course as SDS 370R
- For BSW students taking the course as SWREN 472R
Graduate Tuition Schedule
- For MSW students taking the course as SWK 672R
Dates for the next Canada-Mexico international learning experience 2018
- Information nights: September 21 or 28, 2017 5:30-6:30pm
- Participants' initial seminar: October 26, 2017
- Canadian experiences: January 13, 27, February 10, 2018
- Mexican experiences: February 16 - 25, 2018 (reading week) Sample itinerary.
- Post-trip Seminar: March 24, 2018
*dates are currently tentative
1. Fill out the online application form here.
2. You will then be contacted for an interview with the professor.
3. Selected candidates will receive information packages to help them prepare for the course and the trips.
Support prior to the trip includes information on travel preparation, identification of key issues, reflection on how we learn and how to engage with another culture, and introductory Spanish lessons.
The international portion of the experience is brought to you by our Mexican host, CETLALIC (Centro Tlahuica de Lenguas e Intercambio Cultural), a progressive Spanish school integrating study of the Spanish language with cultural experiences and analysis of cultural issues
MSW students - Community excursion
During the week-long, on-campus course, SWK 600R: Diversity & Health, our MSW students spend time on an 'urban excursion'. The students visit several local agencies in the Kitchener/Waterloo area that deal with diverse client populations to better understand the diverse clients these agencies serve as well as their approaches to service delivery.