Putting McMaster on the Map
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the McMaster Global Engagement Town Hall, which provided an update to staff, Faculty, and students about the university’s global engagement strategy. As Canada’s most research-intensive university, I learned that McMaster is a part of several international networks and has partnered with many organizations and universities around the world to provide opportunities to undergraduate, Masters, and Ph.D. students to get involved on a global scale. These include the McCall MacBain International Fellowships for undergrads, as well as many Masters and Ph.D. programs that are being developed in collaboration with other world-renowned universities.
Learning about all this information, as a student, I was left with one question: “where can I find all this information in one place?” During my undergrad, students have voiced their concerns that they are not aware of services or opportunities that are available to them because they don’t know where to look for them or they are frustrated because a streamlined database does not exist. To solve this problem, the University has created the McMaster Global Engagement Hub, a website where members of the McMaster community can access all the global opportunities available to them in one place!
Being at a big university, in the past, I’ve felt as though my experiences as a student and those small contributions I’ve made at the University through my experiences outside of the classroom don’t have a large-scale impact. Attending the Town Hall made me realize just how important my experiences are in creating a global community here at McMaster. In August, I had the privilege of welcoming incoming McMaster international and exchange students to Canada through the Airport Welcome program. During my conversations with other volunteers and incoming McMaster students, I learned so much about different cultures and perspectives that I would never have in a classroom setting. Cultivating these relationships allowed me to broaden my view of the world, which is especially crucial at a time when technological and scientific advances have figuratively made our world smaller.
After having that amazing volunteering experience, I regretted not studying abroad when I had the chance to in my third and fourth year. But, recently after speaking to my friend Jenn, who works as the International Student Services Program Assistant and is also the President of the McMaster International Exchange Club (M.I.X.), I’ve come to realize that you don’t have to travel far to be globally engaged. If you’re an upper year student, you can mentor first-year undergraduate international students! Or if you’re interested in learning a new language, come out to one of the Language Café events to interact with McMaster peers who speak different languages (stay tuned to the SSC’s social media for more info in February and March). Or if you want to experience other cultures through food, check out Hamilton: One Bite at a Time! There are also plenty of MSU clubs that you can get involved in which promote global engagement!
Whichever you choose, one thing’s for sure: there is no shortage of opportunities for ways that you can get involved in the global community during your time at Mac.
About the Author
Manveetha Muddaluru is the blogger for the Student Success Centre’s Stories From the Arch blog for the 2018 – 2019 year.