Second-year Neuroscience student Dante Cantini has always been interested in going on exchange, but hesitancy and indecision previously held him back.
Now that he’s won the Go Beyond Borders $4,000 tuition prize, that decision just got a little easier.
Held annually in the fall semester by Dalhousie’s International Centre, the Go Beyond Borders Fair features Study Abroad & Exchange program representatives from across the world, as well as students who have previously taken part in the university’s International Learning Experiences. Dante attended the event to ask questions about the application process and entered the tuition prize draw almost as an afterthought, but now he has a big incentive to follow through.
“Winning the prize acted as a kind of message from the universe saying ‘Hey! You want this, I'll give this to you, and now you better go for it,’” he says.
Ready to explore
As a person who appreciates the great outdoors, Dante looks forward to experiencing the nature of Northern Europe, citing Denmark and the Netherlands as destinations he is considering. But it is the “experience itself” he is most interested in, as he believes the exchange program will have a profound effect on himself and how he views the world.
“I think it is a rare and short window of opportunity that students have to travel almost anywhere in the world to immerse themselves in a culture of their choice, while continuing their studies and growth as an individual,” he says. “Travel is the absolute best way to gain an appreciation for all people as well as the planet itself, and I also view it as a very valuable way of developing your own personality, interests, and understanding.”
International Centre’s Study Abroad & Exchange Advisor Gillian MacDonald-Petty says International Learning Experiences help students gain perspective academically by learning in a new culture, while also allowing for personal growth, self-confidence and independence.
“An International Learning Experience gives students the opportunity to learn so much more than what is on a course syllabus,” she says. “They gain invaluable insight and global perspective. As cliché as it sounds, it is an experience that changes them forever.”
Supporting students studying abroad
In addition to the annual tuition prize, Dalhousie has implemented various funding options such as the Go Beyond Borders bursary and the Study/Work International Fund to assist students wishing to participate in International Learning Experiences. A full breakdown of funding opportunities, including faculty, departmental, and external options, are available on the Dalhousie website.
“We understand that travel costs and living expenses in a foreign city can often create a hurdle many students cannot overcome. We don’t want finances to be a barrier to experiencing something incredible,” says MacDonald-Petty.
The deadline to apply for Dalhousie’s Exchange and Study Abroad programs in the 2020 academic year is January 31. Other options for International Learning Experiences are also available to students, with ongoing deadlines throughout the year. For more information visit dal.ca/studyabroad
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