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### Global Study Abroad Experience for Sask Polytech Justice Studies Students in Wales

Engaging Participants through a Blend of Cultural and Curriculum-Centric Programs

Ever pondered the commonalities between Wales and Canada? This question piqued the interest of Saskatchewan Polytechnic Justice Studies students during their educational venture to the UK.

Terry Fleury, the head of the Justice Studies program, elucidates that the choice of destination was deliberate due to the parallel offering of a comparable post-secondary program at Cardiff and Vale College.

“Fostering a comparative approach, Sask Polytech students actively participated in classes at the college. Notably, akin to Wales, the Canadian justice system predominantly follows common law, except for Quebec, which adheres to a civil law framework. This academic excursion enabled students to conduct a research project delving into the legislative disparities between the two nations,” elaborates Fleury.

The immersive experience left a lasting impact on the second-year students, broadening their perspectives, as highlighted by Kevin Krawec, the head of Community Safety Programs and a supervisor on the trip.

“The coursework attended by students in Wales seamlessly integrated with our curriculum, offering invaluable insights. Additionally, visits to prominent establishments such as the Wales police station, prison facilities, and the Security, Crime, and Intelligence Innovation Institute at Cardiff University facilitated a comprehensive comparison,” Krawec remarks.

For student Rhiannon Lynch, the trip held immense value.

“Engaging classroom sessions enriched our learning experience, making it both educational and enjoyable. Such trips should be a rite of passage for all. The amalgamation of education, recreation, and the bonds forged made the journey truly worthwhile,” expresses Lynch, drawing a personal connection to Wales through her Welsh lineage. “With a Welsh first name, I find it fascinating that my mother preserved our heritage through my name. Witnessing my roots was truly enlightening.”

Hailing from a lineage entrenched in law enforcement, with her mother serving as an RCMP officer, Lynch aspires to follow a similar path post-graduation in Spring 2024, contemplating a career in corrections.

“The dynamic nature of the profession, devoid of monotonous desk work, is what draws me in. Each day presents unique challenges,” she reflects.

The Justice Studies program equips graduates with a diverse array of career pathways, including roles as correctional officers, law enforcement personnel, deputy sheriffs, youth offender workers, and border services agents.

The study abroad initiative not only encompassed curriculum-centric activities but also provided students with a glimpse into Welsh culture through culinary experiences and guided tours.

Indigenous student Melissa Sugar expresses gratitude for the exchange program, seizing the opportunity to showcase her cultural heritage by donning a ribbon skirt during the tours.

“The privilege of participating in this program was truly humbling. Proudly adorned in my beaded attire, representing my culture on foreign soil was an empowering experience I’ll forever cherish,” she reflects. “During one of our tours, a guide from Cardiff inquired about the appropriateness of donning an Indigenous skirt. I emphasized the importance of wearing it respectfully, with an appreciation for Indigenous culture. I even offered to craft her a ribbon skirt and beaded earrings.”

Krawec emphasizes that the primary objective of such excursions is to broaden students’ horizons, fostering a sense of openness and confidence in traversing new territories while assimilating the acquired knowledge and experiences back into their communities.

Fleury echoes this sentiment, aiming for students to undergo personal growth through the lens of a different cultural milieu.

Lynch affirms that this once-in-a-lifetime escapade will forever hold a special place in her heart.

“The memories of this trip are etched in my mind. The enriching classes, the camaraderie with my classmates, the architectural marvels, historical insights, delectable cuisines, and the vibrant culture—all of it will remain with me,” she reminisces.

Sugar concurs, underlining the significance of such opportunities for Indigenous students, marking her inaugural international journey as a transformative experience driven by a desire to provide a better future for the next generation.

The expedition was financially supported by Employment and Social Development Canada’s [Students with Global Skills Opportunity certificate] program, designed to facilitate the engagement of Canadian students in global learning endeavors, particularly focusing on Indigenous students, individuals with disabilities, and those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, historically impeded by participation barriers.

Learn more about the [Students in Wales].

Students in Wales

Students in Wales

Students in Wales

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