Tags: Vol. 1, Issue 2, December 2020
As with most large events and gatherings this year, the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) held its first virtual conference this year - CBIE2020. While virtual conferences limit some of the networking opportunities, they also provide new opportunities for accessibility as well as sustainability, reducing costs of travel and accommodations.
Five days of programming between November 9-13, provided opportunities and space for connection and sharing about international education with the overarching aim to work towards shaping a better world for all global citizens. Leaders across institutions and communities representing diverse experiences, came together to collaborate and discuss ideas on how we can continue to develop a viable and flourishing future of internationalization.
Consistent with face-to-face conferences, this virtual event included an exhibition hall, gala, networking opportunities, presentation of awards, panels and workshops.
Staff from across faculties were in attendance, to share, engage with and learn from diverse voices, with a mutual interest in the positive impact of international education.
Some topical workshops at this year’s conference included subjects such as maintaining student engagement at a distance, intercultural competences, fostering diversity, creativity, and international collaboration, introducing International Students to the Indigenous context of Canada, Decolonizing Work-Integrated Learning, amongst many others. Humber staff also had the opportunity to present at sessions on experiential learning and internationalization, sharing exciting projects happening across the College.
FSCS Global Learning & Strategic Initiatives Coordinator, Ayesha Amin, who attended the conference through her role at FSCS, was inspired by the exciting initiatives happening at postsecondary institutions across the globe, adapting to the new virtual world we find ourselves in, while still finding meaningful ways to internationalize.“With colleges and universities around the world having to reimagine their existing programs and develop sustainable ways to maintain partnerships and key links with international partners with an unknown future, learning about some of the virtual collaborations that are taking place in different institutions shows that internationalization is just as possible now as it was before the pandemic, and there is a silver lining to the restrictions that have been put in place. FSCS has been busy exploring new global opportunities for students to take advantage of despite travel restrictions, and these multifaceted ways to continue to offer global learning opportunities not just physically but virtually, will undoubtedly be part of our faculty’s strategy moving forward, well beyond the end of the pandemic.”