Overseas work experience opens doors

For the next three years, the International Department is offering five Global Edge Scholarships per year to financially support students who have already done the work to secure an entrepreneurial overseas work placement to complement their program of study. If entrepreneurship is a feature of your placement, then you may be eligible for this funding, depending on the length of your trip.

The difference that work experience makes to a student's resume and confidence level after graduation is well known. Doing a co-op or work placement in another country can offer even greater rewards to students seeking a competitive edge while learning on the job. We also know; however, that travel can present financial challenges to many otherwise determined students.

Global Edge Scholarships are now available to help lessen that burden for students whose overseas placement involves an element of entrepreneurship.

Ontario wants to support internationally trained entrepreneurs

Global Edge Scholarships are provided through the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, Entrepreneurship Branch to encourage the development of an entrepreneurial spirit in students from a wide range of disciplines. The overall goal of the program is to ensure Ontario's competitiveness on the world stage by training entrepreneurs who understand the connections between local, regional and global business.

How do I know if I qualify?

To apply, you must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident between the ages of 19 to 29, and also be a resident of Ontario. You must be of the age of majority in the country to which you are traveling. You must be returning to classes at Fanshawe following your experience.

To qualify for funding, your placement must:

- be already arranged, including living arrangements

- be outside of Canadian borders. Yes, the U.S. counts!

- provide practical international entrepreneurial experience in the form of a work placement, internship or co-op

- include one or more entrepreneurial opportunities (e.g. a small business that is looking for export opportunities, a resort looking for ways to increase bookings, an economic development agency, a global corporation, etc.)

- make clear the link between local, national and international business.

- be of eight to 24 weeks duration, with a proposed length of 16 weeks.

What do I need to do?

Applicants intending to travel during the Winter 2010 semester need to act soon. To see if you qualify, send your idea in writing to Virginia McKendry, Global Edge Scholarship Coordinator at vmckendry@fanshawec.ca. You can also drop off your letter to the International Office in E2025 by Friday, Dec. 4, 2009. Someone from our office will get back to you promptly to let you know if you qualify.

In your letter, please include the following information:

- your name, age, place of residency, academic program and contact info.

- your host employer (name, type and location of business)

- what will you be doing in the placement.

- how this placement will this supplement your entrepreneurial spirit and overall career path.