Beyond Borders at SJU!
Beyond Borders is an academically centered international service-learning experience at St. Jerome’s University. The program consists of two terms of on-campus course work and a 90-day placement abroad. Beyond Borders is the capstone experience in international service learning that takes upper year students out of their comfort zone and into the world. Students can use their Beyond Borders international volunteer placement as a co-op work term or as their international experience for the Global Experience Certificate.
For more information please read our Program Profile.
About Beyond Borders
The Beyond Borders program provides an opportunity for students to have a perspective-shifting encounter with new people, vibrant cultures and with themselves. It allows students to discover alternative perspectives, realities and ways of life. Beyond Borders’ praxis is rooted in the values of Catholic Social Teaching and thus pushes students to participate in developing community, practice solidarity and to respect and engage with the dignity of all people. It is a chance to be fully immersed in development and social justice issues and witness them through a potentially new lens.
All of the partners we work with in the Beyond Borders program are bilateral partners. SJU staff have carefully chosen our partners for the opportunities that they provide our students and for the work they do to improve their local communities. Faculty and staff work together to ensure students are placed with the best match for their interests, academic area of study and future goals. Our Beyond Borders partners work with health initiatives, child and youth programs, environmental projects, teaching, leadership and community development.
Deconstruct existing perceptions and reconstruct a more flexible way of approaching world issues;
Build on knowledge of the causes of injustice, inequality, and suffering around the world;
Examine the effects of globalization on the world’s oppressed peoples through topics such as gender, class, health, economy, policy and power;
Develop team-work and collaboration skills;
Foster critical approaches to travel experiences that mitigate negative impact on communities abroad;
Develop self-awareness and strengthen leadership skills;
Experience volunteering in local community placements which can lead to a stronger connection within students’ local communities;
Gain insight into the connections between local and international development issues;
Gain credit for two courses: RS 283 'Current Ethical Issues' and RS 383 'Justice, Peace and Development'.
Develop critical thinking and reflective thinking skills in practice;
Grow in professional development areas provided through work placement;
Gain an indepth insight into a new culture and way of living;
Opportunity to gain credit for experiential learning related to specific fields of academic study (ie. PACS field study, research projects, directed studies course, etc.).
For co-op students: If the applicant is a co-op student, the 90-day placement can be counted as their volunteer co-op position.
For students pursuing the Global Experience Certificate: this program satisfies the travel requirement.
Explore methods for integrating and sharing lessons learned abroad within the Canadian context;
Contribute to the University community’s development in understanding social justice and development practice by participating in talks and conferences;
Develop additional leadership qualities through participating in the Outreach Programs Ambassador program
Ideal Beyond Borders candidates are upper-year students who are looking to engage with an opportunity to learn through experience. In the program, students will be pushed outside of their academic and experiential comfort zones.
An ideal candidate is someone who is willing to have their ideas of social-justice issues challenged. Beyond Borders students are motivated to question why they think the way they do about a range of issues. Furthermore, upon experiencing these challenges, ideal candidates would be open to creating a more malleable perspective through which to experience world-issues.
Overall, the program costs (dependent on the placement) between $8,000-$9,000. St. Jerome’s University assists in subsidizing this program cost so that students are responsible for $4000 of the total:
$1500 Personal Contribution*
*If the participant is enrolled academically through SJU enrolled, they are eligible to receive a $500 bursary to be applied to their personal contribution portion of the expense.
The remaining balance is covered by the University. The total expenses cover the cost of flights, transportation, any placement fees and accommodations (Note: meal expense coverage is negotiated differently for each placement).
Additional program costs, not included in the totals above, which remain the responsibility of the student include:
Fees for immunizations (costs vary depending on the country)
Passport Renewal fees
Immigration documents and necessary Visas (depending on placement)
Any travel supplies participants would need (ie. luggage, clothing, water sanitation tablets, hygiene products, gear, etc.)
“Before going on Beyond Borders, my heart was set on law school. It was my definite direction, but after Kenya, my whole perspective changed. I started looking into development work because that’s what makes me happy and what I enjoy doing. My last co-op was in New York City working for the Clinton Global Initiative, which is large-scale development work bringing together heads of state, CEOs and local NGOs to form partnerships. Beyond Borders and the work I had done through it is definitely the reason I got that very competitive co-op placement.”
Samantha Roblin, SJU Student, Beyond Borders 2010-2011
If you are interested in applying to the Beyond Borders program or have any questions please contact Bess Mitchell in the Office of Student Experience at email@example.com or call 519-884-8110 ext 28227.