International Development Week celebrates worldwide presence

Leigh Pritchard

As part of International Development Week, Leigh Pritchard, PhD student and academic co-ordinator in ESL Services, describes her four-month internship at South Africa's North-West University last year. The internship was supported by the Government of Canada and the Canadian International Development Agency.

The Brock community can take a trip around the world this week without ever leaving campus.

International Development Week, a national celebration highlighting the work of Canada’s development community, is offering a variety of events from Feb. 7 to 11, including lectures, presentations, a photo exhibition and workshops.

“My special interest has always been development,” said John Kaethler, director of International Services and Programs Abroad, “and trying to get Canadians to know more about the world.

“I like to celebrate the students and the cultural dimension they bring. Nowadays, if we don’t know about the world, we’re in big trouble.”

That explains why International Development Week is the highlight of the school year for the department.

Among the events planned:

  • Thursday, Feb. 10: 12 noon Sankey Chamber
    Prof. Thomas Tieku will give a presentation on “The Future of Sudan: After the Referendum.” Tieku, of Ghana, received his MA in Political Science from Brock and is now director of African Studies at the University of Toronto.
  • Monday-Friday, Feb 7 to 18, Sean O’Sullivan Theatre gallery
    “Kandahar Through Afghan Eyes” photo exhibition, courtesy of the Canadian International Development Agency.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 9, 12 noon, WH 304
    Prof. David Butz will give a presentation on “Disaster and Development in Northern Pakistan”

For a complete list of events, visit

There are 1,280 international (visa) students in degree programs at Brock from 78 countries, with China, Saudi Arabia and Germany leading the way. Not only do the students bring a cultural dimension to Niagara, but an economic benefit as well.

The Study Abroad program, administered by International Services and Programs Abroad, brings international students to Brock for a semester. This year, the program is contributing $100,000 to Brock’s financial picture.

International students spend more than $10.2 million in Niagara for food, accommodation and clothing. This figure does not include summer expenditures, tuition or other university fees.

The Intensive English Language Program (IELP) hosts 2,000 international students spread over four terms. They spend about $5.2 million a year in Niagara for food, accommodation and clothing, not including tuition and IELP fees.

In total, international students at Brock spend more than $15.44 million in Niagara. Using a 4.5 economic multiplier effect, the total soars to about $69.5 million.

There are four international offices at Brock:

  • International Services and Programs Abroad assists international students and administers student exchange programs on six continents, as well as short-term experiential learning programs in Ghana, Namibia and Botswana. The new Global Transitions Program will see incoming high school graduates spend their first term in Ghana or Nicaragua taking part in experiential learning programs.
  • Brock International administers the Visiting International Professor and Visiting International Scholar programs, as well as the new Confucius Institute.
  • English as a Second Language Services hosts students from around the world, many who take ESL and then gain entry to Brock.
  • International Market Development is responsible for international market development and joint ventures.

Following hard on the heels of International Development Week festivities is a planned reading week trip to Ghana. With associate director Geeta Powell, 12 students will visit various businesses and attend lectures at the University of Ghana.

There is still space for members of the Brock community to take part in the three-week experiential learning program this August in Botswana. For more information, contact Kaethler at

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