Jeremy Perkins, a Vancouver Island University student, travelled to Australia as part of the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship program. (VIU photo)

Jeremy Perkins, a Vancouver Island University student, travelled to Australia as part of the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship program. (VIU photo)

VIU restarts global exchange program after COVID-19 hiatus

Students with Queen Elizabeth Scholarship program have travelled to Belize and Australia

After halting an exchange program because of COVID-19, Vancouver Island University will again allow students to participate in internships in Commonwealth nations.

According to a press release, the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship program, on hiatus the past two years, provides students the opportunity to work and learn abroad and is intended to form “the next generation of innovative leaders and community builders.” It offers scholarships, which are given out based on applicants’ “academic achievement and community involvement,” the press release said.

Jeremy Perkins, in his fourth year in global studies, saw his 2020 internship delayed due to travel restrictions. He will travel to Australia where he will spend three months working for Climate Action Network Australia, a non-governmental organization.

“I’ll be working directly on the humanitarian consequences of climate change, policy, logistics, engaging with stakeholders and whatever else they need me to do,” Perkins said in the press release. “I think the internship will be an opportunity to learn how to be a force for change and allow me to really think about the part I can play and what I can do. My general goal is to do something that has an impact and makes change in the world.”

Jennifer Sills, manager of education abroad and the scholarship program at VIU, is excited to send students overseas again.

“Our scholars have diligently and carefully prepared for their internships and we are so proud of them for their flexibility, adaptability and tenacity throughout the pandemic and especially the past few months,” Sills said in the press release. “They have truly embodied the values of the QE scholarship program and I’m confident they will be excellent ambassadors of VIU … and the [program].”

The program has been extended to December 2023, said the press release, and is “administered through Universities Canada, The Rideau Hall Foundation and Community Foundations of Canada.”

In addition to Belize and Australia, students have also interned in Tanzania, Vietnam and New Zealand, stated the press release.

For more information, go to https://qes.viu.ca/.

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