Laurier Arts: North American Studies

Laurier Arts: North American Studies


North American Studies gives you context. It makes your world
bigger than the country you’re in and helps you see how Canada fits within the rest of the world, what those relationships are. If you compare it to Europe, where a bunch of little countries in a much smaller area, it makes for completely different
dynamics when you’re comparing three large countries in a big, big area. North American Studies is
one of the few programs in the country that really involves
academic interrogation of what the continent is
all about. Students are able to engage with
material from so many different fields, from sociology, from history, from psychology, and what I find is that our students take a lot of different directions. I learned while in the program, problem-solving skills, research skills, analytical skills, as well as getting the opportunity to collaborate with my peers and also practice my public speaking. And so, I use all of these skills in my day-to-day life. You walked into the class, everyone was mingling, there’s these small little tables, we had our name tags, it was such a cool way to develop a relationship with your professors. So, my co-instructor happens to be my husband, and he and I actually do a lot of tag-team teaching She would be lecturing and then I’ll jump in, or you know, I’ll be saying something and she jumps in. I tend to be the funny one, Kevin tends to be the more serious one. It’s so exciting to see that dynamic between them. They’re really exciting to have teach ’cause they feed off each other
so well. Laurier has lots of opportunities for student exchanges. I participated in the NAFTA mobility
program, which is a partnership between Canada, the US and Mexico, and I got to go to Georgia Southern University. Instead of talking about Americans, I got to talk to Americans. I got study with Americans and study American history from a very Southern American point of view. Our students who come back from exchange are changed people. I mean, they have a real sense of confidence that is new, and fresh, and different,
and you can really see it when they return. One of the key things they leave with is a knowledge of North America and the meaning
behind North America as a continent. And it’s understanding who we are at home within a North American context.

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