Key Takeaways: Maximizing Your Time Abroad Workshop

With the sector travelling again, BCCIE recently ran a full-day workshop on how international education practitioners can make the most of their time abroad. The workshop covered planning and strategies in three areas: pre-travel, while travelling, and follow-up from travel. Below are some key takeaways from our presenters.

Randall Martin, Executive Director, BCCIE

“When planning travel, institutions and districts need to take into account evolving business approvals and travel policies because they have changed since COVID-19. It is critical that organizations articulate and then communicate clearly what their travel policies are at any given moment in time, for every stage of the journey, from pre- to post-trip.”

Anne-Marie Leclerc, Trade Commissioner, Education, Creative Industries, EdTech, Pacific Regional Office, Vancouver

“Be very specific with your request when you contact the local trade commissioners, well in advance of travel. For example: Your objectives while there; how long you will be in market; what kind of partners you are looking to engage with; what kind of partnerships you are looking for; and, who you are already working with in that market. Don’t forget to consult the travel advisories and register on the Canadians abroad list before you leave.”

Salima Jethani, Director, Global Engagement, SFU

“Including relevant market intelligence in your business case for international travel is key as you canvass your own institutions activities and set priorities. A strong business case can result in getting critical buy-in.”

CJ Tremblay, Founder and Managing Director, Alethea Global Cooperative

“In the face of the climate crisis, every job must become a climate job. The international education field is more reliant on air travel than the global GHG distribution and thus we have greater responsibility to act and we are well-positioned to do so.”

Maki Natori, Director, Strategic Partnerships and Projects, International Student Initiative, UBC/Marc Bavin, Director, Office of Global Engagement, UVic

“Self-care while abroad is really important when travelling internationally. Invest in yourself. Take care of your team and they will take care of the students/clients.”

Colin Doerr, Director, External Relations, BCCIE

“The language we use to frame our initiatives abroad, should work for us; not against us, or risk undermining our intent and ultimate outcome.”

Yusuf Varachia, Vice-President, External Relations and Community Engagement, Langara College

“We’re not alone in this sector. We should be able to share information and connect with others in the sector. Use your colleagues in the international education sector as a resource.”

Jeff Davis, Director, International Students Program, Greater Victoria School District

“During the post-trip phase of travel, a great deal may be learned by working across the K to 12 and post-secondary sectors. I’ve observed significant professional and community-based development for participants who worked together advancing a K to PhD pathway.”