Global Partners Institute (Canada) is a pioneer in international education, having offered high-quality intercultural exchange and immersion programs since 1992. At the time of the Institute’s inception, international education meant traveling abroad and spending time physically immersed in a language and a culture that was not one’s own. Exposure to unfamiliar cultural and linguistic surroundings was once understood as both the primary goal and ideal manifestation of international education; the world, however changed.
Advances in internet technology, the accessibility of air travel, and the ubiquity of social media have diminished the prevalence of cultural myopia through regular exposure to unfamiliar cultural and linguistic environments. As a leader in its field, Global Partners Institute aims to respond to this new reality by reevaluating what is meant by international education, and to facilitate programming that embraces international education as a means to an end, rather than the goal itself.
As a registered Canadian not-for-profit organization, Global Partners Institute is committed to the promotion and facilitation of individual discovery, local engagement, and global stewardship. The Institute considers these to be the true goals of international education, and aims to foster these interconnected goals and attributes among all participants in its programs in the following ways:
The experience of living and studying abroad, or of hosting a student from a linguistic or cultural background other than one’s own, can trigger a reassessment of one’s own assumptions of the world. By placing motivated international students in local schools and with engaged Canadian families, under the support and guidance of professional Regional Management staff, Global Partners Institute strives to provide a context in which both student and host can engage in journeys of individual (yet collaborative) discovery. Through the provision of host family training, language instruction, and other measures, our Institute takes an active role in facilitating this engagement.
Through the experience of living and learning in local communities, students become aware of issues and civic engagements unfolding in those communities, and have the opportunity to participate in local responses thereto. Global Partners Institute’s professional Regional Management staff act as intermediaries, identifying opportunities in which students are encouraged to participate. Such opportunities may include support initiatives for the disadvantaged, local waterway and woodland cleanup efforts, youth outreach, and so on.
By partnering with like-minded organizations in communities across Canada, Global Partners Institute is committed to providing opportunities for our students to respond to global challenges, including climate change, energy development, humanitarian issues, and other social and environmental concerns. In this way, our Institute fulfills the promise of its name: Global Partners.