The program has two major objectives. The first is to prepare students for university studies in the Faculty of Arts or Social Sciences, and especially in International Studies, should they desire to do so. This could lead to further studies and careers in law, various fields of international co-operation, international business, anthropology, environmental studies, international development, and others. The second objective is to develop practical experience and a sense of solidarity with the peoples and cultures of the South.
Students have gone on to study in University programs, such as: International Development Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, International Relations, History, Political Science, Geography, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, African Studies, Human Rights Studies, Economics, and Conflict Studies.
Here is what some graduates of the North South Studies program did internship, career, and field work wise after their graduation:
Fiona Montgomery: Graduated in 1994. After graduating, she began an undergraduate degree at Concordia University in Economics. After the first year, she decided that the course was not what she was looking for and made the decision to transfer to Geography at University of British Columbia. The focus of her studies was on Environmental Geography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Throughout her studies she worked as an assistant to the one of her professors running the GIS computer labs. During the summer breaks, she also had a position as an intern performing research into the use of satellite imagery for commercial application within the forestry industry. After graduation from UBC in 1998, she was allocated a 1 year placement with the Pacific Forestry Centre in Victoria. Upon completion of her internship, she was accepted at UBC to do masters in Forestry. However this is where her career took a slight U-turn. She decided to take 6 months and work abroad prior to starting my masters. She came to the UK and while there, she took on a 6 month contract with Citibank in Brussels doing IT support. At the end of the contract she joined Solomon Smith Barney in London on a permanent basis in their IT department. After 2 years working as an IT project manager, she joined another group within the bank that looked after corporate share plans for external clients. This is where she remained for the next 11 years. Last summer she made the decision to leave the bank and work independently as a consultant. She am now working with a pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca, acting as the Global Implementation Lead overseeing a project to outsource the companies HR Benefits Program to a third party manager, Aon Hewitt. This project is seeing the roll out of benefit management services across over 100 countries. Over this period she had a family; she has a 14 year old step daughter, a 4 year old daughter and a 2 year old son.
Vanessa Gordon: Graduated in 1996. After finishing North-South studies, she entered into McGill’s Political Science Program. During the course of her Undergraduate career, she went back to Nicaragua a couple of times. She also did a research project in Grenada and another honours thesis based on works she undertook with the Asemblea Permanente de Derechos Humanos in Bolivia. After graduating, she worked at the Canadian Human Rights Foundation and then decided to pursue her Master’s degree in Comparative Ethnic Conflict at Queen’s University of Belfast. After that, she worked with the Pearson International Peacekeeping Training Centre located in Clementsport, Nova Scotia, then moved on to work at the Office of the Regional Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, located in Santiago, Chile. Upon her return to Montreal, she joined the International Centre for the Prevention of Crime as an analyst, then moved on to Alternatives, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to supporting international solidarity movements. After that she consulted for the Hao Ran Foundation, a Taiwanese Foundation dedicated to supporting international solidarity initiatives; it is a Foundation that is part of Taiwan’s Continental Engineering Corporation. And now she teaches at Dawson, in the Political Science department!
Erin Hetherington: Graduated in 1998. After graduating from north south studies, she took a year off and went backpacking with two fellow north south graduates in Central America. They did go back to Nandaime, Nicaragua and visited the families they stayed with there. The following year she enrolled at McGill and did a joint Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science. After graduating from McGill, she got a DFAIT internship and working in Mexico for 8 months in a small Mayan community on the Yucatan peninsula. After returning from Mexico, she worked for Oxfam America in Boston for 3 years, and then did a Masters in Public Health at Harvard School of Public Health. She now works as a research associate in Global Health at the University of Calgary and has done so for the past 3.5 years. She currently takes students on international research experiences to Africa, manage international health projects and conduct her own research in maternal and child health.
She says that North South was a great starting point for a wonderful career in Global Health for her.
Richard Archambault:Graduated in 1998. After graduating, he went on to do a B.A. in Linguistics at Concordia University. During his time there, he participated in an exchange program with the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico in Mexico City, where he took courses on Latin American history, politics and economics, and where he met his wonderful wife. A couple of years after he graduated, he ended up working at Canada World Youth, and he is still there after 7 years, helping young people have amazing and life-changing experiences just like he had in Nicaragua with North-South.
His wife and he live in Montreal with their two amazing and rambunctious little boys, but the food and music of Mexico will likely pull them back there eventually. Other than Latin American history and spicy Mexican food, his passions today also include website development. Richard can be found online at http://richardmtl.ca and on Twitter as @richardmtl.
Caroline LD:Graduated in 2007. She continued on at McGill where she did a bachelor in International Development Studies and Geography. She is currently living in Sweden completing her first year of a Master’s program in Geo-information Science and Remote Sensing. She also plans to do her field work assessing the impacts of climate change on rural communities in Nepal.
Catherine St-Hilaire: Graduated in 2008. After graduating from Dawson she went on to do a Honours degree in Anthropology at Concordia University. She got involved in SASU (Sociology and anthropology Student Union) for the three years of her BA. Her BA thesis was on Sikh religious clothing’s in Montreal and her Honours thesis was on the rituals of trance in EDME (electronic dance music events: raves, afterhours, psy-trance parties) Then she applied to do a Master in Anthropology abroad. This is why she is right now doing a one year intense master program in the Netherlands at Vrije University van Amsterdam. She just came back from her three months field work in the UK studying the identity and sense of belonging of the Sikh Community in Birmingham, as well as joining her informants while they were visiting their family in India, Punjab. She just came back and she is starting to write her MA Thesis. Her plans for the future are to finish her master, come back to Canada in autumn to reunite with friends and family and then apply for a PhD probably in Sweden, Spain or UK, either religious studies (sikhism) or anthropology of religion. But she says it’s one step at the time; she needs to finish her MA first.
Kristen Drummond: Graduated in 2011. She’s currently at McGill University majoring in Latin American and Caribbean Studies with minors in History and Women’s Studies. As for related work since the trip, she spent a few weeks in June & July 2011 volunteering at an elementary school in northern India on a trip with the Dawson Student Union.