Faculty of Education

Western Education launches international office

By: Cory Habermehl
Friday, December 4, 2015

Western’s Faculty of Education is looking to take on the world.

The Faculty, which is already involved in many international collaborations and initiatives, has a strong desire to further increase its international presence. As such, it has formally established a dedicated International Office.

Former BEd student Alita Madeira takes part in an international placement in Peru in 2014.

International Office staff will bring a centralized approach to ongoing international work at the Faculty of Education, and help establish new relationships, partnerships and research opportunities around the world that are in line with the Faculty’s values and goals.

“We want to increase awareness of the Faculty of Education as a world-class organization on a broad scale, and help ensure the Faculty is front and centre in the minds of international colleagues and organizations,” says International Office Director Matt Bazely. “We’re a new office, but we’ve got big aspirations.”

The office will also work closely with Western International to support international faculty and students studying at the Faculty of Education, and support faculty members and students who choose to leaveWestern to study or work abroad.

“I know what it’s like to land in a new country and not speak the language,” says Bazely. “It’s very exciting, but it’s definitely not very settling. We’re going to work collaboratively to bring an increased level of care to these individuals and be the crutch for them to lean on if they need any type of assistance.”

Bazely is the former director of the Western English Language Centre (WELC), which will now move under the umbrella of the new International Office.

Combined, International Office staff members were born in eight different countries and speak nine different languages. This international knowledge and cultural awareness will be paramount to helping the office complete another of its key objectives – helping the Faculty of Education bring an internationally-informed experience and context to those faculty and students who choose not to travel abroad.

“An international awareness is something we want to have flow throughout all of our programs and degrees,” says Vicki Schwean, Dean of the Faculty of Education. “This office will be crucial in helping us bring an international perspective to everything we do at the Faculty of Education.”

The Faculty of Education is currently involved in a number of internationally themed initiatives and collaborations, including an initiative to improve world media literacy with UNESCO, the unique TESOL MPEd. program, where international students learn to teach English to speakers of other languages, and research on providing better outcomes to at-risk children with interRAI – an organization with members from more than 30 countries.