Global Impact at Home

You don’t need to travel to make a global impact. Whether you want to develop intercultural skills, build global connections, refine your employment skills to be more competitive in a diverse workforce or support positive change in the world, there are ways for you to make a global impact at home.

Universitas 21 micro-internships

Universitas 21 is offering free two-week internships (online) in March, April and May 2022. The focuses are climate action, gender equality, good health and well-being. Sign in to OSCARplus to learn more and apply.

Learn about U21 internships

How can you make a global impact at home?

Joining a club, participating in a virtual exchange or internship, working with peers to solve an industry challenge or volunteering with a local organization with a global focus are just some of the ways you can make a global impact at home. These opportunities can help you better understand the people and world around you, relate to local and global issues and develop in-demand employability skills.

Check out this section to discover some of the ways you can get started. Application and participation details vary, so visit the links associated with each opportunity to learn more and find out if they’re right for you.

McMaster Exchange Program: Virtual exchanges

Participate in a virtual exchange with one of the our global institution partners to learn about different cultures and earn credits toward your degree. Research has shown that a global education can help students develop career-ready skills, including problem solving, resilience, interpersonal communication and adaptability.

Learn more, explore the opportunities and apply through the Study and Research Abroad page. Virtual exchanges are noted in the University Pathways document, which you can find under “Study/research abroad opportunities.” You can book an appointment on OSCARplus (under Student Success Centre > Appointments > Global Opportunities) if you need help finding a virtual exchange.

McMaster courses

You can also take elective courses that focus on global issues or language courses. These are great opportunities to build your intercultural knowledge and communication skills. This way, you’re making a global impact by broadening your perspectives on the world.

McMaster certificates and programs

Consider certificates, minors and programs available at McMaster to incorporate more global learning in your academics at the undergraduate or graduate level.

Sustainable Development Goals Academy

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 goals that take on global issues like poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice and more. The Sustainable Development Goals Academy provides free academic courses and resources designed by a global community of experts to help you take action and make a difference.

LinkedIn Learning

As a McMaster student, you have free access to LinkedIn Learning, which includes thousands of online courses. Find a course related to global learning or intercultural skills to get started. Here are some recommendations.

  • Developing Cross-Cultural Intelligence
  • Cultivating Cultural Competence and Inclusion
  • Communicating Across Cultures
  • Adding Value Through Diversity
  • Leading Globally
  • Managing Globally

Note: Access LinkedIn Learning for free by logging in through the University Technology Services (UTS) website. You need to have a LinkedIn account to get started.

Virtual work and volunteer opportunities

The Global Experience Program can connect you with virtual opportunities to help develop your career, gain valuable experience and build skills that employers value in today’s global workforce. Learn more, explore the opportunities and get support on the Work and Volunteer Abroad page. You can book an appointment on OSCARplus (under Student Success Centre > Appointments > Global Opportunities) if you need help finding a virtual opportunity.

Local volunteer opportunities and Career Treks

Volunteer to make a difference with a local organization that has a global perspective through a placement or Career Trek. These are short-term opportunities to gain valuable workplace experience and receive mentorship. Many opportunities with various time commitments are posted on OSCARplus throughout the year, so you can choose an opportunity that’s right for you. To browse opportunities and apply, go to OSCARplus > Student Success Centre > Volunteer & Experience Building > Postings. Search for “Global Impact @ Home” under position type.

Global challenges

Part of making a global impact includes addressing global issues through innovation. Through a global challenge, you can work to provide a creative solution to a real-life problem in a specific industry or field. This way, you get to think outside of the box — and intercultural boundaries — to make a positive change in the world. We post various challenge opportunities throughout the year. Check OSCARplus > Student Success Centre > Volunteer & Experience Building > Postings.

MacChangers course (non-credit)

MacChangers is a co-curricular (students do not receive course credit) experiential program at McMaster University that pairs multidisciplinary teams with community members to propose innovative solutions to local challenges facing the Hamilton community, as well as the global community.

Intercultural Peer Mentorship Program

Make friends and develop your intercultural skills through the Intercultural Peer Mentorship Program. Whether you participate as a mentor or mentee, you’ll get to expand your perspective beyond your personal background through demonstrating collaboration, communication, teamwork and more – all skills that employers value.

Check for upcoming registration dates on OSCARplus under Student Success Centre > Volunteer & Experience Building > Program Registrations. Contact if you have questions.

International Student Buddy Program

The Buddy Program connects international students with upper-year students (buddies) who can help them transition to university life in Canada.

  • I’m a first-year international student: Whether this is your first time in Canada or you completed high school in Canada as an international student, the Buddy Program is a great opportunity to meet your fellow first-year international students.
  • I’m an upper-year student (international or domestic): Help make a fellow student’s transition to McMaster a memorable one and consider applying for this volunteer position. The program takes place from June to April and requires a commitment of a few hours per week (not every week).

Registration opens in May. Visit OSCARplus and search the calendar (under Student Success Centre > Volunteer & Experience Building > Program Registrations) for a registration date.

Universitas 21 (U21) Global Connections

Universitas 21 empowers students and staff from 27 world-class universities to share excellence, collaborate across borders and foster intercultural learning. The Global Connections program is a virtual opportunity to connect with students from schools across the world. Learn more and get started on the U21 website.

McMaster clubs

There are many McMaster clubs that focus on international and global issues. Try joining a club to get involved and expand your community at the university. There are more than 300 clubs posted on the McMaster Students Union (MSU) website!

Global events

We host and contribute to global engagement events throughout the year. Visit the Global Events page for an overview of all the events we’re involved in.

Additionally, browse OSCARplus for equity and inclusion sessions and workshops (listed under Student Success Centre > Events).


Resources and tools

Check out these helpful resources and tools if you need help narrowing down your options and deciding on an opportunity that’s right for you.


OSCARplus is McMaster’s online career portal for employers and students. Browse job postings on OSCARplus > Student Success Centre > Employment > Job Postings > Search Job Postings > Position Type > Global Opportunities.

Plus, access valuable tools, GoingGlobal and MyWorldAbroad. Request access through the OSCARplus dashboard under Take It Global.


  • Customized job search
  • Country career guides
  • Employer directory and embassy listings
  • Industry and employment trends
  • On-demand and live training webinars
  • Virtual and freelance opportunities


  • Job boards
  • Articles and student stories
  • Volunteer and internship opportunities
  • Opportunities to teach English abroad
  • Virtual internships

View the McMaster Terms of Use (“Links to other sites”)

According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education, 80% of students identify financial assistance as the greatest barrier to studying abroad. Don’t worry — we can connect you with financial support so you can explore your options through a global opportunity.

Financial support and awards

  • Global Experience Award (GEA)
  • Special programs funding
  • And more

View all the funding opportunities on the Scholarships and Awards page.

Note: Some awards may be restricted to travel-based opportunities. Contact if you have questions.

Global opportunity support

Book a one-on-one appointment to get support, learn about program eligibility and application requirements and more. Browse appointment types on OSCARplus (under Student Success Centre > Appointments > Global Opportunities).

Career support

If you’re wondering how to connect your interest in global opportunities with your career plans, we recommend meeting with a career counsellor. They can help you reflect on your goals and the skills and experiences that can help you accomplish those goals. Book an appointment on OSCARplus > Student Success Centre > Appointments > Careers.