Global Business and Digital Arts (GBDA) FAQS 

GBDA is a program that's completely unique to the Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business at the University of Waterloo.

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Do you offer co-op?

GBDA is a REGULAR program. Rather than offering a traditional co-op model, we instead integrate practical experience directly through the program. This includes:

  • Course-based projects where students work with industry mentors
  • A 4-month internship
  • The development of an e-portfolio

Can I do a minor?

GBDA students have 6 elective courses. Most minors require that you complete 8-10 classes in that discipline. GBDA students wishing to complete a minor would be required to take extra courses, and those courses would need to fit into the student's schedule.  

I have to do a second language course - what are my options?

We offer many introductory language courses. You can select classes from Arabic, Latin, Chinese, Croatian, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. You can view all the options through the undergraduate calendar

Is there a specific computer I need to order?

GBDA students in classWe don’t require that students purchase a specific computer system or software suite for the duration of the program, however, some courses require the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, Premeire, After Effects etc.) We suggest referring to the system requirements for the specific products you are considering, available towards the bottom of Adobe Creative Cloud system requirements webpage. Creative Cloud licenses can be purchased at a significant discount from the W Store.

A few tips when looking for a computer:

  1. Get as much RAM as you can afford
  2. Get the best video card you can afford
  3. Make sure you get a laptop with an Intel Core processor (Intel Core i5 or i7). With the fastest speed you can afford.

Laptop Mag has a great write-up on what to look for when shopping for a laptop. Please note that Chrome OS and Windows 10 are not recommended as thy are incapable of running many of the applications used in the program.

We also HIGHLY recommend purchasing either an external hard drive or cloud based backup system. Students have lost months/years of work because their hard drives fail and they don't have a backup system in place. Apple has a fantastic built-in backup system in place called Time Machine, where after an initial setup, the system is backed up whenever the hard drive is plugged into the laptop. Windows also comes with backup software bundled with the Operating System.

Please refer to the following documents to configure them:

I'm in another program at Waterloo - can I take a GBDA class? 

Unfortunately no. Due to our differentiated tuition fee structure, and physical space limits, GBDA classes are only available to GBDA students.

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Is there a residence for GBDA students? 

Since 2017 GBDA has offered students the opportunity to live in a GBDA Living Learning Community. Connect with other first year students and upper-year students and participate in programming designed with your suggestions in mind. 

Where will I live when I am studying in Stratford?

Students find off-campus housing in the community - the Off-Campus Housing Office works with students and landlords to provide resources and support in arranging housing. There are a variety of student-focused accommodations in Stratford. Note that if planning to live outside of Stratford during upper years, transportation is the responsibility of the student.

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International Experience

Can GBDA students complete the Global Experience Certificate?

Yes! GBDA students can easily complete the GEC, as they complete many requirements as part of their program (e.g. 2 language courses, an internationally-focused course) and have the opportunity to do an international exchange

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