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SFU's new international awards funding will help students participate in overseas programs such as field schools, international exchanges and international co-op postings.

SFU's new international awards funding will help students participate in overseas programs such as field schools, international exchanges and international co-op postings.

New funds for international travel

February 7, 2007

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SFU undergraduate Chisa Katsuki traveled to Mozambique in January for a three-month international co-op position she arranged herself through Canadian Universities Services Overseas (CUSO) and NetCorps.

It's increasingly common for students to seek out international co-op positions with non-governmental organizations, says Tanya Behrisch, an SFU international co-op coordinator. "Money is not their primary objective. Their ultimate goal is to work with organizations like Doctors Without Borders, the Canadian International Development Agency or the United Nations."

Such students often must fund the experience themselves, living in refugee camps or arranging to be paid in food and lodging.

That's one reason why SFU has approved $100,000 in new international awards funding, to encourage student participation in international programs such as field schools, international exchanges and international co-op postings.

Katsuki is fortunate. CUSO will pay all of her expenses, including a week's orientation in Ottawa, immunization, airfare, medical insurance and accommodation in Mozambique. She'll earn a monthly honorarium of $960 Cdn in her job designing an official website for an AIDS/HIV organization. She'll also be teaching the local staff how to manage and update it.

The job takes advantage of Katsuki's first co-op position in Vancouver where she built websites for a Japanese design firm. It also fits with her volunteer experience with AIDS Vancouver and the computer technology courses she takes in tandem with her SFU communication courses.

Finding the job wasn't difficult, she says. She found a link to CUSO on the SFU International website and applied online. "I got a phone call the next day," she says. CUSO arranged a phone interview three days later and the following day, gave her the job.

By Diane Luckow
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