International Studies Symposium

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The Glendon’s  Student Annual International Studies Symposium is a project entirely conceived  and managed by students. It was initiated during the 1995-1996 academic year by a group of highly motivated students, eager to deepen their knowledge and experience of foreign countries or regions and the relations between Canada and those countries or regions.  So far, the Project has covered the following countries or regions:

Cuba (1995-1996), China (1996-97), South Africa (1997-1998), theEuropean Union (1998-1999), the Middle East (1999-2000), South East Asia (2000-2001), Brazil(2001-2002), Russia (2002-2003), India (2003-2004), The Great Lakes Regions of Central Africa (2004-2005), Mexico (2005-2006), Turkey (2006-2007), Egypt (2007-2008), Venezuela (2008-2009), Iran (2009-2010), Hispaniola (2010-2011), Germany (2011-2012), the Korean Peninsula(2012-2013), The United States of America (2013-2014), Japan (2014-2015), Iceland (2015 – 2016), Argentina (2016 – 2017), Thailand (2017-2018) and Latvia (2018-2019), European Union (2019-2020)

This highly demanding Project has five main components:

  • a series of seminars on the selected country, region or institution (Fall Term);
  • the organization of an international colloquium on the subject (Winter Term);
  • a field research trip (after the final exams); and
  • the submission of a research essay on aspects of the county/institution concerned (usually on matters dealing with security, trade, investments, and human rights).
  • Publication of the proceedings of the Symposium and student’s essays.

The success of this project has enhanced the visibility, not only of the Department of International Studies, but also of Glendon College and York University as a whole, in Canada and abroad. The students have consistently been able to invite many distinguished speakers and guests to participate in the symposium, including foreign diplomats as well as Canadian federal ministers and renowned Canadian and international academics. The project has become a major event, forging links among various constituencies, notably the Glendon, York and outside academic community as well as the wider metropolitan community, in particular its immigrant population.

A significant development in the history of this project occurred in 2001-2002 with the publication of the proceeding of the Brazil symposium.  Proceedings of the symposium on Russia were also printed by the Toronto University Press. We expect this kind of publication to become a Glendon tradition.

In 2003, the Glendon’s Student Annual International Studies Symposium on Russia received an important national recognition: The Student Leadership in Internationalization Award, assigned by the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE).

Again in 2004, the Glendon’s Student Annual International Studies Symposium on India received theAward for Excellence in Internationalization from Scotia Bank and the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.

In 2010, the Glendon’s Student Annual International Studies Symposium on Hispaniola received York University’s York International Student Award.

While many, inside and outside the university, make significant contributions to this annual event, the key to the project’s success lies mainly in the boundless enthusiasm, dedication and creativity of the students.