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September means back to school and it’s time for YCI to start touring across Canada visiting students, alumni, youth groups and everything in between.
Just like last year, we are visiting schools across the country to spread the word about our international programs, bring you updates from the field and to launch some new opportunities. Though we cannot make it everywhere (though we would like to), we are covering as much ground as we can. If you are in the area for any of these events, stop by and say hello!
Should you not be able to attend, follow us on twitter for daily updates (@youthchallenge). We will be using the hashtag #ontheroad, so feel free to send us a shout out.
Halifax & Around
October 1st, Halifax, Mt. Saint Vincent Career Fair
Kingston & Ottawa
September 18th, Ottawa, University of Ottawa, International Information Session
September 26th, Kingston, Queen’s University, Go Abroad Fair
Toronto & Around
September 18th, Toronto, University of Toronto Missassauga, Get Experience Fair
September 23rd, Hamilton, McMaster University, Work and Study Abroad Fair
September 25th, Toronto, York University, International Study and Work Abroad Fair
September 26th, Guelph, University of Guelph, InterACT Fair
October 1st, London, University of Western Ontario, International Opportunities Fair
October 23rd, Toronto, University of Toronto (Downtown), Information Session
Vancouver & Around
If you think we are missing an important event on your campus, don’t hesitate to email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll do our best to register and attend!
Today started off like any other typical day. After studying a little for my economics course before work at the local King Street Starbucks, I made my way to the office, battling the morning rush-hour traffic, with a double-tall vanilla non-fat latte in hand (yes, I know, I’m THAT kind of Starbucks customer!).
I was mid-way through a full day of e-news writing, email-answering, and bank-depositing, when some bad news fell into my lap. I was causally checking my personal email after lunch, and learned that I had been unceremoniously rejected from one of the graduate programs I had applied to. I turned to my coworkers and, dejected, let them know that I no longer had as great of a chance of going to grad school in the fall. They gave me pats on the back and a couple of words of support and encouragement – talking about creating “plan Bs” and unabashedly ridiculing the school that had sent me the unfortunate news. I managed to crack a smile, thinking about how great the YCI team was for keeping my spirits high.
And then, not even 20 minutes later, I felt the need to check my email just once more. This time, I noticed an email from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario – another graduate school I had applied to. Before I even had the chance to click on it, the words “we are pleased to tell you” popped out at me from the subject line, and I immediately knew what I would find inside!
With a whoop, I jumped out of my office chair, and right away the YCI staff were at my side, giving me hugs and high-fives. I couldn’t believe that in the span of half an hour, I had been rejected AND accepted to grad school!
Well, this called for a celebration. Myself and a couple of my colleagues headed down Queen Street West to a little place called Dufflet, an expensive pastry shop, and picked up the richest, most delicious chocolate mousse cake we could find (see accompanying photo – mmm). The YCI gang gathered around the lunchroom table and talked and laughed about our lives, the future, and all the awesome things that it can bring.
And to think, I was nearly hit by a cab this morning. It’s amazing what 20 minutes can do to change your day, and your life, in the most profound of ways!
- Sarah Tuckey, Administrative Assistant
As an individual who just recently graduated from university, I had put little thought into what I wanted to do down the road – in 10 years time; 5 years time; or even what I wanted to do next month! I had completed one of the toughest and most character-building chapters of my life, and all I wanted to do was live up the time I finally had to myself.
Only after a summer of light travelling, working, and relaxing did I started thinking about that eventuality known as the future. It was then that I realized I didn’t have a game plan; no road lay before me. I knew it was all up to me – I had long ago grown out of the age when other people planned my life for me, and I needed to do something about it.
I thought back on my interests that I focused on while in school, and realized that a pattern began to emerge in my last few semesters of my undergrad. I, unlike many of my peers, did not know what I wanted to be “when I grew up” and so my undergraduate degree began to look like a mosaic; I took courses that I thought were interesting, thought-provoking, challenging, diverse, and fun. I realized that I had developed a strong interest in international development, gender, human rights, and the issues that surround these when they become intertwined. With that in mind, I began the process of asking myself what I wanted to do with this knowledge.
I decided on applying to graduate school and looking for meaningful work and volunteer experience. The work experience I was lucky to attain: that is where Youth Challenge International comes in! I am currently learning so much about what it takes to be a part of a development organization, and what kind of role I eventually want to take in this diverse field. For school, I decided on graduate programs related to international development – specifically those that tie in many comprehensive courses and faculty so that I can continue to keep my education diverse and creative. I realized after my time off from university (which was much needed!) that I enjoy the learning process, I enjoy the challenge that school provides, and I thrive on research and discovery. Plus, with my love of travel and curiosity for people and places the world over, this path seems like a step toward being able to one day live and make a place for myself outside of Canada.
I am also looking for ways to make myself useful as a volunteer. Anyone can tell you that a strong education is a great asset, but without meaningful experience, you haven’t got a leg to stand on. As the only member of the YCI team who has yet to go on a volunteer trip, I am looking to try my hand at some volunteer experiences right here in Canada – after all, you need to know where you’ve been before you can know where you’re going!
- Sarah Tuckey, Administrative Assistant
If you’re interested in graduate programs in International Development, check out these select links:
For more information on volunteer experiences in Canada and abroad, check out: