One of my absolute favourite thing that the International Studies department hosts is the International Studies Symposium. I volunteered in my first and second year, and I’m looking forward to volunteering this year too. I sat down with my friend Lindsey Hutchins to chat about her experience on the symposium team this year. I highly recommend getting involved with the symposium team at some point in your years at Glendon. You get to learn so much, and help to make an amazing day run smoothly. This year, the Argentina Symposium is on Saturday March 11th.
*Contact Information and Social Media will be linked at the end*
- What exactly is the International Studies Symposium
The Annual International Studies Symposium is a student-run initiative for the past 21 years. During the 1995-1996 academic year, a group of highly driven students took it upon themselves to create a unique course that would allow them to mix academics with practical application to deepen their understanding of foreign countries, and their relationships with Canada. The course is split into two sections. The first is lecture-style, to learn all aspects about their chosen country, while the second semester is dedicated to organizing, planning, and executing the symposium.
- What was the inspiration for the team to choose Argentina?
We chose Argentina because of her rich culture, strong peoples, and exquisite landscapes. First semester we learned about Argentina’s history from before their colonization. to their liberalization, their booming economy of the early 20th century, to their strong political groups, and many Coup d’Etats. We aim to showcase these points, and more, through our Symposium, and the speakers at the panels.
- Can you tell us about your position on the team?
My position is Public Relations Coordinator. However, due to the nature of the project, we work closely with each other, continuously moving through different positions.
- Who can get involved with the Symposium?
Anyone! The actual course is reserved for International Studies Students, however anyone can become involved through volunteering.
To become part of next year’s team, keep eye out for the application in the weekly student newsletter, or contact the department for more information.
If you want to volunteer, speak to one of our team members, or reach out through our Facebook page, or email – firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Can you tell us more about how the course is run?
The process of the course itself does change from year to year, and group to group. However, it follows this general format. Once your group has been selected, the first move is to choose a country to study. Once a country is chosen, you must let the department know, so a professor, knowledgeable in either the country itself, or the general area, can be selected to teach the first semester.
Once the school year begins, you attend weekly lectures, just as a regular course, to learn about the country, from culture, to foreign and domestic politics, etc. While the first semester goes on, you and your group make decisions on what direction you would like your symposium to go in, what your financial budget will be, who your speakers ideally would be, and who you want to reach out to for financial support. At this stage, emails are being sent out to try and secure these speakers, and attempting to secure finical aid.
Second semester is dedicated solely to the planning of the symposium. There is no longer lectures, but weekly (or bi-weekly) meetings with you group, where you plan, organize, relay information, and hatch ideas. The second semester is where the bulk of the work is done.
- What has been the biggest challenge of this course?
One of the largest challenges is learning how to bridge the academic education we have acquired in the past four years, and applying it to organizing the symposium, contacting sponsors and panelists.
- What skills have you acquired or been able to develop during the course?
As a group, we have been able to grow, and learn how to work together. For me, it was learning how to reach out to persons, and companies in search of support.
- Can you share something interesting that you’ve learned?
Culturally, one of the most interesting things I learned is that Tango has its roots and influences from African and European culture. Much of Argentine Tango is due to slaves fleeing to Argentina to free themselves. The word tango was initially used to refer to musical gatherings of slaves, and other low-class peoples.
- Is there something that you like about Argentina that you wish Canada had?
- Is there anything else you want to share with us?
If you are interested in the Symposium, please take a look at our website. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to send us an email!
This weekend, March 5th is Expérience Glendon!
Come visit campus, meet fellow students, and learn more about everything Glendon has to offer. RSVP Here!
Song of the week:
Eraser – Ed Sheeran
Y’all, I’m obsessed – I can’t wait for the new album to drop!