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Winning photo in the World W.I.S.E. 2013 Global Colours Photo Contest by Matthew Hebert.

A global perspective

February 11, 2014 — 

In February of each year, students at universities across Canada celebrate International Week. U of M is also celebrating the week, with events presented by the W.I.S.E. (Work, Internship, Study and Exchange) Resource Centre volunteers and the International Centre for Students (ICS).

The week is aimed at calling attention to the real strides and positive steps being made every day in a number of important areas related to human, social and economic development.

ICS communications coordinator Robyn Tully says, “Identifying and tackling global issues can seem abstract and impossible, but U of M students and faculty are doing amazing things to address some of the most pressing issues facing our world today.

“International Week is a way for us to highlight these initiatives, inspire our students and show students how they can get involved. What may seem like a small contribution can have a significant impact. The events this week are a way for students to connect directly with some of the many things that are going on.”

One such special event is the International Friendship Night Coffee House. It takes place tonight at Degrees and is open to all.

Here’s student staff at the World W.I.S.E. Resource Centre Ainsley Wiebe to tell us more.

International Friendship Night
Coffee House with WUSC

By paying the annual UMSU fee, every student donates money that goes to sponsoring one refugee annually to resettle in Winnipeg and study at the U of M. This night is dedicated to celebrating the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) Student Refugee Program (SRP) and other programs aimed at promoting change and making a difference in the world. The event will feature SRP success stories, both from WUSC and from beneficiaries of the program, as well as singers, slam poets, dancers, and comedians. Come join us for a night of information and great entertainment.

Tuesday, February 11       7:00 to 10:00 pm
Degrees Diner, 3rd floor University Centre

Another event that takes place today is a discussion panel with a focus on sustainability.

Challenges Faced by Sustainable Initiatives
(Discussion Panel)

This multi-disciplinary panel discussion on environmental sustainability will focus on the U of M, asking how environmentally sustainable are we as a university community and how can we improve? Panel members include Ian Hall, Director of Office of Sustainability and Mark Hanson, assistant professor, Faculty of Environment and Geography. Audience participation is encouraged.

Tuesday, February 11       12:30 to 1:30 pm
University of Manitoba Graduate Students’ Association (UMGSA) Lounge, 217 University Centre


International student from China and photographer Bei Bei Lu will be offering free family portraits to to help international students celebrate their new friends and adopted families here at the U of M and in Winnipeg. Come take a free portrait with your buddies, teammates, roommates, neighbours, friends, etc, and send it back home!

Free Family Portrait Session

This event is open to all U of M students and is aimed at celebrating diversity and new friendships. This is an opportunity to remember new friendships and connections for the rest of your life.

Tuesday, February 11       4:00 to 6:00 pm
1st floor University Centre, Campo Area


On Wednesday, there are several more fun and informative events, including the Exchange Fair, a roundtable discussion on human rights and an Amnesty film screening.

Exchange Fair

Interested in studying abroad while earning credits at U of M? Check out our Exchange Fair and learn about our partner universities and exchange opportunities and destinations.

Wednesday, February 12       10:00 am to 3:30 pm
Fletcher Argue Building (1st floor)


Universal Voice for Justice:
A Round Table Discussion on Human Rights

This roundtable discussion will bring together a culturally diverse group of students in the University of Manitoba in conversations surrounding the universality of human rights and the creation of a universal document governing these rights for the future. This discussion will  research and investigate the best practices and process to guide the facilitation of the roundtable at the 2014 G20 Youth Forum in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

Wednesday, February 12       12:30 to 2:00 pm
University of Manitoba Graduate Students’ Association (UMGSA) Lounge, 217 University Centre

The Square
Amnesty Film Screening

Synopsis:  The Egyptian Revolution has been an ongoing rollercoaster over the past two and a half years.  The Square is the inspirational story of young people claiming their rights, struggling through multiple forces, in the fight to create a society of conscience.

Wednesday, February 12       6:30 pm (95 minutes)
University of Manitoba Graduate Students’ Association (UMGSA) Lounge, 217 University Centre


On Thursday, the popular and upbeat annual reception, Who’s Who in International Cooperation?, is designed to bring together students, staff and faculty and connect them with Manitoba’s international development community.

Who’s Who in International Development

Hosted by the World W.I.S.E. Resource Centre, the event gives students an opportunity to connect, share ideas, and enjoy the company of like-minded people interested in making a change in the world. Food and entertainment will be provided, so come and enjoy an evening in great company.

Thursday, February 13   6:00 to 9:00 pm
The Fireside Lounge, 1st floor University Centre


And running the duration, is My  Fair Trade Valentine.

My Fair Trade Valentine

The U of M Fair Trade Working Group will be selling Fair Trade sweets that students can give to their friends and loved ones. What a great way to show your friends and loved ones you care by giving them fair-trade products!

Tuesday, February 11, 1st floor Frank Kennedy, 9 to 10 a.m.

Thursday, February 13, 1st floor University Centre, 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.


See the entire list of the week’s events here.




Like the ICS, World W.I.S.E. celebrates diversity, curiosity, respect and mutual understanding, and encourages students to develop global skills sets and intercultural competencies.

The Centre’s activities are supported by ICS staff, but are run largely by its student staff, numerous volunteers and a team of dedicated World W.I.S.E. Ambassadors, who are interviewed, selected and oriented at the start of each fall term.
The World W.I.S.E. team works closely with the ICS Student Exchange staff to publicize the benefits of participating in the U of M’s growing student exchange program, but it also organizes a year-long calendar of events which includes: World Opportunities Week and the Welcome Dinner each fall, International Week each February, the annual Global Colours Photo Contest, the annual NGO Crawl, and the Nahlah Ayed Prize for Student Leadership and Global Citizenship.

World W.I.S.E. circulates a bi-weekly electronic newsletter and publishes the World W.I.S.E. magazine. Finally, to provide additional opportunities to students at the U of M, ICS has developed agreements with two Canadian international development agencies to facilitate internships with WUSC’s Students Without Borders program in Malawi and Vietnam, and a six-week service learning project in Tanzania with CPAR.


Matthew_Hebert_smallThe featured photo above is by Matthew Hebert, student in the Faculty of Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources, and winner of the annual Global Colours Photo Contest organized by World W.I.S.E. See other 2013 winning photos here. The 2014 winners will be announced this Friday.

Hebert: While on a study abroad exchange at the University of Ghana, I was able to travel North to the country of Burkina Faso and it is here that this image was captured. Myself and my two companions rode a train across the country, from the Capital of Ouagadougou to the Westward city of Bobo-Dioulasso. Local villagers in all their bright colors rushed towards the train during its many stops. Mangoes and bananas over flowed from the buckets at top their heads. They would then bargain for the sale of their fruits in hopes of making a few Central African Francs or what they referred to as “cefa”. This particular experience showed me that we all work in an effort to profit from the fruits of our labour, no matter where it is we live in this world.


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