6 February 2017

In an op-ed in Policy Options, 2015 Trudeau fellow Bessma Momani and 2015 Trudeau mentor Jillian Stirk argue that as much as Canadian corporate leaders value cultural fluency, Canadian students are hesitant about going abroad to study or work. The cost of going abroad, the unsure recognition of qualifications and experience, and the fact that it can be hard to return home, are some of the obstacles they identified. Among other solutions, Momani and Stirk call for a better understanding of the Canadian diaspora and flexible approaches to citizenship, and for a better look at academic exchanges like the highly successful Erasmus Program in the European Union. 

The time has come to see international experience as an asset and not a liability, to encourage globally connected Canadians to stay connected to Canada, and to push the next generation out into the world to develop new skills and build the intercultural fluency that will serve this country so well in our increasingly complex world.”

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Bessma Momani

Professor Bessma Momani is an expert on global economic governance issues, Canadian foreign policy, Arab Spring, Arab Canadians and Arab youth.

2015 Fellows

Jillian Stirk

Retired after 30 years of service in the foreign service, she brings strategic expertise in foreign policy and multilateral negotiations.

2015 Mentors