Our world is rapidly globalizing, bringing exciting opportunities and daunting challenges. Global and International Studies, hereafter referred to as Global Studies, seeks to tackle this brave new world in all its complexity. We train students to be global citizens, global thinkers, and global problem-solvers, and prepare them for global careers in academia, business, government, and the non-profit sector, among others. A unique feature of our program is that we train students in foreign languages. Language is the entry-point for understanding the world’s cultures and equips students for studying and working abroad.
Global Studies is a holistic and timely field of study whose scope is the whole Earth and whose eyes are on the future, aiding a global transformation toward healthy, just, peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable societies for all. The focus of our program is on the ‘big picture,’ international to global. Students emerge from our program with knowledge of the macro-level structures, actors, processes, ideas, issues, and events shaping our planet and its societies. This is accomplished in multi-disciplinary, multi-perspective, local-to-global, and critical ways of thinking.
The curriculum is organized around four themes:
- Global environment and sustainability
- Global cultures and diversity
- Global governance and social justice
- Global political economy and development.
Students take courses in each theme, learn to integrate across themes, and can focus on one or more themes if they so choose. Special attention is given to British Columbia’s immediate international neighbouring regions: Asia-Pacific, Circumpolar North, and the Americas.
Students Improving the World
Over The Edge members attend Canada's 77th Annual Student Journalism Conference
SuIn Lee (Economics/International Studies Major), Peter Mansbridge (CBC's Chief Correspondent), Kelley Ware (International Studies/Political Science Major)
March 3, 2015
The Department of Global & International Studies financially supported members of Over the Edge to attend Canada’s 77th annual student journalism conference from January 14-18, 2015 in Ottawa where they had a chance to meet CBC’s chief correspondent, Peter Mansbridge (in photo with SuIn Lee (L) and Kelley Ware (R). Over the Edge is UNBC’s free, student-run newspaper. The conference gave UNBC’s student journalists the opportunity to meet with fellow journalists, share skills, and participate in seminars hosted by professionals in the field. Peter Mansbridge was the first night’s keynote speaker. He spoke about the importance of investigation and accountability in journalism. Lisa LaFlamme, Chief Anchor and Senior Editor of CTV National News, was another keynote speaker. Her speech was given as if she was talking to her family and friends beside a fireplace. She spoke candidly of the times when she couldn’t take a shower for days due to reporting in war zones or when she was present at Saddam Hussain’s execution. Attending the conference made us realize that journalism is not only about being able to write well but also about ethics rooted in humanity. Writing flows from human values, emotions, and action.
INTS Alumna Wins Major Awards for PhD Research on Global Environmental Politics at UBC
Miriam Matejova, Honours Degree in International Studies - 2009
January 8, 2015
Hello, my name is Miriam Matejova. Dr. Wilkening asked me to tell you my story. He said it may give you ideas and inspiration for your post-INTS and post-UNBC journeys. My Canadian academic journey started when I immigrated to Canada from Slovakia in 2004. I graduated from UNBC with an Honours degree in International Studies in 2009. Then I went on to earn a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School. While in Ottawa, I also volunteered for the United Nations Association in Canada, co-edited a peer-reviewed journal of international affairs (the Paterson Review), chaired the 2011 Model NATO conference, and conducted archival research to co-author a book and articles on Canada’s foreign intelligence. I also travelled to Barbados where I spent two months as a project assistant at the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.
Upon my return, I began a career in Canada’s public service, first working as an analyst at the Canadian International Development Agency and then as an economist at Environment Canada where I served as the national lead in providing economic analysis for federal environmental assessments. My work on Canada’s species at risk regulations earned me the 2014 Regulatory Excellence Award for Advancement in Instrument Design.
I also volunteered for a global consulting firm GlobalINT where I conducted research on energy and environmental security largely related to climate change risks. In collaboration with GlobalINT’s Strategy Director, Dr. Chad Briggs, I published a book chapter on environmental security and energy in the Arctic.
In 2012, I was awarded UNBC’s Alumnus of the Year for Professional Excellence Award. This recognition motivated me to establish my own scholarship at UNBC, the Miriam Matejova Award, currently valued at about $1,700 per academic year. The award is meant to help new immigrants who are seeking post-secondary education in Canada. I haven’t forgotten that I was once a financially struggling immigrant.
I am now a PhD student in Political Science at the University of British Columbia, working under the supervision of Dr. Peter Dauvergne. My research centers on global environmental politics associated with climate change impacts and responses. In particular, I am interested in energy and environmental security in the Arctic and Asia Pacific.
Since coming to UBC in September 2013, I have been awarded a Vanier Graduate Scholarship, a Killam Doctoral Scholarship, and, most recently the Donald N. Byers Memorial Prize as the highest-ranking Killam Doctoral Scholar of 2014. [INTS Note: The Vanier is a highly competitive award. Only about 50 are given out to social sciences and humanities graduate students in Canada each year. The Killam Doctoral Scholarship is “the most prestigious awards available to graduate students at UBC”.]
In addition to my research and teaching assistant duties at UBC, I continue volunteering. As a Liu Scholar at UBC’s Liu Institute for Global Issues, I organize public lectures, workshops and gallery exhibits, and actively participate in various student information sessions. I also volunteer as a translator and reviewer for the TED Open Translation Project and, in my free time, write short non-fiction. My creative writing has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Her Circle, and several travel magazines.
ISSA Gift Giving Campaign Fights Poverty in Uganda
November 25, 2014
The International Studies Student Association (ISSA) recent conducted a campaign to raise awareness for the Gift it Twice Program. Gift it Twice is an annual campaign put on by the Toronto-based NGO Raising the Village that works to alleviate extreme poverty in ten remote villages in Uganda. Gift it Twice encourages people to make a charitable donation in someone's name rather than buying a Christmas present. Donations go towards purchasing goats for economic cooperatives, providing necessary educational supplies (including books, chalk, desks, teacher training and school meals), and investing in the gorilla deterrent program to keep villagers and their crops safe. The picture above shows ISSA member and Treasurer Harjit Pannu raising awareness for Gift it Twice in the UNBC Wintergarden.
English Person in Korea (EPIK) Teaching Program in South Korea
Zan Tsang, International Studies Major - 2014
October 28, 2014
Greetings from Zan Tsang in South Korea. I graduated from UNBC in May 2014 with a Major in International Studies. I'm currently with the EPIK (English Person In Korea) Teaching program in Daegu, South Korea, in the southern part of the country. I teach 22 classes a week, and am at school from 8:30-4:30 Monday to Friday. I teach grades 3 to 6. The kids here are wonderful! Korea does not hold back when it comes to spending money on education! There are 33 inch Samsung TVs mounted in every classroom and rather than just a PA system, they have a fully functional video broadcasting room that is operated by students (equipment, announcer, lights, etc.). South Korea is a very beautiful country and when I am not teaching, I am busy making new friends, exploring a new culture and country.