A Reflection on the UOttawa Global Recognition Program: Sheyenne Waal

A passion for language led me to pursuing a bachelor of arts with a minor in Italian Studies at the University of Ottawa. I have always been intrigued by the study of languages since I was first introduced to French in elementary school, leading to French Immersion, followed by studies of Spanish and Greek (very briefly) in high school. I knew I wanted to pursue studies that would allow me to travel and strengthen my skills and it led me to the International Studies and Modern Languages program at uOttawa, but I found that it wasn’t quite the right fit. In the Summer of 2014, following my first year of undergrad, I participated in a month long course that allowed me to live and study in Italy. This opportunity made me fall in love with Italian language, culture and scenery, which influenced my decision to continue into an Italian studies program and ultimately return to Italy on an exchange in Fall 2016.

Sheyenne photo

Once I travelled outside of North America, I wanted more. I decided that my ultimate goal was to be a more involved global citizen and find ways to travel with my future career. By participating in the uOttawa International Buddy Program, I received notice of the new uOGlobal program being offered this year and knew it was a perfect program to wrap up all of my experiences into a consolidated academic recognition. Not only is the program ideal because I am able draw from my undergrad experiences, but it also gives me the opportunity to find new ways of incorporating the knowledge I have acquired from these experiences into my studies and professional life. Currently, I am pursuing my bachelor of education, and what a better way of developing a more inclusive and globally aware society than to use these experiences to teach future generations and promote global citizens. I am a part of the Urban Communities Cohort in the education program, so I have first hand experience studying and working with the diverse population that makes up our school today. I plan on bringing an open mind to every class I may teach, and hopefully I can bring some of my learnings of what it means to be a global citizen into local schools. I am looking forward to sharing my own experiences and learning from my own diverse students’ experiences.

Before the first official uOGlobal workshop, I felt like I didn’t know what to expect from the course. The first pods of the online portion seemed really open for introduction and it was very flexible with how to approach the tasks. Once I had a chance to meet a variety of other participants, I realized the strategy for the tasks being so flexible was to accommodate everyone’s different experiences to relate to the course. I think the best part of attending workshops was the chance to meet different students that I may not have otherwise had the pleasure of interacting with because we all come from difference levels and programs, yet we are all in the same boat of being global citizens. Networking is an asset to developing new and lasting connections with people within and outside of your own field, so I am glad that the program offers this opportunity. I was also intrigued by the quality of guest speakers present to share insights and information to students, and I even left with helpful resources to look into after the workshop. Overall, I feel the first Workshop was a success and participants, both students and facilitators, left with valuable insights from their colleagues.

I am looking forward to what will follow with this program. I know there is a lot of helpful information about career opportunities and resources coming with the next workshops. However, I really value our time working and sharing with colleagues, and it will be great to have this opportunity to meet up again in November. Until then, we wait and anticipate what is to come.


UOttawa Global Recognition Program organizers are currently recruiting students for the 2019-2020 cohort. Write to uoglobal@uOttawa.ca to express interest.

Introductory video: EN: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYQg5xadmq8

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